Red Tide – Algae Growth
Hmm. The water looks like God spilled his coffee in it and is now shaking it to get it to dissipate. Its horrible. I talk to my Instructor and he says he’s never seen it “this bad.” Monterey usually sits at mid 60’s during October. Two weeks before leading up to our course, its been high 60’s to mid 70’s. The warm weather has allowed a growth of algae to grow at many of the Monterey Bay Dive sites. To make matters worse, some how there is a swell.
The first time I prepared to dive Monterey Bay, I asked my buddy about tides, currents, and wind. He laughed and told me that Monterey Bay is flat and you can dive it any time. Well, not this weekend.
The plan for the Advanced Open Water course is 5 dives: 3 shore dives with one at night, and 2 boat dives. I even book an AirBnB to stay over night.
I get to Lover’s Point #3 and it looks like surf’s up. Its definitely upsetting to look out at the beautiful ocean and not be able to get in the water. Scuba rule to follow- If conditions are bad, cancel the dive. Don’t risk it.
Instead we (the instructor and divemasters) talk to the students and explain to them the situation. The shore dives are pushed to a different week in November. Boat dives are still on because they are planned for an estimated 80 feet depth.
The rest of the day we spend taking the students to some of nearby dive sites. While I won’t go into specific dive sites (private message me if you would like more information). Here’s the general information.
Monterey Bay Dive Sites
This beach is for advanced divers only. So much so the city even put out a warning sign:
If you dive Monastery, its either going to be on the North or South side. There’s nothing to see in the middle. The break is very steep. One minute you are on the beach, the next step you are neck deep in water. If there is any swell, like 1ft, then the dive should be called off. Why? Well, getting out of the water can be extremely difficult if you are trying to climb out as the waves break on you. The image shows a diver tumbling down- imagine a washing machine full of sand and ocean. Thats Monastery. The last note gave me the chills “At least 30 people have died at this beach.”
Looks nice and flat… but underneath its a washing machine waiting to grab you.
Carmel River State Beach
Carmel River State Beach includes a wetlands area. Over here there is a small free parking lot. This is close to Monastery Beach, but not as difficult.
Lover’s Cove / Lover’s Point
There’s three places to dive here. 1. Lover’s Cove 2. Lover’s Point 3. Lover’s Point #3. The third one is on the other side opposite of Lover’s cove and has a stairway down to a beach.
If you go down Ocean View Blvd towards Naiad St, you can dive Otters Beach.
The downside of lover’s cove is that it is very shallow 15-20ft for 200-300 yards. You have to surface swim quite far if you want to dive deep. Another disadvantage is that you can only park here for a max of 2 hours before having to move your car.
Right on Cannery Row, this beach is great if you already have a hotel room nearby. We parked at the El Torrito to check out conditions. This dive site is also close to Breakwater Cover, so one could do a dive at breakwater first then drive over during a surface interval and dive again.
Of course there are many other dive sites, but if you want to know something specific, send me a message and I will give you details.