Sonoma County

Sonoma County’s Fisk Mill Cove

North Coast diving is all about catching dinner, particularly abalone. I can poetically describe the beauty of our northern reefs and their abundance of colorful marine life, yet few will listen. If you can freedive to 30 feet you can bag your limit of abalone off any rocky beach in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties. In my search for the best abalone sites in Sonoma County the area between the Gerstle Cove and Stewarts Point State Marine Reserves is near the top of the list, and […]

Salt Point State Park’s South Cove

Along California’s North Coast there are basically two types of dive sites. First are the popular sites. These are easy to find, are in every dive guide or magazine overview article, and are prominently identified on road maps using the secret word “cove.” Most of these have diver-friendly facilities. The other type of site is the uncommon site (AKA secret sites). These are not identified on any map, are hard to find, and have no facilities. In general you must have a friend who shows […]

Gerstle Cove

Back when I was a new diver I embraced a number of dive sites for their easy entries and abundance of marine life. Like many, as I gained more experience I sought out more advanced sites, with the promise of more marine life. One of my formally favorite sites is Gerstle Cove, and I must admit that it has been nearly eight years since I dived there. This year I took a new diver there and was truly sorry that I was away so long. […]

Kruse Ranch

There are two ways to dive Sonoma County: you can follow the crowds, or you can venture out on your own. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. At popular spots like Gerstle, Ocean, or Timber Coves, you will find easy access to the water, diver-friendly facilities, and plenty of parking. You will also find plenty of other divers and less game. Out of the way places often require a bit more work getting to and from the water, but you’ll seldom have a hard time […]

Fisk Mill Cove

Unlike the coastline of Central and Southern California, the Sonoma Coast has relatively few protected areas. Some coves face northward into the predominant northwesterly swell and make for inhospitable diving. Others face southward and are calm havens for divers. At the north end of Salt Point State park is a moderate-sized cove that offers a comfortable dive with excellent abalone hunting. Fisk Mill Cove takes its name from the lumber mill that operated here in the late 1800s and is the most recent acquisition to […]

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