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Review Date       AVG       ShoreDiving Site
09/18/2002        3.68      Monastery Beach South California North, USA West
I actually enjoyed this end of the beach better than the north side mainly because of the bigger fish, but I am a biased fish person. The visibility was definitely not as great as the north, but it was still about 15-20 feet. The entry was easy this day with a 2-3 foot swell coming in. We dropped down right in front of the kelp forest and navigated out to the point. The depth went from about 20 feet to 55 feet with many shallow areas towards the land on the south. I saw numerous species of rockfish including: blacks, gophers, and one big vermillion rockfish. The gophers pretty much did not move from their holes and would make great models for pictures...I guess that is why they are called gophers? Also spotted a few calico bass and sand dabs. The kelp was pretty thick so make sure you navigate well if you go into the beast...which is of course the most interesting part of the dive.
09/10/2002        3.68      Monastery Beach North California North, USA West
I dove this site for the first time after hearing how it is the best dive in the Monterey Area. I would have to agree although I have only been diving in Monterey about ten times. The entry wasn't as bad as many say it is, and I would recommend this to any beginning diver that has any sense for the strength of the ocean...make sure you are in good physical shape as well. The visibility was great--30-40 feet in most areas. I was amazed at how large some of the rocks were. The fish life was abundant--many species of rockfish, greenling, rubberlip perch, calico bass--although I didn't spot one lingcod. The highlight of the dive was looking into a large school of black rockfish, and being followed by a friendly harbor seal. This guy was hugging my dive buddy's tank for about ten seconds without him was hilarious. The vis on this particular day was better than the south side. I will definitely be returning soon.

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