Welcome to some of the best cold water diving in the world! For a quick overview on general information for diving in Monterey Bay see below…
Monterey Bay Conditions
In a nutshell: larger swells are bad. West winds are also bad news for Monterey/Carmel diving, NW is the “normal”. Generally if there are large swells it takes a few days with calmer seas for the water to settle out. If we have constant winds for a few days that can create an upwelling current here that brings colder but much clearer deep water into the bay and greatly improves visibility. Also aside from the buoy data (20 miles off shore) check the NOAA in bay forecast:
(Monterey is near the bottom)
If you want a little more information on how to interpret this data read this page:
Also as a note to get the wind forecast images to load, you will have to install the DoD Root CA
2 cert. This is signed by DISA and is just hosted by the Navy as its the cert they are using to encrypt their data. For more details visit our Dive Conditions page.
If you wish to dive the world famous Pt. Lobos you will have to have a buddy before entering the park. They will permit teams of 3 USUALLY but the standard is a 2 man team, with a max of 15 teams in the park at any given time. Generally you can dive any non-holiday weekday without a reservation, however that’s not always true for the sunny hot Fridays. You will always need reservations on the weekend… or at least if your driving from SF don’t plan to dive Lobos on a weekend w/out them.
Good alternatives are South or North Monastery but DO NOT dive there your first time w/out someone that’s familiar with the site. You can do some searches on the forums here to learn why.
New Monterey Diver
Also, Chuck Tribolet has a good, “New Monterey Diver” page, that I also would suggest reading. However some may be a little repetitive for you depending how much your instructor already taught you.