Author Topic: how to decide where to dive?  (Read 1035 times)

Offline Mike K

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how to decide where to dive?
« on: August 20, 2010, 10:58:22 AM »

First of all, let me clarify that I am a beginner and have several 5ft-10ft diving experiences to hunt abs.
Next Tuesday, with two buddy, I have a plan to dive near Sonoma county. 
I've heard Stiillwater cove, Reef, and Ocean Cove are the best places for the beginner.

My main concern for this trip is safety, so would you please recommend me some safe dive sites location to dive and hunt abs.

mike :wave: :wave: :wave:


Offline IceColdChuck

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Re: how to decide where to dive?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2010, 12:51:06 PM »
Hi Mike-
   A) You should come to the ocean cove event tomorrow, there will be a lot of people who can give you more ab diving info than you ever wanted. B) As for diving spots, I should let you know I am also a beginner this being my first year, but I have been a bunch of times so far and I try to go to new places each time. Now I realize that 30' depths and highway access cliffs which require repelling gear are out of the scope of most beginners. This in mind I think I have agood recomendation. Gerstle cove has easy access, fair abs at shallow depths, and lots of warden supervision. I was there with some other newbies last week and someone else in the cove thought they might have had a heart attack or a panic attack or something and within an hour they had fire trucks, ambulances, and a helicopter. So in the scheme of things its definately a beginner spot and also very safe. Fort Ross is also a good and very reliable choice, but it gets so much traffic from newbies that the shallows are completely picked over. I found Stillwater to be a slightly more intermediate dive, since you need to swim pretty much out of the cove in order to find abs that are even of legal size.  So Gerstle gets my vote for newbies. Sadly the truly great ab diving spots are like gays in the military, don't ask don't tell. Little known fact but it was actually an ab diver who coined the now famous phrase and suggested it as a solution to the political issue of homosexuals in the military at the west coast's elite summer camp the Bohemian grove.

P.S. Please do not check my facts.
-Charlie and...

"Survival is the ability to swim in strange water"
-Bene Gesserit Proverb

Offline Malibu_Two

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Re: how to decide where to dive?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2010, 01:29:34 PM »
My advice is to wait for optimal conditions. Next week might be a bit swelly, and if you wait for the conditions that we had 3 days ago, you can get in the water ANYWHERE, and probably find abs in shallow water.
Hope this helps a bit.

Offline snaildiver

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Re: how to decide where to dive?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2010, 01:50:19 PM »
I'm trying to remember my first season and what advice would have helped me.  My first dive was at ocean cove with 3-5 feet waves and 2-3 feet vis.  :angryfire:  My buddies should have picked a better day. But since that was my bar for normal, anything better than that was great conditions to dive in.  What helped me most was learning and improving my dive technique, equalizing, reading water conditions, and getting proper gear.  If you can do that, most of your dives should be safe.  You can practice your dive technique, equalizing, and play with gear in the pool.  As for reading the water, track the water conditions from sites listed on the forum and go when it's calm (1-2 feet swells).  Last weekend was amazing!!!!!! :headbang: Ok, back on track.  Charlie is right, you should come to the competition this weekend and hook up with some of the more experienced divers.  They can help you read water conditions, good entry/exit points, look for rip currents, help streamline your system...

Most of the places you listed, Gerstle, Ocean Cove, Stillwater can be safe areas for newbies but can also be dangerous for experienced divers.     
Alex L.


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Re: how to decide where to dive?
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2010, 02:07:28 PM »
Fort Ross is also a good and very reliable choice, but it gets so much traffic from newbies that the shallows are completely picked over.

I'm not trying to start an argument here but the rumors that Fort Ross is picked clean (in any way, shallows or not) are bad for our sport (for multiple reasons).  I'm also not trying to encourage more pressure than is already on Fort Ross, because it does get an extreme amount of divers each season.  That said... there are still plenty of abs right in the cove.  The last time I really spent a while in the shallows I was blown away at the abs I was seeing.  Of course I didn't see any trophies (10"ers), if I had I'd have taken them with me!  :icon_jokercolor: I was however able to show my buddy (who I was showing the ropes to) plenty of abs between 8 and 9 inches (one nice fat 9 is probably sitting right where we left him).  I try not to take abs from the cove any longer for reasons already beaten to death on other threads but I still find it a great place to dive. 

If you go out on Tuesday please watch the water for a good 20 minutes before you get in.  There is supposed to be a south swell (NOAA is calling it 3' but some of the surf sites are calling for closer to 5', that is pretty significant) which can be very deceptive if you're not careful.  My advice to a new diver is to spend most of your energy becoming a better diver, rather than focusing on the abs.  I see so many ab divers that have been going for decades but are still fairly poor freedivers.  If you become a better diver pulling abs will be no problem and you'll have to start shooting fish (or become obsessed with trophies), you'll also enjoy yourself much more. 

Sorry, you're probably getting much more advice and opinion than you were looking for... the market is closed and I'm bored.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2010, 04:38:00 PM by Glaucus »


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