North Monastery Shore Dive - Change to Coral Street

  • 01 Jul 2012
  • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Monastery Beach, Carmel
  • 1


  • This include 2 dives only. Bring your own tanks.

Registration is closed

North Monastery Shore Dive - Change to Coral Street

When: Sunday July 01, 9:00am – 3:00pm
Where:  Highway 1 before Point Lobos (map

Contact: Christophe Beraud

Cost: Free

Diver Level WarningMonastery is the best shore diving in the Monterey area for experienced, physically fit divers only. The Monterey Canyon can be reached with a short 50-75 yard swim off the beach and divers can easily go as deep as they dare.  However the waves, surge and depth can make this beach extremely dangerous unless you are one with your gear, know how to handle the conditions and know your limits.

If conditions are too rough i.e greater than 1 to 2-feet waves, we will retreat to a different dive site to be agreed upon by the group.

General Dive Plan:  (2) Shore dives starting at 9:00am, with a surface interval of at least (1) hour.  Max depth will be ~ 130 fsw.  There will be a short surface swim (about 50-75 yards depending on tide) before descending to start the dive.  This dive site is known for its beauty and array of sea life as well as its potential for great depths. Large granite reef structures and giant kelp forests offer endless exploration opportunities to divers. The Carmel Trench comes right up to the point of the reef bringing a great variety of life to this dive location. On the beach, you will see the kelp forest in front of you and the granite cliffs to your right. This same structure extends underwater making navigation easy. About 75 yards from shore the bottom of the reef drops steeply. Divers can explore the steep cliffs and kelp forest inhabitants with the best color and life found located around 30 to 40 fsw. The granite reef ends at about 160 few and turns to a very steep sloping bottom into the Carmel Trench which boasts depths in the 1,000s of feet range! The wildlife is abundant, diverse and breathtaking and visibility ranges from 15' to 100' but averages around 30'-60'.

Access, Entry and Hazards:  Park on the ocean side of highway 1, at the north end of the beach. Gear should be assembled out of the back of your car, and there is a hike to get to the ocean which is strenuous when in gear. CAUTION: Surf entry and exit experience required. The site has become infamous for its difficult shore entry conditions that periodically claim the lives of divers. A steep shore bank and a prevailing northwestern exposure to swell lead to large waves that break abruptly on the shore. It is best dove on calm days preferably in the morning. The wind waves tend to increase in the afternoon. Avoid entering the water in the middle of the cove. The surf is strongest in the middle and there is nothing but sand to see here. In the event that conditions are bad, South Monastery tends to be slightly more protected from the surf than North Monastery. Neither location should be attempted unless conditions are calm. Make sure you reserve enough air to work back through the kelp and surf.

Equipment: Please bring all of your dive gear, which should include: (2) tanks and weights.  It is a recommended that you have a surface signal device, for example a “safety sausage”, mirror or whistle. 

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