Shore Diving Monastery Beach, Carmel, CA

A group of nearly twenty divers or so is planning a dive to Monastery Beach in Carmel, CA, just south of Monterrey. Monastery is well known dive site that gets very deep very quickly. Divers can easily reach deep diving limits only a few hundred yards from shore. However, rare sites like black coral, schooling pinnipeds, pelagic fishes, and even whales have been special treats at this location.

It is because of the rapid drop-off, however, that Monastery is a difficult dive location. While the water may be calm a few feet from shore, the wave and breakers one has to overcome to get there are often, well, abusive. Even the most experienced divers have been forced to do the "Monastery crawl."

Don't let me scare you though. It's reputation is far worse than I've ever experienced it. If you're comfortable with a modest challenge and even moreso with the aid of a group of other experienced divers I highly encourage you to join us. There will be divers of all backgrounds, from newbies to professionals. All skill levels are welcome. I do suggest and prefer that you have some cold water experience, however, before attempting a dive here.

The meeting time is subject to change as we get closer to the dive date. Hope to see you there.

Join or login to comment.

  • Maggie L.

    Yup, thx Josh & Jon for organizing the dive! Even though I didn't make the Monastery dive (will def conquer that next time)...it was fun watching haha! Enjoyed meeting everyone from the Marin!

    June 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can someone let us know how it was? Would like to correlate the tide/surf reports with reality.
    We are doing a midday dive in Monterrey, headed to seven seas dive shop.

    June 9, 2013

    • Steven

      In the dry suit cert course you learn multiple techniques for dealing with the feet up problem, including having to demonstrate your understanding of said techniques in the pool. Did you get to see the swarms of tiny crabs?

      June 9, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes! The sand was covered with them. How often does that happen?

      June 10, 2013

  • Stephen L.

    Awesome dive! Entry/exit was a little tricky being a newbie. Monastery crawl training came in handy. Big thanks to Joshua and Jon Eden of Marin Diving Center for leading this dive.

    1 · June 9, 2013

  • Joshua

    The group has moved to McAbee beach for the second dive. Water entry planned for about 12:30pm.

    June 9, 2013

  • Russell H W.

    Some matters have come up on the home front that need attending to. Have great (and safe) dives.

    June 9, 2013

  • Joshua

    Conditions are GREAT! Haven't entered yet to determine viz but the dive is a go. :)

    June 9, 2013

  • Joshua

    All, map directions are incorrect. Do NOT take the route via Rio Rd. Stay on Hwy 1 (Cabrillo Hwy) for about another mile and meet at the spot along the highway. You'll see a large number of cars on the pull out. See you soon. Hope it's not too confusing.

    June 9, 2013

  • Drew H.

    If anyone lives in the east bay or vicinity and would like to car pool that would be great. I'll drive down early in the morning. It would be nice to share the ride!

    May 11, 2013

    • Maggie L.

      Hi Drew, thanks for the update! I will be driving from Pinole tomorrow, so just let me know!

      June 8, 2013

    • Drew H.

      I am not going tomorrow - hope you have fun

      June 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Surf report says 5-7 foot swells tomorrow. Anyone have other info?

    June 8, 2013

    • Steven

      Monastery is probably not the best first cold water dive. You could always go to breakwater instead and try on a DUI dry suit tomorrow. Do cold water in style!

      1 · June 8, 2013

    • Joshua

      We'll have some other newer divers with us too. You will not be alone. :) However, that said, it may be determined tomorrow that the conditions at Monastery are not the greatest for a cold water introduction. If so, there are likely several of the group that will move toward the bay for a more calm introduction, possibly to Lovers or another site.

      June 8, 2013

  • Russell H W.

    Is someone going to have the Greater Bay Area Scuba Lovers Meetup banner posted out in the parking lot so we can all find each other? If not, I'm driving a dark green Toyota Highlander with DAN sticker on my rear bumper, and UC Davis Alumni license plate frame. (Go Ags!) My dry suit's upper torso colors are purple and red.

    June 8, 2013

    • Joshua

      No, no banner. But the group will be large enough. You can ask for me or the host, Jon. Meet on the North end.

      June 8, 2013

  • Joshua

    All, There has been some chatter about some moderate swells in Monterey. The plan is to meet at North Monastery Beach at 8am and assess conditions from there. There are a variety of experience levels that will be with us and it may work out where some want the challenge and choose to stay and others move on to a less challenging site like Lovers. Most importantly, everyone stay safe.

    Lets meet at the north end at 8am and make a plan from there. See you tomorrow. Looking forward to it. Josh (host's name is Jon)

    June 8, 2013

  • Russell H W.

    I just looked at 2 sites I look at to get an idea of conditions. Will be a bit windy tomorrow and looks like surf at entry will be up a bit. Based on my past experience at Monastery, albeit a bit further southward down that stretch of beach from the parking lot where we will be meeting, I would not recommend doing a first time cold water dive off a beach with a sharp drop off. I will be at the parking lot of Carmel River State Park probably by 8 am tomorrow. If conditions for entry and exit don't look good I will move over to Monterey Bay side, take a look at Coral Street, or Lover's Point's outer part, or Otter Cove if anyone will join me. DUI has a touring show of new suits, etc. going on at Breakwater so that may be pretty crowded.

    2 · June 8, 2013

  • Jeff H.

    glad to see this group active again, can not make this weekend but can others, also like the 11AM shore dives, time to wake up:-)

    June 6, 2013

  • Drew H.

    Forecast is SW winds, less than 2 ft waves. sounds reasonable for Sunday. what do you think? Vis has been very poor in Monterey lately.

    June 6, 2013

  • David

    I'd still like to go but I'm not sure I'll be up for it. Got hit by a car while riding my motorcycle on the freeway. I'm ok for the most part but my muscles need some time to recover.

    June 3, 2013

  • Steven

    Will be attending the DUI demo at breakwater instead.

    June 2, 2013

  • Drew H.

    Just dove Breakwater yesterday - FYI, there was 0 vis. Most people called their dives. Hopefully, conditions will be better this coming weekend but I am going to make a last minute call on driving down.

    June 2, 2013

  • Russell H W.

    Looking at the map attached to this MeetUp I see that this site is not the part of Monastery I have dived off before, which is down the shoreline a bit and that section has a really quick drop off in depth. So this will be a new entry site for me. Looking forward to meeting some new dive buddies on June 9th.

    May 31, 2013

    • Joshua

      Just for clarity, the spot on the map does not depict which side we will dive necessarily. We will meet on the beach and split into dive teams that are manageable and practical in California waters and permitted by conditions. It's expected that some will dive the south and some will want to dive the north end. Folks are certainly welcome whichever area they'd like. I would suspect that the group will meet toward middle and then we'll brief the site based on conditions. See you all soon.

      May 31, 2013

    • Russell H W.

      So where EXACTLY are we meeting? The parking lot I see via Google Maps? Or out on Cabrillo Highway where I have parked in the past when I dove at Monastery Beach.

      May 31, 2013

  • David

    I've been wanted to dive Monastery for a long time. Looking forward to it!

    May 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    We will need to rent tanks, weights and 7 mil wetsuits. Any shop recommendations? We live in San Jose, have visited a dive shop on Cannery row....

    May 17, 2013

    • Nunaddict

      Oh, and since this is your first time diving in cold water, make sure your hood isn't too tight especially around the neck. Bring a spare hood one size up as backup or better yet use a thinner hooded vest as a tight neck can make you feel anxious in the water or cause carotid-sinus reflex.

      1 · May 18, 2013

    • David

      In San Jose, there is Anywater Sports that rents steel and aluminum tanks, as well as weights and the 7mm wetsuits. They're pretty good about making sure the gear you rent fits correctly.

      1 · May 20, 2013

  • David S

    Is anyone diving carmel area sunday? 5/18? I am looking for buddy. Ready to go.. I am in monterey tonight and until tomorrow afternoon

    Dave
    Advanced open water 34 dives. Cold water experience. [masked]

    May 18, 2013

  • Drew H.

    Diver Dan's in Santa Clara might be a bit closer. They rent everything, don't know how prices compare.

    May 17, 2013

  • Russell H W.

    I've done Monastery 2 or 3 times now but I think it was a bit south of where you are describing but still not at the southernmost part of the beach. I've still got Monastery Berries stuck in parts of my BCD from getting rolled there one exit and then having to do the Monastery Crawl.

    April 11, 2013

    • Joshua

      Berries... I like that. The whole beach is up for grabs. People are welcome to dive either side. We'll look at conditions when we get there and make a safe plan.

      April 12, 2013

    • Ed K.

      I've heard them called Monster-berries too. But, yeah, they get into everything and don't come out! Hope this one works out.

      May 7, 2013

  • Drew H.

    I am going to try to attend. I need to get one or two refresher dives under my belt before this happens.

    April 18, 2013

  • David

    Date a little far out, but I plan to attend. Would love to dive the north part of the beach.

    April 12, 2013

  • Andrew Y.

    June 9th is a way out. :) Monastery is a great dive but please plan a backup dive .. if this is so far out perhaps reservations can be arranged to point lobos? more chances for calm weather. other wise im in..

    April 11, 2013

    • Joshua

      Lobos was booked.

      April 12, 2013

    • Joshua

      Oh there are alternatives. Lobos was booked. The host tried for reservations. Monastery is the backup. But if that doesn't work out then perhaps Lovers Cove or MacAbee Beach could be tertiary options. We'll do our best to make the dives happen. Safety is the first priority however.

      April 12, 2013

  • John F.

    Chalk me up as tentative. This is a great dive site and I'd love to join you!

    1 · April 11, 2013

  • John F.

    Great dive site! When it's good, this is one of the best.

    April 11, 2013

9 went

Our Sponsors

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Create a Meetup Group and meet new people

Get started Learn more
Allison

Meetup has allowed me to meet people I wouldn't have met naturally - they're totally different than me.

Allison, started Women's Adventure Travel

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy