Butterfly House is located at the intersection of Scenic Road and Stewart Way in Carmel by the Sea. There is a large expensive house there with an odd roof that resembles a butterfly perched on the rocks overlooking a small cove. Parking is on the street and then we access the beach by an eroding goat path down to the water. There are no restrooms at this site so if you are diving dry you may want
to stop in to the port-a-potty just located along the road in at Carmel River Beach.
We will meet up at the intersection and observe conditions before doing a briefing and gearing up. The shallow cove is not kelped-in this time of year but the goat path to the water is not for the meek so it is one of the more difficult dives we will attempt this year.
However, the site is beautiful and one of the nicest shore dives in Carmel. There are very large granite pinnacles and chutes to explore. There are large and abundant fish species here as
well as lots of invertebrate life. This is a good dive to bring your camera and, if the visibility looks promising, a wide angle lens.
The beach has a few rocks in the surf line that need to be avoided, and then the bottom gradually drops away from 5 to 15 feet over about 50 yards. This is a pretty area to explore if there is little swell. There is a colorful display of marine algae on the rocks and a host of small crabs, nudibranchs and snails can be found. As the depth increases the low profile algae gives way to feather boa kelp, and then palm kelp.
From the shallow, rocky area the bottom then drops to 40 feet to a rock and sand patch reef. From this point the bottom turns into an enormous rocky ridge that runs perpendicular to shore and nearly due west. This ridge makes navigation a snap since you can easily follow one side of the ridge out, and turn around and head due east back to the beach.
The topography along this ridge is simply spectacular. Huge granite monoliths jut up 15 to 20 feet from the 40- to 60-foot bottom. In some areas you can experience diving among tower-like structures; and in other places the rocks are closer together and create a landscape of valleys, canyons, and small caves. This is a good spot for wide-angle photography, particularly for reef scenes.
If this site is not diveable, we will retreat to our backup site, San Carlos Beach.
Please post on Facebook if you are attending and if we do change the dive location we will post on Facebook and you can be notified of the change.