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Aumentos is a boat accessible salt water dive site, located in Monterey, CA. This dive site has an average rating of 3.67 out of 5 from 3 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 51-60ft/16-18m. The average visibility is 21-25ft/6-8m. This dive site provides bathrooms and airfills.

Nothing beats Monterey Bay on a cold, sunny winters day! Canada geese flying overhead, snow on Monterey Peak!

Outer Amentos is swimming around a small conical underwater peak. Lots of coral, lots of pink, a few fish, lots of crabs, scallops, seaslugs, anemones, seastars.

On a good day in Monterey, many boat divers think about heading south
into Carmel Bay. While Carmel does offer some of the best dive spots on
calm days, some of the more exposed and more interesting Monterey sites
should not be overlooked. One of my top Monterey sites has got to be
Aumentos Reef.

This massive underwater mountain is located
offshore of Esplanade Street in Pacific Grove. Aumentos is Spanish for
“the enlargement, ” a very descriptive name for this massive piece of
reef. The bottom around the reef is, for the most part, rock and sand
that gently slopes from about 60 feet down to over 120 feet. As one
approaches the shore, the flat bottom juts up from about 85 feet to
about 40 feet in a massive wall. Aumentos is at the outer end of the
Monterey Bay and is swept with clear water. This site has some of the
best visibility in the Bay.

The top of the reef is covered with a
thick carpet of Corynactis anemones. Some patches are bright red,
others are orange, and still others are beautiful lavender. Between the
patches of Corynactis are colonies of bryozoans, yellow zoanthid
anemones and patches of brightly colored sponges. This is the place to
look for the unusual. Look for chestnut cowries among the sponges or
nudibranchs feeding on bryozoans. Life on this rock is limited only by
the available real estate; every square inch is covered. Many will argue
that you do not have to go very deep to enjoy Aumentos, and some of the
best diving is shallower than 60 feet.

On the seaward side, the
wall drops nearly vertically, and is covered with fluffy, white
Metridium anemones. As one heads deeper, the wall is spotted with bright
red Tealia anemones and encrusting sponges. Between the anemones and
rocks are plenty of fish, but not much worth spearing. This is a great
place to look and photograph marine life, not hunt it. Big schools of
small blue rockfish can often be seen swimming just off the reef, and
surfperch and rockfish may be found on the reef itself. Small
greenlings, gobies, and sculpins are common, along with larger lingcod,
cabezon, and the occasional sheephead. This is a great place for fish
portraiture. Friendly fish are easily framed by the rocky cracks.

the inshore side the reef drops off in steps to 50 to 55 feet and
remains at this depth until one encounters Inner Chase Reef. The shallow
area is composed of massive, square angled blocks that create a broken
ridge top. This is a fun area to explore with deep cracks and valleys.
Look for tiny shrimps, small fish and nudibranchs in the
nooks-and-crannies of the reef.

Aumentos Reef may not be divable
every day, but when the weather is right it’s my top pick for a Monterey
boat dive. The combination of a healthy invertebrate population, clear
water, and plenty of little fish make this a photographer’s and
sightseer’s playground. Check it out the next time you are in Monterey.

Dive Spot At A Glance
: Approximately 1/2 mile offshore of Pacific Grove, Monterey Bay
Access and Entry:
Boat dive only. Small boats may be launched from the Monterey
Breakwater or kayaks from the Coral Street Beach. To locate the reef
start way out and line up the fork in the large cypress tree near the
foot of Esplanade Street with the intersection of Esplanade Street and
Shell Avenue (first fork in Esplanade). Motor on this lineup until the
bottom begins to rise up. Those with GPS may find it at 36° 38.319’ N,
121° 55.273’ W
Depths: 40 to 120 feet
Visibility: Good, 15 to 40 feet.
Skill level: Intermediate or better
Photography: Great wide-angle of reef scenes; great macro for Corynactis, nudibranchs and other invertebrates.
Aumentos is part of the new Pacific Grove Marine Gardens State Marine
Conservation Area. Taking of all living marine resources is prohibited
except recreational take of finfish and the commercial take of kelp by
Hazards: Watch for currents and boat traffic.

Dive Site Map

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CAAdventureGurl - 12/29/2016 11:24 PM
Rating Added: 4
This is another good open reef with great visability and some great critters: Bat Ray, Metridiums, cup coral, Strawberry anenomes, Rock fish, Cabazon, etc...
Watch the south current on ascent though, because it’s easy to come up too far from boat requiring a swim .
WCReefers - 1/11/2012 10:02 AM
Rating Added: 4
Love Monterey diving, been there every month of the year. I thing the best time is late spring, water is clear, its sunny and very beautiful.
scubagurl - 1/05/2012 11:44 AM
Aumentos Reef is one of my favorite Monterey dives. The vis is usually very good-excellent. This site is covered in colorful life and plenty of fish. It makes for a great photography dive. If conditions allow, several charters visit this site. If diving from a private boat, take note of any current present. You can easily get swept away from your boat if your navigation is off.