CHASE REEF - POINT PINOS
(BOAT OR KAYAK DIVES)
(SKILL LEVEL: NOVICE TO EXPERT)
(Waves can pop up quickly)
The following dive spots are located along Ocean View Blvd. in Pacific Grove about 1 ½ miles Northwest from Lovers Point. (Note: without a compass it appears that you are driving South on Ocean View Blvd., because you are heading away from Monterey toward Carmel). The best access to Chase Reef is from the parking area at Coral Street Cove.
Chase Reef is actually two separate distinct reefs. The Inner Chase Reef is located slightly to the left of Coral Street Beach and begins about 250 yards offshore. This reef parallels the shore and is fairly shallow with rocky pinnacles and drop-offs to about the 60 foot depth. This reef is very easy to spot because it has a thick growth of kelp which outlines the reef. This is a very beautiful dive and the visibility ranges from 20 feet in the summer plankton months to over 75 feet in the winter months.
The Outer Chase Reef is much to the left of Coral Street Beach and runs to Point Pinos. This reef system parallels the shore and if you line up with Asilomar Avenue you will be in the center of the reef. This reef system is located about 400 yards offshore and the depths range from 40 feet to 100 feet. The outer reef is often called the best dive in Monterey Bay. It has many pinnacles, canyons, and arches. The life on the outer reef is abundant with large cabezon, lingcod, and an abundance of rockfish. The pinnacles have many unusual sea creatures not normally seen within Monterey Bay.
If you continue to the Northwest for a short distance you will hit Point Pinos and its exposed rocks. If you anchor at the Northern edge of the kelp bed you will have easy access to the bottom and the well defined reef system. This area can get to depths of well over 100 feet and it has an abundance of sea life. Like the Outer Chase Reef, the bottom here has very interesting topography with many boulders, caves, and valleys.
These are the last dive sites on the Monterey Peninsula. On calm days I recommend any of these dives; however these dive spots have no protection from ocean currents and subject to severe ocean conditions. Check the tides and conditions before diving. When the wind picks up, these locations can become very active with high wave action.
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
|BACK TO THE MONTEREY DIVING INDEX|