a VirtualTourist member from Minot
We will be in the Long Beach/Catalina area around the 20th of October. Is it still warm enough to snorkle? We're coming from ND so 60-65 degrees water temp is warm. Is it best to set up a guided tour, or can we just do it on our own as we will bring our own equipment? Any pointers on the best place to go off the shoreline?
The best months for diving/snorkeling in California are actually during the fall and winter. The water temperature is the same but a little calmer and clearer. Rarely does anyone snorkel in California without a wet suite, which can be rented. Not much snorkeling in Long Beach but Catalina has some nice spots for local cold-water fish. Purchase some dried fish pellets/food before coming out to the island to attract the fish closer. You can free dive in specific areas in Catalina without a guide. We were just on Catalina in April for the first time and enjoyed it but thought one or two days at the most was plenty. Not much to see or do unless its your honeymoon but very quaint non the less with a lot of history.
Wet suit needed. Be careful around the elephant seaweed. Watch the currents to avoid getting tangled. I would advise at least talking with a local diver while there for the tips of the day since scenery may change with the currents and season.