by Barb B
Napa, CA and Hereford, AZ , Arizona
September 18, 2000
Parking is available, but be warned: GET THERE EARLY--with both boaters and divers competing for space, the parking area fills up fast! Take lots of quarters to feed the meters!!
Because the Coast Guard Breakwater juts out into Monterey Bay at this spot, it is a good vantage point for non-divers to view the divers below. A huge contingent of sea lions rests on the rocks at the end of the Breakwater.
The bottom is basically sandy at about 30 feet. There can be lots of kelp, so be careful if you are not accustommed to diving in kelp. Hiding in the kelp, you will find decorator crabs, and if you are lucky, you may find a tiny octopus living in a can or bottle on the bottom. If you are a certified diver, but have not dived on the California coast before, I STRONGLY recommend you talk with local divers and the dive shops BEFORE going into the water. A full, quater-inch wet suit (or a dry suit) will be necessary, because the water temperature usually remains at about 55 degrees year round. It is generally best to plan your dives for mornings, because the wind surf frequently pick up in the afternoon.
Generally, dive shops in the area are not geared to serve divers flying-in from other parts of the country. If you want to dive here, you are pretty much on your own. You will have to arrange a rental car, and plan to bring or rent your gear from one of the local shops.
Our waters here are beautiful, but very cold and surf can become rough unexpectedly. Enjoy yourself, but be careful!
From journal Monterey--The Other California Bay