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Kelp Beds

Typical Conditions
Visibility: 10-15
Water Temperature: 60
Surge: 5
Wave Height: 1-3

Marine Life
garibaldi, blackeye, lobster, kelp bass, anemones, black sea bass

General Information
Dive Type: shore
Skill Level: open water
Rating: #4 rating

Meeting Place
Scripps Park in the large grassy area near the public restrooms.

Scripps Park in the large grassy area near the public restrooms.

Entry and Exit
A stairway leads down to the Cove from Scripps Park. Divers typically set up camp in the large grassy area of the park, don their gear, do buddy checks, then proceed down the stairs and enter the water.

The dive plan begins with a surf entry from the North-facing Cove where conditions vary, so proper surf entry and exit training is advised, especially when swells come from the North. The slope of the beach is fairly steep and the surf zone is relatively narrow, so waves may be sizable and break quickly. Be sure to time your entry so that you swim out during the lull between wave sets. A well-timed quick swim should easily take you past the surf zone between sets.

Dive Procedure
The kelp beds are located about 400 yards northwest of the Cove.

Swim out past the surf and head west, curving around parallel to the shoreline. There will be another surf break just to the East of you, which is called Boomers. Stay out past the surfline and once you have passed where it starts, head northwest, straight out until you notice kelp below you.

Drop down the line and mark your position with a buoy or float. The easiest way to do the dive is take a compass heading in one direction and just follow that until you're ready to turn around, then come straight back.

Special Considerations
As with all kelp diving, entanglement can be dangerous. Should this become a concern, stop, breathe and try to break yourself free from the kelp. Divers are advised to always dive with a buddy and carry a knife in case of entanglement in kelp.

When swimming between the Cove and the kelp beds, be cautious if you should enter the surf zone. There are large and potentially hazardous reef formations and rocks near the shore.

Emergency Plan
Should a diving related injury occur, follow proper emergency procedures as appropriate. If you are on the surface of the water, be sure to call for help. The Cove is generally crowded with people and lifeguards are on duty all year during daylight hours.

Ensure that a call to 911 is made as soon as possible. Be sure that the caller conveys to the 911 operator that an accident involving a scuba diver has occurred and follow the operators instructions. Be sure the caller specifies the location of the injured diver and does not hang up the phone until instructed to do so by the operator.

Nearest Hospital
UCSD Medical Center

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