Overview of Morro Rock South

Morro Rock South

Morro Rock South
California Mid
USA West


Site Review by
 Edward J. Palumbo
Date: 07/12/2007


Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  Edward J. Palumbo Entry:    4.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    2.00
City:   Tualatin Reef:    1.00
State:   Oregon Animal:    2.00
Country:   USA Plant:    2.00
Diving:   17 years Facilities:    3.00
 Dives:   200 Solitude   3.00
    Roads:    5.00


*Average:    2.39
The site wasn't difficult to find at all. I approached from Highway 1 and turned right toward the power plant on Beach, then followed the roadway past the U.S. Coast Guard station and power plant. My timing as a visitor in late June and early July may have been poor. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge ship, Yaquina, based in Washington State, was operating in the channel to remove some 160,000 cubic yards of material, redepositing it some distance away at the Sandspit. As a result, the visibility was poor (3-4 feet) and the bottom was disrupted by silt deposits. I kept to the bottom and was unaware I'd ventured into the channel until a powerful diesel engine overhead acted as a reminder. Ambient air temperatures were very mild at 62-66 degrees due to a protective layer of fog, the product of cool air meeting a warm land mass, while temperatures not far inland at Atascadero were 25+ degrees warmer and uncomfortably hot. Entry off the crescent-shaped sand beach near the base of Morro Rock was relatively uncomplicated, but the viz was poor and didn't improve while I was there. Personnel from the USCG station nearby provided me with additional information on the dredging operation, which should be completed soon. There are many (seafood) restaurants nearby as a consolation to the day's limited viz. For the birdwatchers and photographers, the rock is a relatively undisturbed haven and no climbing is permitted on Morro Rock. I expect to see this area again, and I hope to see it under better conditions. For lodging, I would recommend nearby Cayucos, an often-overlooked beach community that provides fine atmosphere, interesting shops and (with the exception of their 4th of July celebration - Cayucos' magnum opus and an opportunity for locals and visitors alike to exercise good humor) it's a peaceful, uncrowded escape, but reserve rooms well in advance if you expect to be there on Independence Day.    

Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:    4.00
Beginner:    5.00
Intermediate:    3.00
Advanced:    2.00
Night diving:    3.00

Seasonal Information

Season:    Summer
Year:    2007
Visibility:    2.00
Current:    3.00
Surf:    3.00

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