Full suit beach entrance in sunny Malibu!
Malibu - Kelp Forests and Lobster Diving in California (USA)
Sunny Malibu Beach, along the South Pacific highway and close to Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Hollywood, offers some very interesting diving! If you are on a holiday around here, try something different and go fun diving in a kelp forest!
Imagine gearing up next to the car with celebrities and fashionable people with fancy dogs taking a beach stroll - something different for sure!
It looks a bit like diving in the Netherlands (my home country), the water is pretty cold (a full wetsuit is necessary), diving is shallow and you need to time your dives according to the tides.
Around 9 AM we entered the water for an easy shore dive with some sea lions visible on the surface in the distance. After a little struggle to get in the water with the waves washing ashore it was time to descend and explore Malibu underwater!
|Dive area name||California, Malibu|
|Dive center||Malibu Divers|
|Famous for||Kelp forests, lobsters (season), sea lions and horn sharks!|
|Price||Day trip Catalina Island with 3 boat dives: 135 US dollar.
Private guided beach dive with gear: 150 US dollars.
|Hotel recommendation||The M Malibu|
The Northern Pacific Ocean has a great variety of marine life on offer. Around Southern California kelp forests are common. Imagine long seaweed strings moving with the surge (back-and-forth movement of water). It is beautiful, I loved it, even-though a lot of the kelp was gone due to warmer water temperatures. The water was about 18 degrees Celsius and the sandy bottom dropped down to about 8 meters. An interesting rock formation with little overhangs and swim-throughs was full of marine life.
Horn sharks around Malibu Beach!
All US states have an official marine state fish. California has the orange colored Garibaldi, a damsel fish. They brighten up the green kelp forest and so do the easy spotted purple/orange Spanish Shaw nudibranchs.
Spanish Shaw nudibranch!
Another very interesting marine life creature around here is the California Sea Hare. Even though the colors are not so bright, their size makes them easy to spot. This huge sea slug grows longer than the length of your hands.
California Sea Hares!
Marine life around Malibu, California
About the organization of Malibu DiversIt was not planned during my short stay in LA but luckily Malibu Divers could facilitate a last minute beach dive when I got very enthusiastic! I guess it is mostly locals that dive around here since the fun dive trips are mainly organized in the evenings and weekends. The best one is Catalina Island in the weekend. Unfortunately I did not have enough time to jump on this boat trip, so I have to come back one day.
After several dive trips in the South Pacific it was soooooo nice to walk into a real dive shop! The dive shop of Malibu Divers is bigger than all the dive shops I visited in all those remote areas - candy store feeling! The best part is that (finally) everything is well organized again. Front office, back office, maintenance area, logistics, all set. Sincere hospitality, no rush and friendly smiles, people that know what they are doing and doing things right! Such a relieve. Definitely recommended!
Malibu Divers, Malibu, California
Comparing dive destinations
|Bottom structure||Reef structure||Pelagic
(big stuff in the blue)
(bigger stuff on the reef)
(small stuff on the reef)
|Flat bottom with bumps/big rocks/pinnacles||Hard corals tree-shape
|No current (but pretty strong surge)|
|Slope (going down slowly)||Soft corals tree-shape
|Rays||Eels/snakes||Sea horses and pipe fish||Small
(you can easily swim against it)
(steep but you see the bottom)
(you can swim against it for a little while/higher air consumption)
(steep and you can't see the bottom)
(you cannot swim against it)
|Sponges||Sardines/herrings||Puffers||Shrimps||Pumping/washing machine/OMG/hold your regulator
* The transparent boxes are the things I have seen down below and / or are spotted on almost every dive in that area.
* The dark blue boxes are the 'things' that are unavailable - things I have not seen and/or that are uncommon in that area.Click here for more information about comparing dive destinations.
Kelp forest around Malibu, California
If you like this post, hit that like button on our Facebook page and stay tuned for more!
Dive o'clock "It's dive o'clock somewhere!"
Dive o'clock "It's dive o'clock somewhere!"
Share this page: