(BEACH DIVES / LAUNCH SPOT FOR KAYAKS)
(SKILL LEVEL: NOVICE TO ADVANCED)
To get to the Monterey Breakwater take Hwy. 101 to the Monterey Peninsula exit and on to highway 1 and past Fort Ord. Take the Del Monte / Pacific Grove Exit. You will now be on Del Monte Avenue. Stay on Del Monte Avenue for approximately 1 mile. After you pass McDonalds on your left you will come to a large controlled intersection called Washington. Take a half right at this intersection and go down into the tunnel and immediately get into the right hand lane and stay there. When you exit the tunnel veer to the right and you will automatically be on Foam Street. Turn right at the signal light and you will see the Breakwater immediately in front of you.
San Carlos Beach (Breakwater) is one of the most popular diving destinations in Northern California. On weekends this seems to be the ultimate dive destination for instructors and their open water checkout dives. It can get quite crowded in the summertime and unless you get there early you will not get parking. There are outside showers and also public toilets at each end of the beach.
At the East end of the beach there is a nice stairway entry down to a small sandy beach. If you go out at a slight angle to the left you can have a very nice dive with a sandy/rocky bottom. It is not unusual to see large rays in the area, and of course the ever playful seals and otters. Another good dive at the East end is to dive the breakwater wall. This wall is teeming with aquatic life and has a nice kelp forest. For the treasure hunter, Monday mornings is a great time to do an "equipment dive" and salvage gear inadvertently dropped by weekend scuba classes.
At the West end of the beach the entry is to the left of the public restroom and down a well worn path. This dive is mostly sandy bottom but there is a fantastic Metridium Anemone field out at about 50 foot depth or so. Just swim out about a 100 yards and look back toward the beach and line up with the road going up the side of the hill. Drop down here in about 20 feet of water or so and take a compass heading of 330 degrees. You will soon come to a big giant pipe which is about 30 inches in diameter. This pipe runs at 30 degrees magnetic. Follow the pipe to the end and about 45 feet of water. Take a compass heading of due North and in a minute or so you will be at the "shallow" Metridium Anemone fields in about 50 feet of water. This is a very pretty dive and it gives all a chance to brush up on their navigation skills.
The decision to dive (or not) is your responsibility. Keep diving activities within your training and comfort level. If you feel more training or experience is needed before attempting a dive, don't dive. Know personal limits, skill levels, and abilities of yourself and your dive buddy. Dive Safely and Dive Often!
If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, contact me
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