Club Dive – May 27th – South Monastery – 8 am

Note: If we have to change dive location or cancel a dive due to conditions, a member of the
Board will post a notice to our Facebook Group about the change. If a dive is canceled, the
club will try to connect RSVP holders with each other. The club cautions divers to consider the
reason for the cancellation and make safe personal decisions; if they decide to dive it is as
individuals not as a club dive.

Divers can consult the CDIP Swell model, Monterey & Carmel Marine forecast, and other info
sources (Windy, Aquarius’s Conditions page) especially if planning a long drive to join us.

Finally, if you’re planning to attend this dive, please contact the dive coordinators at so we may easily meet up on the morning of the


Thank you, for the dive site description!

While the middle of Monastery Beach bears the brunt of the surf, the extreme edges of the beach are often comparatively docile. Here at the southern edge of the beach where the sand starts to curl towards the north, the waves mostly dissipate and allow divers to enter the water facing perpendicular to the strongest waves in the lee of the rocky shoreline. This makes the entry and exit much more manageable. A well positioned dive can follow the steep slope of the Canyon and access waters as deep as one would like, so keep a close eye on your depth and your air consumption.

South Monastery
Coordinates 36.522563, -121.928418
Depth 200 ft
Skill Level Intermediate/Advanced
Access Method Surface swim, Kayak
Protection Status Point Lobos Marine ReserveNo Take
Attractions & Wildlife

While being so close to the Carmel Canyon is an attractive and fun aspect of this site, the best wildlife can be found in fairly shallow water (>40 feet) among the large rocks and surgey coast. The rugged shore makes navigation tricky so you’ll have to monitor your buoyancy and watch your depth to prevent accidentally surfacing while swimming over big reefs. Swim out to the point and descend into 30 feet of water and either explore the rocky inshore reef or head out across the sandy plains to the north and east to explore the sparse islands of rock that jut up from the sand. On one of these islands about 310 degrees from the point is a clump of beautiful metridium anemones like the ones found near San Carlos Beach. A course that veers more towards the middle of the bay will get pretty deep- about 70 feet or so until the sandy plain gives way to the trench and much, much deeper water. The slope can be abrupt, sometimes deceptively so. Keep an eye on your depth because it gets very, very deep very quickly. This area is protected as part of the Point Lobos Marine Reserve and fishing and collecting are strictly prohibited. As a result, this area has some of the most incredible fish and invertebrate life in the region.

See what species visitors to the Point Lobos Marine Reserve observed via iNaturalist.

Entry & Access

Free parking is available in the lot. Don’t block the gate. You can also park across the street.

Skill Level & Hazards

The entry and exit to Monastery Beach can be dangerous and it should be left to intermediate/advanced divers who can read the conditions and decide if they match everyone’s comfort level. The steep slope of the beach and the pounding surf should dissuade divers on all but ideal days and even then they should proceed with some caution as an hour long dive gives the weather plenty of time to change. Swell or wind can pick up and may be more difficult on the way out of the water than they were on the way in. Leave your pride at home and use the “Monastery Crawl” on all fours with your regulator in until you are completely out of the surf zone on dry sand. Stick with your buddy and be in good physical condition. South Monastery often has calmer entries along the far southern curl of the beach where divers can enter the water almost facing north.

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