(BEACH DIVES AND KAYAK DIVES)
(SKILL LEVEL: NOVICE TO ADVANCED)
Otter Cove is just South of Lovers Cove, and I have found the diving from this area as you go South to be some of the best beach diving within Monterey Bay. To get to Otter Cove drive a half mile South of 17th street in Pacific Grove down Ocean View Blvd. until you get to Sea Palm Avenue. There will be a small free parking area for about 10 vehicles on the right side of the road. There is a stone stairway leading down to a small beach. This beach can kick up with some very big waves so check the conditions before diving here.
The depths in Otter Cove remain shallow for about 150 yards or so. The bottom then gradually drops away to about 50 feet. I usually kick out to the kelp bed and descend in about 25 feet of water and continue out. It makes for a very nice beach dive. If you want to drop down shallow there is a small wash rock straight off the beach to the right of the big rocks. Drop down past this rock in about 12 feet of water and navigate between 0 degrees and 30 degrees going out. The anemone population here is absolutely beautiful, and the rock and kelp make for a beautiful dive.
This cove does not get all of the diving activity that the rest of Monterey gets and it is unusual to see other divers in the water at this location. The bottom is sandy/rocky combination with an abundance of kelp. Bat rays are a common sight on the sandy bottom, and lingcod and cabezon can easily be found lurking in the nooks and crannies of the rocks.
Otter Cove is within the Pacific Grove Marine Gardens Fish Refuge. No invertebrate or plant life may be taken, but it is legal to spear fish in this area. Otter Cove also is home to a number of playful otters which are a common sight sunning themselves near the kelp beds. This area also has a number of resident seals which delight in stealing your catch right off of your stringer.
There are no restrooms or showers at this location. The closest public facilities would be at Lovers Point. I have seen pit toilets here, but not on a normal enough basis to depend on them being present when you need them.
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!
|BACK TO THE MONTEREY DIVING INDEX|