STILLWATER COVE / PINNACLES
(BEACH AND BOAT OR KAYAK DIVES)
(SKILL LEVEL: NOVICE TO EXPERT)
Stillwater Cove is located within the grounds of the Pebble Beach Tennis Club. This area is on the 17 Mile Scenic Drive and access to this area is through a gated entrance which charges a small fee ($8.00). When you enter the "17 Mile Scenic Drive" keep in mind that the drive is marked by a red dashed line in the middle of the road. Head for the Lodge and All Golf Courses. Turn Left at the sign which reads Lodge at Pebble Beach - Casa Palermo and Spa. Follow the Coastal Access Signs until you come to a white building called the Beach Club. This is your unloading spot. Two parking spaces are available at the pier and beach area for unloading only. There are six parking spots available at the 17th Fairway. There is a well marked path back to the beach from this parking area. During the week, access to this area is usually not a problem. I reccommend making "free" reservations prior to any trip to Stillwater Cove by calling 1-831-625-8536. There are also restrictions on traffic flow during lunch hours between 11am and 2pm.
Stillwater Cove is a very protected dive spot with many different dives contained within the cove. Standing on the beach you can see Pescadero Point to the right and Arrowhead Point to the left. There is a stairway leading to a small sandy beach where you can launch small inflatables and kayaks. Diving within the cove itself is usually uninteresting with little to see, so I recommend diving Pescadero Rocks which are out about 200 yards and almost dead center from the beach for a scenic beach dive with depths to the 45 foot range. (Novice to Intermediate Level)
If you have a boat or kayak, you can head out almost due West (Off to the right) about a mile to the Monterey Pinnacles. This is a group of three pinnacles in the open ocean which are the most popular boat dives in the Monterey area. The pinnacles are marked by an abundance of kelp, and the swell height increases as it passes over the pinnacles. They are very difficult to miss. Another way to locate the pinnacles is to line up with a large pink structure to the left of Pescadero Point which resembles a castle (known as "Castle House"). (Advanced to Expert Level) The Pinnacles are a boat/kayak dive, and can also be reached from Carmel Beach, although the ride/paddle is slightly longer.
The inner pinnacles go to a depth of slightly over 100 feet, and the outer pinnacle goes to a depth of over 130 feet. The visibility in this area usually runs 50 to 60 feet. This area is open ocean and it is subject to large swells and strong currents. There is a large variety of fish to be found at the pinnacles, and I have seen huge jellyfish (3 foot bells) in this area.
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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