Guided Dives

Interested in guided dives for a group, or just for yourself?  Want to learn more about the phenomenal variety of marine life in the area?  Haven't done cold water diving, and want to try it with a professional?

I guide small groups (1-4 divers) on two tank adventures in Monterey.  I can take you to a range of local dive sites based on your skill and comfort level.

Ready to get started? Send me e-mail at scuba@spanglers.com for more information.

East Beaches

These all have easy shore entry, and a variety of underwater terrain from reefs to rock walls to pier pilings.  They're protected from the usual northwest swell, so are diveable year-round.  Dives are shallower; most dives are above 50'.

Monterey State Beach: A gently sloping beach.  I usually dive the Sailboat on the first dive; this is one of the only wrecks in the area.  The second dive is along the pilings of the municipal wharf; there are lots of crabs and sea snails, and every piling is its own mini ecosystem.

San Carlos Beach: One of the best beaches on the east side.  There are lots of nudibranchs on the rock wall of the breakwater.  Mid-reef has kelp forest, with lots of crabs and fish.  I like to go out the big pipe to the metridium fields - giant white anemones the size of your forearm.  You may have done your open water training dives here, but there's a lot more to see.

McAbee Beach: About halfway between San Carlos Beach and the aquarium.  A mix of shale and sand.  Herman the Seal has been known to play with divers' fins.

North Beaches

These are a bit more exposed beaches to the north and northwest.  Dives are still shallow, above 50'.  Entry and exit can be challenging if the northwest swell is kicking up, so these are a little more challenging than the east beaches (but still no more than moderate difficulty).

Lovers Point: This is actually two sites.  I like to dive Lovers #3.  We can head around to the northeast around the point, through a series of sand-floored shale canyons.  There are lots of sandcastle worms.  This is a good spot to look for bat rays and skates.  I also like to swim across one of the densest sand dollar beds you've ever seen over towards Otter Cove.  Entry is down stairs and across some boulders to a sand beach.

Coral Street: Swim over shale covered in sea grasses to mixed sand and rocks.  This has somewhat different sea life than the other beaches, due to the sea grasses and greater exposure to waves and currents.

Point Lobos

Point Lobos is a spectacular dive site, with the best kelp forest in the area.  Entry is an easy walk down a ramp from the parking lot at Whaler's Cove.  The cove itself is shallow, with kelp growing from patches of rock mixed with sand.  Mid-reef has an amazing array of life on its rocks.  A bit farther out, Granite Point Wall has all sorts of ledges and small caves that harbor bigger fish.

If we go out to the end of mid-reef or Granite Point we can get below 60', but most of the time we'll be above 50'.

Diving at Point Lobos is limited to 15 dive teams a day, and reservations are required.

Boat Diving

We'll meet at K Dock and do two boat dives from the Escapade, one of the faster dive boats in Monterey.  Many of the best sites like Hopkins Deep and the pinnacles around Carmel are only reachable by boat.  This is the same boat I use for teaching Advanced Open Water.  Dives can be deeper; the first dive can be down to 80-100'.  The captain is great about picking a site that everyone on the boat can dive, so we have some flexibility if you'd like an easier site.

I can also lead dives off any of the other dive boats in the area.

Monastery Beach

Monastery Beach is an exposed northwest-facing beach with a steeper slope down into the water.  It's often not diveable due to waves, but when it is, it's got some of the best visibility in the area.  South Monastery has a kelp forest and shale going down to the sand, and is a great place to see abalone.  North Monastery is more exposed rock going down all the way into the mile-deep underwater Monterey Canyon (we will not go that deep).  I teach the Deep Diving specialty here.  This is a more advanced dive, due to the slope of the beach and potentially deep dives.  It's also one you want to dive the first time with an experienced guide.

Night Diving

A whole different world of critters comes out at night.  See octopus, phosphorescent algae, shrimp, and more.  We also often get to spend time with Chewie, a friendly seal that's learned to hunt fish by dive light.

I almost always do these dives at San Carlos Beach, since it has a great variety of life and easy navigation at night.

I can also do this dive as a fluorescence dive.  We'll take blue lights down with us and use yellow mask filters to see the cup corals, anemones, and crabs glow in bright oranges, yellows and greens.