A large mansion with an impressive green copper roof overlooks this sandy beach at the south end of Carmel River Beach. The shallow reef is in the 35-foot range and is bound by an expanse of sand to the north and larger granite structure to the south. Some of the rocks are very shallow and on rougher days waves break over the top and can be seen from Ocean View Blvd. There is a restroom just north of the dive site and free parking along the one-way street right next to the wooden stairway that descends to the beach.
This is a good site to see rockfish, perch and monkey-faced pricklebacks with a short swim from shore. As we don our gear there will be Carmelites out for a brisk walk with their dogs and when we return they will ask us what we saw and if it was cold. The answers are lots of fish and very cold.
From the California Diving News -Dive Spot At A Glance
Location: At the south end of Carmel Beach in Carmel.
Entry and Access: Park on Scenic Road near the intersection of Martin Ave. There is well-maintained staircase to the beach. Enter near the rocks to the left. Divers may also launch boats from the Monterey Breakwater or from the pier at Stillwater Cove (reservations required, call 408-625-8507). There are no facilities.
Skill Level: Beginner on calm days otherwise intermediate to advanced.
Depths: 20 to 90 feet
Visibility: Generally good, 20 to 40 feet
Hazards: On calm days this spot is easy to enter and exit, but conditions can be rough here. Watch for currents and boat traffic on the outer reef. You can expect to find thick kelp in later summer and fall.
Photography: Good macro photography for small fish, nudibranchs and other invertebrates. Good wide-angle photography in deeper water.
Hunting: Copper Roof House is part of the Carmel Bay State Marine Conservation Area; only finfish may be taken.