Monterey County

Big Sur’s South Yankee Point

The Big Sur coastline is one of the most dramatic, most photographed, and most visited in all of California. Yet, its reefs are only explored by a handful of divers each year. Tourists may drive along Highway 1 and admire the splendor, but private access and steep cliffs keep divers from all but a few of these pristine reefs. To visit the Big Sur reefs you need excellent weather conditions and a sturdy boat. Yankee Point is found a bit south of Point Lobos and […]

Monterey Bay’s Chase Wall

Not so very long ago there were only a handful of “named sites” offshore of the Monterey Peninsula. Today, with the advent of GPS and accurate bathometry charts many dozens of sites are now precisely mapped. Many of these sites were once collectively called Chase Reef. The name of this reef derives from the Chase family, whose philanthropy was honored by bestowing their name to one of Pacific Grove’s parks and this reef. The entire Chase Reef has many great dive sites, and each has […]

Big Sur’s Diablo Pinnacles

When Monterey divers board a charter boat and head south they look forward to clear water and an abundance of the critters that make California diving so spectacular. When conditions are just right, they pass Point Lobos and head south to Big Sur for the most exciting diving along the Central California Coast. One of the best sites along Big Sur coastline is the Diablo Pinnacles. The Spanish called the area south of Point Lobos “El Paos Grande del Sur” (the big country to the […]

Perfect Conditions for Exploring Monterey’s Point Pinos from Shore

It was a beautiful fall day, with calm seas, but I had neglected to plan ahead ahead and all of Monterey’s charter dive boats were full, so it was time for a beach dive. Conditions were perfect so we decided to try a spot that is normally too rough to beach dive, and were rewarded with a couple of fantastic dives. At the very tip of Monterey Bay divers find Point Pinos, a site most often dived from a boat since the beach entries can […]

A Leisurely Stroll Down The Yellow Brick Road

There are sites that require divers to swim great distances to take in the full grandeur of the reef. At other sites divers only need to plant themselves in front of a rock or two for the entire dive, and enjoy the beauty of the reef and watch life’s drama develop before them. One site where you do not have to swim more than a few feet from the anchor line is at the Yellow Brick Road. The Yellow Brick Road is located south of […]

Monterey’s Otter Cove

California’s Central Valley rapidly heats up during spring and summer. We all know that hot air rises, and as it does it drives our coastal winds, which in turn drives the upwelling that brings life-giving nutrients to our inshore reefs. These nutrients are why Monterey’s marine life is so abundant, but the summer wind often keeps us off our most exposed reefs. An optimal site to enjoy summer diving is at Otter Cove. Otter Cove is a bit north of popular Lovers Point and the […]

Ball Buster Pinnacle

There’s usually a story behind a particular dive site’s name. Ball Buster is one of the most challenging recreational dives in Monterey Bay. It is a massive pinnacle, about two-thirds of a mile off the Coral Street entry and accessible only by boat. This is onsidered an advanced site for several reasons; it is in the middle of a boat lane, has no shallow area for a safety stop, and stiff currents are commonplace. Some say this site was named after the large number of […]

Monterey’s Aquarium Wall

Perhaps the single event that most shaped Monterey in recent decades was the opening of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in 1986. This aquarium specializes in the unique marine life of the Monterey Bay, and millions come to Monterey each year, largely to visit the aquarium. The aquarium’s founders chose their site well. The location is rich in history, and was previously the site of the famous Hovden Food Products Corp. (1916-1973), where Portola Brand sardines were canned. The aquarium also overlooks one of the calmest […]

Monterey’s Local’s Ledge

In their rush to motor to Carmel Bay, many divers pass right by some of the best sites in the Monterey Bay Area. There are many fantastic dive sites from Point Joe to just south of Cypress Point that often go unexplored. This is due to a number of reasons, notably the local landscape offers no protection from the prevailing wind and swell, and thus they may only be dived on the calmest of days. Many simply do not know these sites exist. One of […]

Monterey’s Chase Point

While the entire east side of the Monterey Peninsula is one continuous dive site, experienced captains know that some anchorages offer much better diving than others. That is, after all, one of the great reasons to sign onto a charter boat instead of beach diving or futzing with your own boat.  Inner Chase Reef begins between 200 and 300 yards offshore and to the north from the Coral Street Beach. The reef runs parallel to shore and consists of a series of rocky ledges and […]

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