Club Dive, May 21, Club Dive: Monastery South, Carmel

Meet in parking area (gravel/sand shoulder.)

South Monastery is definitely a favorite dive site. The north side of this cove boasts a 60 degree cliff where you can dive as deep as you dare. The south side of Monastery is similarly beautiful but a larger and less deep site. When we enter the site, we can kick out along the side of the kelp bed until we drop down into 40 feet of water and make our way out to 70 feet, at the most. If you are really ambitious, you can kick out all the way to Mono Lobo wall and descend.

There are lots of critters to see here in the Marine Protected Area so bring your camera. The water is usually clearer in Carmel, especially when there is an upwelling which happens this time of year. The rockfish here are usually large and plentiful. There is also an abundance of cabezon and small sculpins that flit around from perch to perch. Oh, and there are perch too; schools of pile perch. This is an intermediate dive.

Divers should be prepared for a more challenging entry and exit in coarse 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. There are restrooms at this dive site and parking along the side of Highway 1 is free and very close to where we will be diving. If conditions are not agreeable we will retreat to our backup dive location, San Carlos Beach

At-A-Glance Location: Highway 1 south of Carmel, 1.4 miles past Rio Rd. Park roadside on right, appx. 36°31’20.3″N 121°55’39.0″W (36.522302, -121.927512) Meet in parking area (gravel/sand shoulder.

Access and Facilities: Park Roadside gear-up

Depth: Deep

Visibility: Often excellent

Skill Level: Advanced

Hunting: No

Photography: Yes!

Hazards: Steep stepped entry & very coarse sand can make entry/exit treacherous. Keep your Regulator in until you’re on the float or on terra firma!

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