|Santa Monica Bay Dive Site; Elevated Pipe|
Posted by Max Bottomtime on January 05, 2019 at 10:14:48:|
The Hyperion Sewage Treatment Plant One-Mile Outfall Pipe, also called the Elevated Pipe has everything Santa Monica Bay divers look for. Sponges, nudibranchs, fish, lobster, scallops, hydroids, crabs, barnacles and tunicates cover the ten feet diameter pipe. When conditions are good it can be a macro photographer's paradise. You would never be able to see everything in a lifetime, so pick a spot and look closely. Many of the nudibranchs on the Elevated Pipe are nearly microscopic. Some are uncommon elsewhere around Southern California.
During late Summer through Fall, lobsters congregate on the pipe. There have been at least three deaths from divers entering the pipe in search of a meal, only to be extricated later by a lifeguard recovery team. Calicos, sandbass, scorpionfish, and sheephead are common here, though not in the large sizes found on natural reefs. There aren't many decent hiding places on a pipe with concrete stanchions.
At the open end of the pipe, depths range from fifty-five feet on the sand to thirty feet atop the pipe. If you swim a great distance along the pipe, make sure you count the stanchions to find your way back. Each spot looks identical, and due to boat traffic and the nearby Chevron tankers a free ascent is not a good idea. On clear days you can see the pipe from the surface, so look up as you ascend.
If you are diving the pipe from the beach, park close to the El Segundo Beach Cafe located at 12505 Vista Del Mar, Playa Del Rey. The deep end of the pipe for boaters or marathon swimmers is at 33°55.093N 118°26.840W
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