HOPKINS DEEP REEF
(BOAT OR KAYAK DIVES)
(SKILL LEVEL: ADVANCED TO EXPERT)
Hopkins Deep Reef is a boat/kayak dive only. You can launch your kayak from the beach at the Monterey Breakwater. There is a concrete boat ramp at the Breakwater for launch of small boats, and if you launch an inflatable you should use this ramp, as there are usually many divers off the beach and a spinning prop can be a definite hazard to divers. To find the Reef go parallel to the shore past the Monterey Bay Aquarium until you are lined up with the left side of the boat works building. You want to place your boat or kayak about mid-way between the big red buoy and the kelp field.
The depths in this area range from 65 to 90 feet. This is a very nice dive with a well defined reef and many Metridium Anemones growing on the reef. This area also has an abundance of rockfish and you may get lucky and even get to see some abalone way back (and I mean way back) in some of the cracks on the reef.
Visibility in this area can be close to 100 feet at times, but usually it is 20 to 30 feet or so. This area is still within the confines of Monterey Bay, with the open ocean approximately 2 miles to the south.
The current can be strong at times in this area and usually run toward the direction of the Breakwater. The entire area is abundant with Macrocystis (giant kelp) and the creatures living in the kelp forests are varied. If you stray into the Hopkins Marine Reserve and happen upon some items marked with little flags, please leave them alone. The sea life in this area is being extensively studied by the scientists at Hopkins.
If you desire to do two dives, travel a short distance due west and you will begin to see cylindrical buoys (7 at last count). These buoys mark Hopkins Marine Refuge and the diving in this area is much shallower than the reef and is an ideal second dive.
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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