Overview of Shaws Cove

Shaws Cove

Shaws Cove
California South
USA West


Site Review by
 Edward J. Palumbo
Date: 12/08/2003


Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

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


*Average:    3.66
Surf conditions and visibility were inconsistent from February to May with viz deteriorating with offshore storms and higher water temps, but the site is normally sheltered from high surf and it has a number of features to recommend it. Parking, though limited, was less a problem for me on repeated visits than other nearby coves and beaches, but I invariably arrived early, about 0730 hrs and occasionally during the workweek. This site is popular with swimmers, dive classes and snorkelers, so it is predictably crowded on weekends. Access to the south-facing beach is accomplished by stairs, and shore entry & exit is typically uncomplicated. To the right (west) of entry are rocky walls and, exploring these, we find a crevice that provides a haven for garibaldi and other fish in approximately 18-22 feet of water, according to my notes. Though frequently visited by divers, there are cracks where octopus can hide and the empty shells that litter the bottom support the reports of divers I'd spoken to who said they saw small octopus here. Water depth at the outer reef, beyond the crevice, was 43+ feet and my average visibility was 20-25 feet. Moving east (i.e., to the left of my shore entry as you look from the beach), I found submerged reefs with senorita wrasse and grunion. I had the pleasant surprise of a harbor seal encounter as I returned to the beach, and the creature circled to examine me as I hovered several feet off the sandy bottom. In shallower water, I found a mask with attached snorkel and a weight belt on the bottom, uncovered by shifting sands. I did not note any public restroom facilities or showers in my log, which may have been an oversight. The area is primarily residential. I recommend this site more highly than Diver's Cove, Boat Canyon or Diver's Cove for marine life. I look forward to an opportunity to revisit this and other sites in Orange County.    

Enjoyment Level

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

Seasonal Information

Season:    Winter
Year:    2001
Visibility:    3.00
Current:    3.00
Surf:    3.00

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