Overview of Robert Badham

Robert Badham

Robert Badham
California Mid
USA West


Site Review by
 Edward J. Palumbo
Date: 12/06/2003


Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

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


*Average:    4.03
This site, known locally as "Little Corona" (to distinguish it from nearby Corona del Mar State Park or "Big Corona") offers very good to excellent dive opportunities and postcard vistas. Drive south from Newport Beach or north from Laguna on Pacific Coast Highway to the pleasant community of Corona del Mar and turn west on Poppy Avenue. In a few blocks, Poppy turns sharply to the right at Ocean Blvd, and this bend or turn marks the overview of the site. Early arrival, before 8AM, will favor parking since this is an upscale residential area surrounding a site that is popular with local sunbathers, swimmers and photographers for much of the year. Cormorants and other birds have claimed easily distinguishable Arch Rock as their own. Divers must carry their gear down a paved, steeply inclined path to the beach below. On-site showers and restroom facilities are available. The overview from the point where the path begins will provide the diver with a view of the best entry lane between submerged, urchin-covered rocks, directly in front of the lifeguard tower. The tide pools are a wonder to explore for youngsters and adults, and sea stars, anemones and hermit crabs are abundant, easy to examine. Diver entry is direct and relative easy in this partially protected cove, though footing on the rocks requires care. Once past entry, the bottom is sandy with rocks or reefs to the left and right of your entry point. Check the view to shore and take a compass reading when you've entered to get a visual reference and reciprocal compass heading for your return to the beach. Once beyond the shallow area near shore, the depth increases and divers may see garibaldi, senorita wrasse, opaleye, rockfish and grunion. Visibility varies with surf conditions but I expect 20-40 feet. The marine environment is gratifyingly healthy for so well-populated an area. Obey signs that declare this a marine life refuge, which limits extraction to certain species in season. Take care to avoid the urchins on the rocks during surge. There are dive shops within a 10-15 minute drive from the site in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, and Laguna Beach; however, if you relinquish your prized parking space, it will instantly be filled by other visitors. In your preplanning, check the yellow pages and refer to an Orange County Thomas Guide for the shop of your choice. The closest emergency room is Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach. There are eateries in the area to suit every taste, from KFC and McDonald's to the 5-star Five Crowns Restaurant and other fine restaurants in Corona del Mar and Newport Beach. For those who do not dive, nearby Fashion Island is a powerful draw, and there are interesting shops and galleries along Pacific Coast Highway north or south of this site. I regard Little Corona as one of the better kept divers'secrets in Orange County.    

Enjoyment Level

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

Seasonal Information

Season:    Spring
Year:    2002
Visibility:    4.00
Current:    3.00
Surf:    3.00

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