Diving Conditions

Your snorkeling experience will vary greatly depending on the local weather and ocean conditions. Before I go to the beach, I always check the weather forecast and the diving forecast. These forecasts help me prepare my gear. If the water temperature drops, I'll bring my warmer wetsuit. If it is warm and clear, I'll pack a lunch because I'll want to go out for two snorkeling sessions.

Use your common sense with the ocean. Even with the best forecasts, weather conditions can change quickly and unexpectedly. A calm ocean in the early morning can suddenly change to rough seas. A good rule of thumb is to check with the lifeguards to learn about ocean conditions. When in doubt, check with the lifeguard.

How can I plan for snorkeling when my family is on vacation?

In La Jolla, ideal snorkeling conditions are 20 - 30 feet of visibility with light surge. Do we get those those conditions everyday? No way! Excellent dive conditions like these arrive occaissionally, and when they do, we drop everything and head to the ocean.

Steps to take to plan your snorkeling:

  • Be flexible with your schedule.
  • Check the conditions the night before and adjust your plans accordingly.
  • If you are really hungry to snorkel, just go for it! Sometimes you are pleasantly surprised and the conditions are better than they predicted.
  • The morning hours are usually best for diving in San Diego because the winds usually kick up some choppy wave action in the afternoon.

Your Health

Snorkeling can be a very rigorous sport. You should be in good health before entering the water. Check with your physician if you have questions about the physical demands of this sport.

What do we look for before we snorkel?

Here's a list of the conditions that we check before entering the water:

  • Air temperature
  • Ocean temperature
  • Winds and direction
  • Wave size
  • Tide
  • Visibility, underwater
  • Surge, which is the amount of wave motion under water.
  • To learn how to write a dive report, follow this link Dive Report