Overview of Whalers Cove (Point Lobos)

Whalers Cove (Point Lobos)

Whalers Cove (Point Lobos)
California North
USA West


Site Review by
Date: 02/05/2011


Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  Pettyfogger Entry:    5.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    5.00
City:   San Francisco Reef:    5.00
State:   CA Animal:    5.00
Country:   USA Plant:    5.00
Diving:   51 years Facilities:    5.00
 Dives:   3500 Solitude   5.00
    Roads:    5.00


*Average:    5.00
Whaler's Cove is the gateway to all of Point Lobos' unbelievably rich and pristine walls, pinnacles, and kelp forests. The cove itself, with about a thirty foot depth, is fine for snorkeling and beginning divers. The only place that you can legally enter in this highly patrolled and regulated dive site is the boat ramp located at the parking lot at Whaler's Cove. Small inflatables use this ramp for launching, so take care when you're in the water and you see a boat moving in or out of the cove. There is an underwater swim-through at the entrance ramp at Coal Chute Cove, and it is fine for intermediates and above (you can see all the way through it from both sides). Whaler's itself does not have the best visibility, but it makes up for it with dependably calm conditions. If there's a swell breaking on the South beach, skip diving that day, since the viz in Whaler's will be zip and outside the cove will be far to rough for diving. I have carefully mapped Whaler's from the cove out to the Cannery Pinnacles. There is a sand channel starting directly in the middle of the entrance of Whaler's leading almost directly North. Kelp cannot grow on sand, so there is a dependable open channel in between the kelp beds which leads to the much more exotic and features of the underwater preserve. It's a good kick just to get to Cannery Wall, which is located outside of Whaler's and to the West. A great dive is to drop down from the channel to the sand, turn West, and go under the most beautiful overhead (kelp) you'll ever see. You can fin right up to fish, and they hardly move until you among them. Otters, Harbor Seals, and Sea Lions abound. I once had a school of rockfish completely surround me throughout the dive, either out of curiosity, or trying to look like too big a mouthful for a Great White to handle. I like diving alone here, though it's illegal to do so. I love the solitude and not having another diver scarring the sea life when I'm trying to video. DO NOT swim in between the rocks and the cliffs at Cannery Point to try to get to Bluefish Cove. Rogue waves come out of nowhere at Point Lobos, if you get caught there, it'll turn into sashimi faster than you read this. Attempt Bluefish, the Pinnacles, or other spots farther out only by boat (and you can only use a boat which has been launched at the Lobos ramp. There are toilets and a cold water hose at the ramp parking lot - that's extent of the amenities. Make you reservations early, as this place fills up quick, particularly for weekenders. During the middle of the week is the hot ticket, IMHO, 'cuz you'll have the whole place to your self (and to me, that's what Lobos is all about).    

Enjoyment Level

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

Seasonal Information

Season:    Winter
Year:    2011
Visibility:    5.00
Current:    5.00
Surf:    3.00

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