SCUBA Diving Monterey can be Tough
We love to dive in beautiful tropicalesque Monterey. However, diving in cold water is challenging and can be a difficult learning experience for some beginner students attempting certification. Cold water, claustrophobia, seasickness and heavier equipment can be just some of the reasons a student might head home without finishing the course.
Gear Gets Heavier
More weight has to be carried by cold water divers. It is worn on a weight belt and is put in weight pouches that insert into the BC. The amount of weight varies from 24 pounds to sometimes more than 30 pounds depending on a variety of factors. The thicker 7mm wetsuits, for instance, are much more buoyant than their 3mm warm water counterparts.
Tropics are Easier
If you had a hard time in the pool sessions, were you a bit panicky, and even after two days of pool training still not comfortable with SCUBA then you may want redo pool and pass on cold water for now. You can finish your cert as what the industry calls a Referral Diver. Complete academics and pool here in the states and then complete the ocean dives in a more comfortable environment such as Hawaii or Mexico. You can always return to dive Monterey with us on a Guided Dive. Also, your pool instructor will consult with you if they are concerned about you for any reason. Ask you instructor what they think about you going to Monterey.
Do you ever plan on diving cold water again?
Most of the staff at Scuba Fusion feel that if you are not planning on diving cold water again then pass on Monterey. Tropical certification dives focus on and emphasize warm water diving skills and they tend to include longer tours with things to see. Monterey diving in cold water is challenging and emphasize difficult cold water type dive instruction. Hazardous surf entry training, long surface swims and bad visibility are just a few of the factors that can cause candidates to call it quits. You can always come back and dive Monterey as a Guided Diver.
It's Not All Bad Right
Monterey is a popular dive spot where many divers partake in certification classes. The Bay is well protected from ocean waves, making it possible to dive almost every day. Beach dives offer gently sloping shorelines that provide beginners easy entry and exits. Beneath the waves, the slope continues a gradual descent to fairly shallow depths. Instructor’s Advice: Certify in cold water only if your planning on diving in cold water!
When to Go to Monterey
Monterey diving in December will of course be a little colder than in June. Visibility is usually better in the Fall and Winter months but their tends to be some rough weather also during the “Maverick’s surf season”. Whatever you decide we suggest not waiting too long after your pool program. Diving is a perishable skill. You have 12 months to complete ocean dives after your last pool session. Scuba Fusion conducts classes year round. Instructor’s Advice: Try to get it done within 3 months after last pool session
How Many Pass or Fail
Unfortunately not every diver candidate succeeds at Monterey. Experienced diving instructors know to pay close attention to the progress of a student’s comfort and skill levels during pool training. They are well aware that they will be diving with these same students in the ocean and tend to emphasize improvement in areas that can translate negatively in Monterey.