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Jade Cove - Gorda CA

Jade Cove is a shore accessible salt water dive site, located in Gorda, CA. This dive site has an average rating of 3.33 out of 5 from 3 scuba divers.

Jade Cove is an Adventure in all respects! Plan on making this a full day trek, if not spending the night in the area. After making an incredibly beautiful drive up (or down) the coast, be prepared for a mild version of Gorilla diving. The reward? A souvenir piece of jade to take home to display with your other diving trophies. There are regulations to be aware of. A good starting place for web research is here.
Found 70 miles South of Monterey and 70 miles North of San Luis Obispo, between Gorda and Pacific Valley, on Highway 1.
Yes the hike up and down the cliffs is ridiculous. The shore boulder field can snap a leg with one miss step on a slippery or loose rock. After my first tank a family came up to me holding their dying dog, asking where the nearest vet was. Apparently at the wrong place at the wrong time. Another person was being helped out by his friends because his feet were so cut up by the rocks he couldn’t walk. DON’T wear sandals dude! If you are bound and determined to go there, go prepared, move slowly and carefully, this is VERY wild country with no medical attention around. In the water the direction of the swells and large swell intervals even when small can throw you into the rocks or pin you under a ledge. Dove here last week and the canopy of bull kelp was so thick and it was so dark I had to use a light to see the gravel beds. Problem was I needed 2 hands to hold onto the thick palm kelp to keep the surge from dragging me in 20 ft. of water. Once a wave had passed, I had to untangle myself from the kelp to continue. Vis was 8-10ft. Forget looking into caves. Two long dives and 3 hikes up and down the cliff yielded 2 handfuls of pebbles. A beach picker vacationing from Indiana found a half pound ocean polished piece in the rocks near the water 10 times better than anything I found. Up at the car I saw a young dude beginning the hike down with a brand new US Divers snorkel kit from Big 5 price tag still on it and I lost it. I told the kid do not go down there unless properly prepared with the right gear and DIVERS ARE NOT LIFEGUARDS!!! What a day, I think I’ll stick to spear fishing Willow creek.
The hike down was a complete workout. I recommend using several trips down. The current was slight, and the kelp was thick out about 40 yards, then OK. Vis was out of this world 75 ft +. There was some Jade but small pieces with no Boulders seen.
The last time I did this dive was in late spring/early summer 2008. The hike down the cliff was killer, a lot of the ground that was there the time before had washed out. Finally got down, geared up, fought through the massive amounts of bullwhip kelp and got under. It was worth the effort. Visibility was almost limitless. Low current, lots of life (good amount of jade too). It was one of the best dives I have ever had. Then came the hike out... I would say do this dive, but come with time, experience, and energy because it will make you work for every ounce you get from it.
My girlfriend and I attempted a north Jade cove scuba dive in January as she so wanted to find some green jade. We almost killed ourselves getting down the cliff with scuba gear. Beach entry looked tough, but when a huge elephant seal blocking the beach barked at us, we headed for the hills. The climb back up the hill almost killed us. We ran into a jade hippie near our car and he sold me a piece of Jade. So in the end my girlfriend got her JADE. This location should be considered ’advanced’. If you want Jade, just buy it from the hippie by the car pull-out.

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CAAdventureGurl - 12/29/2016 9:49 PM
Rating Added: 3
I went with a group of experienced divers. We camped at the local campsite and then spent a couple of days diving.
The surge can be pretty rough and I "almost" lost a fin on my exit (it was a floater so was able to chase it down and catch it). The entry is also a rough rocky entry after a 1/4 mi. hike down the cliff-side.
Once you are in, there’s a lot of life and great things to see. If you are lucky and have a good eye, you might even find some jade. There is at least one vein that opens up under the water, so there is a constant supply of pebbles. Make sure you find out the current laws about taking jade home any though.