Dive Spots

Diving Point Lobos the Easy Way

At-A-Glance Skill Level: Advanced Location: In Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, just south of Carmel, at 36° 31.507’ N, 121° 56.621’ W. Access: Divers must enter the reserve through the main gate and check in, and may only enter the water at the boat ramp in Whalers Cove. Facilities: Launch ramp for small boats and kayaks, flush toilets, water to rinse boats and gear. Entry and Exit: It’s a long swim around the corner from Whalers Cove to the Great Pinnacle, and a boat or […]

Ancient Artistry: Point Loma’s Sea Cliffs

At-A-Glance Skill Level: Advanced Location: Approximately 1 mile offshore of Point Loma running parallel to the shore. Easy to spot on depth finder. Generally along the seaward edge of the kelp forest. Directly west of the Cabrillo Light House has some excellent walls, even deep cracks and crevices. Access: Boat dive. Charter boats depart nearby Mission Bay. Public boat ramps there as well. Entry and Exit: Boats only but heavy swell can sometimes affect the area. Depth Range: 65 to 115 feet. Conditions: Surge in […]

A Treasured Historic Site: Bluefish Cove, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve 

Divers, in general, are not aware of the colorful history of our most treasured dive sites. They come, dive, and depart without thinking about what happened in the past. Take Point Lobos, for example. In 1769 Point Lobos was named “Punta de los Lobos Marinos”, or Point of the Sea Wolves, by early Spanish explorers because of the large concentration of California sea lions that reside here. It was first a logging camp, then from the 1860s through the early 1890s a whaling port, an abalone harvesting […]

Coast Highway Classic: Laguna’s Aliso Beach 

Laguna Beach offers some of the best beach diving in all of southern California. Most diving is immediately north of the main part of town. Countless divers have enjoyed the underwater wonders of Divers Cove, Shaw’s Cove, Crescent Bay, Picnic Beach, and other sites. But seasoned divers know there is more to the south of town. Perhaps the dive site with the easiest beach access is at Aliso Beach Park. Cruising along southward as you head toward Dana Point, Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1) dips down to […]

A Perfect Monterey Bay Beach Dive: Cool and Calm on Coral Street

At-A-Glance Skill Level: Intermediate or better on most days. Novice divers can enjoy Coral Street on calm days. Since conditions can change rapidly, novices should be accompanied by more experienced divers. Location: At the intersection of Coral Street and Ocean View Boulevard in Pacific Grove. Access: Free parking is available right next to the entry. This is a good spot to launch kayaks to explore the offshore Chase Reef. A short set of stairs takes you to a gravel beach. Facilities: None at the entry; there is a […]

It’s Anything But a Trash Heap: Enjoying Anacapa’s Garbage Cove 

Garbage Cove! What kind of name is that for a dive site?! In spite of its unattractive name, the diving in this small cove is extraordinary. So just how did this dive location get its rather unattractive name? Early in the 20th century a much-needed lighthouse was built on the east end of East Anacapa Island. Construction of the lighthouse and other buildings was completed in 1932, making this the last lighthouse to be built on the West Coast. In the late 1930s Anacapa Island, along with Santa Barbara Island, […]

Enjoying Carmel’s Cypress Point

I am constantly amazed by how many individual dive sites exist within the Monterey and Carmel Bays — and just how different these nearby sites can be from each other. One could guess that sites close to one another experience nearly the same ocean conditions and would have similar geographic features and marine life, but this is often not the case. Take for example Humpback Pinnacle off of Cypress Point. This site was named “humpback” because on bathometry charts the reef looks like the arched […]

Well-Protected off Point Lobos: The Wonders of Gibson Beach

When divers board boats in Monterey Bay, most expect to dive in Carmel Bay, and many hope to go south of Point Lobos. It is not that the diving is always better farther south, and often is not, but they expect to head south. Sometimes you do not need to go very far south of Point Lobos to both meet expectations and find superior diving. Gibson Beach is a fine example of a dive site that proves this point. Gibson Beach, along with the adjacent […]

Coches Prietos: No Pigs, But Plenty of Photo Hogs

Santa Cruz Island’s Coches Prietos anchorage means “dark pig” in Spanish, but in my mind the dive site off the east end point will forever be known as Baby Sheephead Rocks. I’ve tried for many years to get a decent photo of a juvenile sheephead. They’re not uncommon, but the darned things just won’t sit still. For whatever reason, on a recent dive at Coches Prietos I encountered not a dark pig but a photo hog — a lovely juvenile sheephead that parked itself in […]

Redondo Submarine Canyon

Many LA County divers are likely familiar with Veteran’s Park and the offshore Redondo Submarine Canyon, as it’s a popular spot for training entry-level scuba students. The canyon is also a great location for more advanced classes. After a short swim you drop down to a 25-30 foot sand bottom and move west. As you reach a depth of about 35 feet, you’ll start down a rather steep slope to about 75-80 feet, which quickly drops to below 100 feet and then to the abyss. This […]

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