Central Coast

Lingcod Reef

Lingcod Reef is an extended reef system that begins at Sunset Point and stretches southeast to Pescadero Point. This is a picturesque part of Monterey County where the dive sites are framed by wave-carved granite cliffs and cypress-covered hills. Famous landmarks along Pebble Beach’s famous 17-mile Drive, such as the Lone Cypress and the Castle House, mark boat anchorages. Overall, the topography of Lingcod Reef is a gently sloping rock and sand bottom that begins in about 20 feet and gradually drops to 60 feet. […]

North Monastery Beach

If you dive often enough, the ocean occasionally rewards you with truly outstanding diving. We Northern California divers surely know that you cannot always find 100 feet visibility and flat water, but we have learned to appreciate those conditions when they happen. Last fall my buddy and I made our way a bit later than normal towards Monterey. The ocean was mirror-like, there was no wind, and we could dive anywhere we wished—so we headed to Monastery Beach. The parking area was full, but a […]

Hopkins Deep Reef

While most of the diving in Monterey Bay is relatively shallow, there are a few outstanding, deeper reefs that are only accessible by boat. One of the easiest of these to get to is located directly off of Hopkins Marine Station, and most call this site “Hopkins Deep Reef.” This area is well protected by the Monterey Peninsula, and is one of the few deep reefs that are divable when the wind and swell pick up. This site consists of a gently-sloping sand bottom that […]

San Carlos Beach

Monterey offers a great many dive sites that will satisfy all interests and skill levels from the newly certified to advanced. With so many sites to choose from, it is easy to find one to fit your interests and experience. If you are looking for a comfortable beach dive with a lot of marine life, along with all of the amenities, then I urge you to check out San Carlos Beach. San Carlos Beach was named after the San Carlos Canning Company, a prominent landmark […]

Local’s Ledge

When most divers think about diving the Monterey area, they think about the protected sites within the Monterey and Carmel Bays. There are very good reasons for this, since both novice and advanced divers can find plenty to love at these easy, to very easy, dive sites. However, when the wind dies and the seas turn to glass, it is time to look beyond the commonplace to sites outside of the bays. One of my favorite “out of the bay” sites is Local’s Ledge. This […]

Hopkins State Marine Reserve

I enjoy pleasant surprises. On a recent trip on the Monterey Express, the wind came up a bit and we tucked in behind Point Cabrillo for our second dive. Even though the wind was howling in the outer waters, we found a calm spot to dive. I was not expecting much from this site, but it turned into a wonderful dive. We anchored on the southern border of the Hopkins State Marine Reserve, near the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Heading north, the sand bottom gave way […]

Lovers Point

There are many protected dive sites along the Monterey Peninsula and Lovers Point sits about in the middle. This rocky point and beach park have been known over 150 years as a place amorous couples share the magnificent ocean view. These days divers can also enjoy the spectacular underwater scenery. At Lovers Point you can enter the water on either side of the point for very different experiences. You may reach the water on the east side via two, stone staircases. The east side is […]

Copper Roof House

Divers mostly think of the Monterey Bay as a place for shore diving, and the Carmel Bay for boat diving. While those with boats often head to Carmel Bay when the seas are flat, there is plenty of good shore diving in Carmel on all but the roughest of days. One Carmel dive that is relatively easy and should not be overlooked is Copper Roof House. This dive site sits at the far end of Carmel Beach, and is marked by a funky little house […]

Point Pinos

Fall is my favorite time of year to dive California. Schools are back in session and the beaches are empty. The coastal fog and wind all but disappears, the water is the warmest of the year, and visibility among the best. On these clear, calm days, I seek out sites that get little attention from summer divers. One of my favorite fall dives is Point Pinos. Point Pinos defines the southern point of the Monterey Bay, and was named by Able Du Petit-Thouars in 1837 […]

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