Lois Ann Dive Charters takes divers to a large variety of sites around San Diego. This page will familiarize you with each site and provide some information about the history of each, our recommended, lowest acceptable skill level.

Lois Ann Dive Charters requires that all divers provide proof of training and we reserve the right to request proof of skill level.

For your safety, and the safety of everyone on the vessel, we do reserve the right to refuse to let you enter the water.

All Levels

This encompases all divers from the very experienced, to the brand new open water diver. You dive at least one time every six months. We use the term “All Levels” instead of “Beginner” to explain that even though a site may be an easy dive location it will also offer a spectacular dive for even the most experienced diver as well.

The Tower

Sometimes referred to by NEL (Naval Electronics Laboratory) or the NOSC (Naval Oceans System Center) “The Tower” was an information gathering installation off Mission Beach from 1959-1988. In 1988 a large storm tore the house from the tower and it was never rebuilt. It stands in 60 feet of water and tops about at about 40 feet. The wreck currently resembles an oil rig or radio tower the way it stands on the bottom. An underwater jungle gym of steel I-beam girders tied together and blanketed in strawberry anemones. The structure rises from a sandy bottom where scattered about is a debris field from the original structure. This sandy bottom is home to hundreds of massive starfish, wandering lobster and the ever grumpy sheep crabs. On a clear calm day this can be a fantastic dive but conditions can make this site difficult or unenjoyable to dive in a hurry. In this situation we may look for better sites even if this is listed as a dive on our calendar.

Environment

Wrecks | Wreck Alley

Skill Recommendations

Conditions on this wreck are frequently not good for diving. On a calm day the Tower is a beginning level dive. Whenever possible we take open water dive classes here as it offers a nice, safe, substitute to the kelp.


Ray Forest

Ray Forest is located in 50ft of water and perfect for all levels of divers. Capt. Eric found this site one day driving past it and thought it looked so good from the surface that he talked the passengers into becoming explorers for an hour. The entire boat loved the site and it was named by a young 12 year old who said the light rays reminded him of walking through the forest. The dive site is a narrow strip of kelp running between two large patties. The bottom structure of this site is unique for Pt. Loma. It is a combination of large slab boulders stacked together and scattered pinnacles. This site offers perfect depths for open water divers, open sand for practicing skills for classes, great visibility and beautiful structure teeming with life. As its naming implies it offers breathtaking safety stops!!!

Environment

Kelp Forest

Skill Recommendations

Great for all Levels of divers. If you have never participated in a cold water dive we may recommend you take a dive master down with you. They know where all the cool things to see are!


NRAD

Named after the building it lying in front of it, Naval Research and Development, this is our most popular shallow dive site. Despite being a “beginner” site this dive is every bit as exciting as its big brothers in much deeper water. in the 30-40 ft range this site is covered in terrain. It offers pinnacles, walls, crevasses, and boulders all of which house very diverse and beautiful life. Very experienced divers from all over the world come up from this dive and are amazed by how beautiful it is. Don’t let the “beginner” designation fool you, this is a must dive site for everyone who comes to San Diego and Capt. Eric’s favorite spot in the kelp, Period!!!

Environment

Kelp Forest

Skill Recommendations

Great for all Levels of divers. If you have never participated in a cold water dive we may recommend you take a dive master down with you. They know where all the cool things to see are!


NRAD West

NRAD West is named after the Naval Research and Development building it lies in front of in point loma. We have 2 NRAD sites this one lying furthest to the west and being the deepest. This site is also adjacent to Lazy Days and shares many of the bottom terrain features as this beautiful wreck site. It is comprised of Giant pinnacles, dramatic walls, overhangs with an abundance of life hidden inside. Most of the site lies in 75-80 feet of water but the possibility of wandering off past 90ft. does exist. Pinnacles and walls will come around the area of 65 ft offering the possibility of a multilevel dive. This is a visually stunning dive.

Environment

Kelp Forest | Natural Reef

Skill Recommendations

We require a history of cold water dives, preferably kelp, to a depth of 80ft with at least one being in the last six months.


New Hope Rock

This site is adjacent to NRAD and shares many of the same terrain features as this very popular site. New hope rock is a large pinnacle that can be as shallow as 25ft at low tide. Off to the side of the pinnacle the depth can go down to 55 feet. This can be a great spot for open water classes or even the most experienced diver. It can also be affected by the smallest swell due to how shallow the top of the rock is. On a calm day this is one of the more beautiful sited Point Loma has to offer. Its also great for snorkeling for non divers and surface intervals.

Environment

Kelp Forest | Natural Reef

Skill Recommendations

Great for all Levels of divers. If you have never participated in a cold water dive we may recommend you take a dive master down with you. They know where all the cool things to see are!


Pacific Beach Reef

These are artificial reefs created in the 80’s to enhance the sport fishing and diving community in San Diego. Straight off Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach lays an underwater desert. Boulder piles were placed from 75 ft to 40 ft of water as one of San Diego’s earliest attempts at organized artificial Reef. The placement of these rubble piles offer shelter to all the fish and invertebrate life exposed in the sand flats. As a result these reefs teem with life! Its a bit like diving against a jettie but without all the drawback of diving inside the bay, clean water, low surge and massive amounts of life. The sinking of the wrecks eclipsed the popularity of these piles however they are still spectacular sites for those of us “in the know”. They offer a nice change of pace from the wrecks and kelp to offer something new and exciting!

Environment

Kelp | Artificial Reef

Skill Recommendations

These dives offer shallow to middle range depths with bottom terrain similar to kelp reefs. For the shallower reefs first time cold water divers may be able to have a great time on these dives. For the deeper reefs we would like to see a few cold water dives to depths of at least 60 ft in the last six months.


Novice

You have established a history of diving. You may be freshly certified but you caught the bug and dive more than once a month, or you many have been certified for a while but dive at least 12 times a year. You have a few cold water dives under your belt and you have been to 75 feet of water before.

Lazy Days

The Lazy Days was a WWII LCI (Landing Craft Infantry) that sank off the coast of point loma. Not much is know about the ship, supposedly she ran aground but now lies in 80ft of water next to another one of our more popular kelp sites NRAD West. There is not much left of the wreck. Most of the rubble can barely be identified as a wreck but don’t let that fool you. What is interesting about this site is the rock terrain that she lies in. Massive and dramatic walls, pinnacles, overhangs, and crevessas. There is an over abundance of life due to this structure making it a spectacular dive for the experienced kelp diver. This site is Captain Eric’s Favorite 80ft spot in the Kelp!!!

Environment

Kelp Forest

Skill recomendation

This site has an average depth of 80 feet, it is however not impossible to find 95 feet of water depending on the direction you swim. many of the walls and pinnacles do raise above the 65 ft mark. This is a great site where a diver can choose his depth but with this choice also comes a level of expectation for experience. This is not the first dive one should do outside of his open water class. We prefer to see a history of cold water dives, preferably kelp, at a depth of 80 feet with at least one being in the last six months. If you don’t quite qualify for this but want to see this site give us a call and discuss your history, we have many qualified divemasters that can help you be safe and successful on this beautiful dive .


Ancient Sea Cliffs

Ancient Sea Cliffs with depths from 70 to 100 feet is believed by some to be an old seashore, possibly from the Ice Age when the sea level was much lower.

Environment

Kelp Forest

Skill Recommendations

With a 105 foot maximum depth and a 60 foot drop to the top of the cliff, this dive is recommended for those with at least 5 kelp dives deeper than 60 feet. This site is also prone to strong currents.


Intermediate

You have an established record diving in cold water. You are dive active and routinely dive to 100 ft. You can navigate to mooring line or the anchor chain and are at home with low light and visibility. If you go more than 6 months without diving you know to plan an easy shallow dive to warm back up before planning a deeper or higher skilled dive.

HMCS Yukon

The Yukon is a 366 foot Canadian Destroyer Escort ship. It was sank in July 2000 by the San Diego Oceans Foundation as an artificial reef and is the largest ship in San Diego’s wreck alley. Due to an unexpected hiccup in the sinking she sits on her port side at a maximum depth of 110 ft with the average minimum depth at 75 ft. The Yukon is a big draw bringing divers to San Diego from all over the world. Since it went down in 2000, growth on the wreck seems to be exponentially increasing and is now teeming with life. Playful harbor seals and sea lions use its massive size for epic games of hide and seek, fish use it as shelter and a home, and it seems to be covered in invertebrate life. There’s nothing quite like diving a warship, it makes you feel like you are taking place in a documentary every dive. It's really quite a thrill to drop down and see the massive guns emerge from the dark.

Environment

Wrecks | Wreck Alley

Intermediate when calm clear conditions, can be Experienced when they are not. External conditions are novice on average.

Skill Recommendations

If you’re looking for your first cold water dive the Yukon is not the place to start (don’t worry we have lots of great dives for you!). We like to have divers with a history of cold water diving experience including dives to 100 ft in the last 6 months. The Yukon can be utilized for training advanced and wreck divers (easy to penetrate due to large numbers of cut outs) and is also great for a host of other specialties such as dpv’s and photography. She’s perfect for tech diving, doubles, side mount, and rebreathers as well.

If you don’t quite have the experience were looking for or haven’t been diving in the last year give us a call and let us know. We may strongly suggest or require you to hire a Dive Master tour guide but we may still be able to get you on your dive.


Ruby E

The Ruby E started out life as a CG 165 (165ft Coast Guard Cutter). She led an interesting and colorful life and now is one of the most beautiful sites underwater San Diego has to offer. She also was sunk as part of the artificial reff project, but unlike the Yukon, sits on her hull with the deck pointing straight up. Maximum depth is 80 ft with the deck laying at 60 ft. The shallowest portion of the wreck being around 45 ft. If you’ve ever seen the new years rose parade you may have an idea what the Ruby looks like. She is completely covered in strawberry anemones and home to a ludicrous amount of fish.

For those of you who can’t help yourselves from climbing inside, you’ll be happy to know, the wreck is penetrable and all the hatches have been made larger for entry and exit, however the wreck is starting to show her age. Extreme caution is recommended when entering any wreck. The Ruby E is by far one of the most beautiful wrecks California has to offer and a don’t miss San Diego Dive!!!

Environment

Wreck | Wreck Alley

Skill Recommendations

With the deck at 60 ft this dive is considerably easier than the Yukon but we still would like to see some cold water diving experience especially within the last 6 months. The Ruby is a gentle giant that comforts its divers with an easily recognizable shape, mid range depths, and beautiful colors, but if you’re just out of open water class or haven’t dove cold water we may require you to take a Dive Master tour guide with you.


Experienced

You have a long diving history or have logged many dives in an environment like California, the Great Lakes or New Jersey. You frequently dive to depths over 115 ft. You have a rescue certification or have some basic rescue or first aid training. You know basic self rescue techniques and are self sufficient while also knowing how to operate as a buddy team in even the most difficult conditions. Most importantly you also know when to call a dive off when conditions are not safe.

Hogan

A WICKED (LITTLE) Destroyer launched in 1919.

314 feet long and 31 feet wide, she boasted four 4 inch guns and two 20mm anti-aircraft guns. In WWII she served as a minesweeper and convoy escort. She took part in the invasion of North Africa as well as the battle of Iwo Jima. In 1945 she was slotted as a bombing target and was sunk off San Diego. She lies in 125 feet of water right on the Mexican Border. Currents are common in the area and visibility can be reduced. On clear days she is fantastic; I've had the pleasure of diving her a few days of 70+ visibility. There is not much in the way of penetration; must of the structure is collapsed.

Environment

Wreck

Skill Recommendations

With a 130 foot maximum depth and unpredictable bottom visibility, this dive is for experienced divers only. Currents are common in the area and all divers are required to have a surface visual signaling device and well as an audible device.

The Lois Ann does not allow hunting or collecting on the Hogan off our vessel


P-38

A WWII era Fighter-Bomber than was used in every combat theater of the war. Today there are less than 30 of the 10,000 built remaining. This aircraft is 37 feet long with a wingspan of 52 feet, one of the less fortunate of these lies in 130 feet of water off Torrey Pines State Beach.

Predominately intact; she sits upright with a one of her four 50mm cannons intact. Ammo is still in the magazine. Relief off the bottom is about 5-7 feet.

There is absolutely no salvage, hunting or touching of the wreck please. She is extremely delicate.

Environment

Wrecks

Skill Recommendations

Need some recommendations for diving this site/....

GPS units are not allowed on this trip.

The Lois Ann does not allow hunting or collecting on the P-38 off our vessel.