Northern California's Monterey Bay is one of the most incredible places to dive, with cold, nutrient-rich waters that play host to a stunning array of resident and migratory marine life. These waters are protected as the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which contributes heartily to the diversity and health of its various ecosystems. There are few dives that can compare to a Monterey Bay dive!

Both shore diving and boat diving are on the menu in Monterey Bay, and with water temperatures that hover around 50F, drysuit diving may be as well. If you're not planning on wearing a drysuit for your Monterey Bay dive, choose a wetsuit with the greatest thickness, wear a hood and gloves, and possibly an additional skin layer underneath or a shorty on top for added warmth. Topside temperatures run 50F-70F depending on the time of year, so be sure to bring warm layers and an absorbent towel for quick drying once you pull off your wetsuit.

You'll have a variety of habitats to choose from for a Monterey Bay dive, from kelp forests and offshore reefs to walls and enormous granite blocks covered in sponges and anemones. Littered among these sites are starfish, eels, sea cucumbers, nudibranchs, barnacles, crustaceans, sea cucumbers, mollusks, and so many more that make every surface look and feel alive. Larger species like ling cod, cabezons, seals, dolphins, and whales are also denizens of these habitats, even if only for particular seasons.

Check out this fantastic video displaying all the wonders of a Monterey Bay dive, and start planning your next dive adventure to the area!

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