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Shore Freediving Locations off Monterey???

super171

Member
Apr 13, 2016
5
0
11
27
San Jose, CA
Does anyone know of a shore dive location around the Monterey, CA with substantial depth for freediving?

I've been diving in the Monterey area and the waters stay pretty shallow. At 100 yards out, the depth is still only 40'.

I'm really looking for a spot that I can swim out to (no boat) and do some deeper dives. Anyone know of any spot, say, within 20 miles north or south of Monterey with decent visibility and a steep depth progression or drop?

Thanks in advance!
 

Bill McIntyre

San Clemente, CA
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Jan 27, 2005
3,234
992
218
80
San Clemente, CA
I'm afraid that I can't Stephan. Monterey is about 400 miles north of me. I've visited and its a beautiful area, but I've never been diving there.
 

kelp princess

depthfinder
Jul 15, 2003
694
249
133
california
@super171 if you go out to the metridium fields at the breakwater - take a 270 heading out (from the base of the concrete foundation on the south side of the San Carlos beach,) and swim 300 meters out you will be in 20m of water, a little more at high tide.

or for the most depth and less navigating, drive south just a bit to Monastery Beach ( the formal name is Carmel River state Beach and is sometimes referred to as San Jose Creek beach - but locals and divers know it as "monastery") If you go past the entrance to Point Lobos state park you've gone too far. Go back and just park on the side of the road - it's very obvious and you will see other cars

Park at the north end of the beach to enter the north side of the cove, to the dotted kelp line that will take you to the canyon that gives you 2 miles down of depth. the swim out to the beginning of the kelp line is maybe 50 yards out.
do not dive alone, make sure you know where and how you will enter and exit BEFORE you go in ( sneaker waves and super serious undertow some of the time) but otherwise an incredible place to dive and so much glorious sea life to see.

if you dive on the south side it is equally as pretty but a consistent white sand bottom that goes to about 15-20m.

again pls do NOT dive monastery ( or anywhere) alone, or IF you and your buddy are NOT comfortable in NorCal conditions then go with someone who has been there before ( you can ping folks on the Monterey Bay Freedivers to find a buddy or a tour guide)

have fun & be safe :)

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Monterey_Bay_Freedivers/info
 
OP
OP
super171

super171

Member
Apr 13, 2016
5
0
11
27
San Jose, CA
That's a lot of useful information. I've heard that monastery was beautiful (and dangerous), but I didn't know there was a canyon there. I'll have to go check it out.

Thanks for the response and the link!
 

BatRay

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Nov 1, 2002
4,813
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Central California
Which locations have you used in the past? I've been diving at the breakwater and Del Monte beach. Between the two, the breakwater is a better bet if you're going for depth. It's a very easy site to use, and very popular with the divers.
 
OP
OP
super171

super171

Member
Apr 13, 2016
5
0
11
27
San Jose, CA
Which locations have you used in the past? I've been diving at the breakwater and Del Monte beach. Between the two, the breakwater is a better bet if you're going for depth. It's a very easy site to use, and very popular with the divers.
I've really just been spearfishing Monterey. I got into it a couple months ago, and I've been going to Otter Cove. The depth at the kelp beds range from 28-40'. It's a nice place to dive, but I'm looking for some different and more challenging locations.

I was planning on diving breakwater at some point (without the spear of course). I've heard a lot of good about it.
 

BatRay

Forum Mentor
Staff member
Forum Mentor
Nov 1, 2002
4,813
611
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Central California
It's a pretty cool location. Very accessible, with parking nearby, outdoor freshwater showers, and restrooms at the site. There are even steps down to the beach.

It tends to be a very busy location, but if that doesn't bother you, it's worth a try.
 
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