Monterey/Carmel Dive Site Recommendations
****Work in Progress****
There are a large variety of dive sites in Monterey and Carmel Bay. The best sites are those accessible only by boat. Several charter boat services are in the area. Check out www.californiadiveboats.com for the most current contact information.
That being said, shore diving is the main stay of activity here. Below you will find some recommendations of shore dive sites along with a simple visual aid and a map as a guide to diving the site. These are my favorite sites -- it is not an exhaustive list.
I loosely rate each of the sites as Advanced, Intermediate, and Beginner. Dive each of these sites at your own risk.
Definition of Terms:
People may disagree about the ratings. "Monastery is advanced? Why, I did my open water certification there!" Just be careful, locals don't call it Mortuary Beach for nothing.
Remember: Conditions can change in the course of 20-30 minutes, and change DRASTICALLY. You may enter the water in lake like conditions with 50 foot visibility, only to turn your dive and find yourself in a tempest. Carmel Bay is more unpredictable than Monterey Bay in this respect.
Always make your dive decisions assuming the conditions will deteriorate during your dive.
For a more definitive guide to dive sites, see Bruce Watkins' - A Diver's Guide to Monterey
Monterey Bay Sites
San Carlos Beach Beginner
Metridium Fields Intermediate/Advanced
Inner Lover's Point Beginner
Outer Lover's Point Intermediate
Siren Street Advanced
Coral Street Intermediate
South Point Pinos Intermediate/Advanced
North Point Pinos Intermediate
Carmel Bay Sites
Inside Stillwater Cove Beginner
Outside Stillwater Cove Advanced
Butterfly House Advanced
Stewart's Cove Intermediate/Advanced
South Monastery Advanced
North Monastery Advanced
Point Lobos Beginner/Advanced
Warning: The suggestions here are just that -- suggestions and are not intended to substitute for familiarity with the local waters and conditions. Dive conservatively and within your limits.