Point Lobos in Carmel is without a doubt some of the most beautiful diving in all of California. It is one of the jewels in the crown of the California Park system. Brian manages to capture a very nice day there.
By Brian Correiar
I finally got to dive Pt. Lobos last Saturday. Pt. Lobos is a state park just south of Monterey. The park includes an underwater reserve. The number of divers is limited by a reservation system. I had made my reservation months in advance. The anticipation I had for this dive was building all that time. Conditions had been on and off on the central coast for the past few weeks, so I was concerned about even being able to do the dive. Incredibly enough, conditions were perfect.
There is just no way that I can describe how beautiful the diving was. Let's just say that on the first dive I kept thinking "You can keep your warm water reefs. I could dive here every day and still see something new."
We did shore dives since we were going out on a commercial boat the next day. The hassle of pulling boats all the way from north of S.F. was not worth it. We surface swam out to the opening of Whaler's Cove and then dropped down in the sand channel between reefs, just outside the kelp. Then we headed towards the middle reef under the kelp. Literally every surface on the reef was covered with colorful life. Much more than I could describe here. Just imagine algal plants of every size and color, crustaceans all over the place, an array of starfish species from tiny to huge, anemones galore, and fish. More fish than I have seen before on a west coast dive. I even saw a terminal phase sheephead. It was better than being able to dive in the aquarium would have been. On the way back in, I was joined by a seal who must have liked my ocean rescue orange and black dry suit, since I became the object of it's attention. It would swim in front of me and disappear quickly only to turn up behind me nipping on my fins. At one point it sneaked up behind me and suddenly stuck its nose into my mask. I almost jumped out of the water from a depth of 42 ft. We also had a very nice view of a six ft. leopard shark resting on the bottom. And that was just the first dive.
The next day, we got to dive the east pinnacles, about a 10 min. boat ride outside of Whaler's Cove, but a long haul from Monterey Bay. The pinnacles are beautiful little sea mounts (pointed hills really)that start about 40+ and hit the bottom at 90+. Yet another great dive going close to the bottom (88 ft.) then working back up in a spiral pattern. The second dive was on the backside on McAbee's reef on the far side of the dense kelp beds that are visible from Cannery Row. It was like going into a dense redwood forest, but with much more life. The reef is a jumble of boulders that provide lots of hiding places for animals and varied relief to dive around. This site is protected enough to dive when the water outside the Bay is rough. It's worth requesting as a last dive regardless of conditions though.Back To Start