Strange Fish…Paulina Salinas-Ruiz

Paulina Salinas-Ruiz is a graduate student in the Applied Marine and Watershed Science Master’s program at California State University, Monterey Bay and a Graduate Research Assistant at CSUMB’s Institute for Applied Marine Ecology. She has worked as a research technician using SCUBA to study the effects of invasive algae on the marine ecosystems along the coast of California and she is currently working with the California Undersea Imagery Archive on a long-term project that uses imagery to better understand the changing distribution of fishes and invertebrates along the coastline. “Strange Fish in Weird Places” is one part of that larger project, focused on engaging the public in the collection of images to support our understanding of how climate change is impacting seafloor communities.

Come join us at Crazy Horse Restaurant in Monterey. The meeting starts at 6:30, but come join us for dinner at 6:00, if you'd like.

Last Updated (Sunday, 23 September 2018 11:56)


Club Dive, Saturday, September 29th, 8:30 a.m. North Monastery, Carmel

North Monastery is one of those rare places where you can do a short kick from shore and go as deep as you would like to possibly dive. The huge granite boulders drop off at 60 degrees in to the black abyss of the deep-water trench that comes very near the shore. It is possible to see the usual rockfish and perch and an abundance of lingcod that seem to thrive and grow large in this marine protected area.

This is an ADVANCED dive and divers that come here should be prepared for a more challenging entry and exit in course gravel. We will talk about some strategies for safely diving here on the steep beach that has humbled even the most experienced divers at times. Because this can also be a deep dive, we recommend that only experienced divers attend this club dive.

If conditions are not agreeable we will retreat to our sure-thing dive location, San Carlos Beach.

Club Dive, Saturday, October 20th, 8:30 a.m. Stillwater Cover, Pebble Beach

Have you ever gotten the accursed mal-de-mer on a dive boat making the run from Monterey to Carmel Bay? If your captain was merciful, they would have likely ducked into the site of our October club dive to give upset stomachs a moment to settle and divers a chance to finish gearing up before jumping into the blue-green waters bracketing the dramatic pinnacles of Carmel Bay.

The site has a name, Stillwater Cove, and it is recognized for its relatively undisturbed marine environment. It’s near the Pebble Beach Golf Club (duck if you hear “fore!”), and The Beach and Tennis Club provides the coastal access from sunrise to sunset. Stillwater is a very protected dive spot with many different dives contained within the cove. Standing on the beach you can see Pescadero Point to the right and Arrowhead Point to the left. There is a stairway leading to a small sandy beach where you can launch small inflatables and kayaks.

There is a $10 gate fee to gain access into Pebble Beach, but you can often get this waived by telling them you are heading for the coastal access. At any rate, the free hot showers that we can use post-dive are worth the cost of admission! Once you are done diving, you should plan to drive the entire world-famous 17 Mile Drive loop!

Directions: Located in the heart of Pebble Beach, the drive here is worth the effort, even if you are not going to dive! Drive South of Carmel on Highway 1 to Ocean Ave. Take Ocean Ave West and turn right on San Antonio Ave. Wind your way North until you find yourself on Carmel Way. You will soon intersect with the famous 17 Mile Drive. A gate guard will welcome you and may relieve you of some money for the privilege of hobnobbing with the Rich and Famous. Travel North West for about 1 mile, and turn left on Palmero Way. Travel approximately 1/2 mile and then make a left on to Cypress Drive for about 1/8 of a mile which ends at Stillwater Cove.

Pumpkin Carving Contest – Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 8:30 – San Carlos Beach

The MBSO underwater pumpkin carving contest is an annual event. We will meet at San Carlos beach at 8:30. You have to bring your own pumpkin and carving tools. We will then buddy up and everyone is free to choose their dive spot and depth with her/his dive buddy. Then it is time to hit the water for some pumpkin carving. After the dive we will line the pumpkins up and begin the judging. Judging will be friendly amongst us and any passer-byers who wish to choose their favorites. There will be a small prize for the winner.

Here are the rules:
Bring your own pumpkin and carving tools. It must be at least 6 inches in diameter.

  • All carving must be done underwater. Carving includes drawing, removing the insides, or poking holes into the pumpkin. Underwater is not at home in your kitchen sink either. It is the sandy bottom of the ocean at San Carlos beach. You cannot draw on your pumpkin ahead of time but if you ambitious you may use an underwater stencil.
  • You may make a small hole, no more than a 1⁄2 inch, on the top and bottom of the pumpkin, to allow air to escape.
  • Judging will be done amongst ourselves and any passersby who wish to look.
  • You must have the top of your pumpkin to be entered for judging, so do not lose it underwater.
  • Keep it safe. We may be playing with sharp devices underwater. Please take this into account when positioning yourself to carve your pumpkin. An additional pound of lead can help you to stay safely on the ground.
  • The finished pumpkin may not be adorned with items found in and around the ocean, ie puking-up kelp.

Last Updated (Monday, 24 September 2018 14:48)


After Work Dive, Wednesday, October 10th, 6:30 p.m. Lovers Cove, Pacific Grove

This month we return to one of our favorite sites, Lovers of Jesus Cove in Pacific Grove. We will meet in the upper parking lot next to the swan-encrusted glass bottom boat to look at conditions, introduce buddies, and do a dive site briefing. There are restrooms at this site and the parking is free. The dive entry is through a sandy protected cove so divers of all skill levels are encouraged to attend.

We will dive site #1, the cove, since it is easier to navigate at night back to shore with the street lights as markers. We’ll more than likely see some of the usual suspects and hopefully some unexpected critters as well, like monkey face pricklebacks, midshipman, and sailfin sculpin. At night, the rockfish are more active and it is surprising how many juvenile fish come out to play.

Make sure and bring two lights out to this dive as it will be getting dark even as we enter the water, this is repeated in guidance but I wanted to say it here so people don't forget.

These dives are a lot of fun, come out and join us!

Make sure to bring two lights and a tank marker light. Make sure to check the MBSO Facebook page for updates and we hope to see you there.

General Guidelines for After Work & Night Dives: To participate in after work dives or night dives, divers must carry a minimum of two lights, one main light and one marker light (usually
attached to the tank valve). The dive must be terminated if a person experiences a malfunction of his/her light(s). That is why carrying three lights is strongly recommended so that dive team can continue the dive if one diver’s light ceases to function. For everyone’s diving pleasure, the club would like to thank all participants for adhering to these recommendations for club dives.

If you haven't been in the water for a while, or have not been diving in Monterey, we strongly encourage you to visit one of our local dive shops and take a refresher course before diving with us.

After Work Dives are scheduled the 2nd Friday of each month.

Some exceptions exist, so check the newsletter for the date and location of our upcoming dive. All dives are announced on our Facebook page: Monterey Bay Sea Otters Dive Club.

Please note that we meet, geared up and ready to dive at 6:30 pm unless otherwise noted on our Facebook page. All divers are required to have a primary and backup dive lights. A tank marker light is also suggested.

For more information, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated (Sunday, 23 September 2018 11:59)

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