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Otter Cove - Pacific Grove CA

Otter Cove is a shore accessible salt water dive site, located in Pacific Grove, CA 93950. This dive site has an average rating of 3.50 out of 5 from 2 scuba divers.

Otter Cove is a shore dive site along Sea View Blvd in Pacific Grove, a bit west of Lovers Point. The diving is similar in character to Lovers, but with a trickier rocky entrance.

There is a small, free parking lot at Ocean View Blvd & Seapalm Ave. A stone stairway leads down to the rocky beach. Some websites have the location at Ocean View & Siren but I think this is wrong. There are no toilets or fresh water.

The dive entry is noteworthy for its field of slippery boulders. For this reason the site is probably best dived at a high tide. Also, because of the boulders, it’s best to dive when the waves are super mellow.

On the day that I was here (a group dive on 3/29/15), my buddy and I swam out to what we thought was a considerable distance. We dropped down to find ourselves in about 12 feet of water with lots of surge around big rocks. We stayed cool and made our way to a sandy bottom at around 20 feet, where the surge was a lot weaker.

We continued on to a depth of about 30 feet where there’s a good mix of sandy bottom and rocky blocks with kelp growth. Viz at 30 feet of depth was maybe 10 or 15 feet, so fairly stirred up by the surge on the day I visited.

Like nearby Lovers Point, you can probably get a bit deeper at this site by swimming out more. Due to the rocky entrance this site is not beginner friendly - good Monterey beach skills are needed.

If you dive here, swim out as far as you can, then swim some more. Like a lot of Monterey shore dives, the viz improves and the surge mellows the further you get from shore.

When I find myself in this area again for a dive, I’d be more likely to visit Lovers Point, which has better entrances.

Otter Cove Plusses: Free parking, entry is close to parking, less foot traffic than Lovers
Otter Cove Minuses: Challenging rocky entry, no toilets

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CAAdventureGurl - 12/29/2016 11:08 PM
Rating Added: 3
As the description states, it’s not the easiest of entries, plus you have to haul your gear up and down a stairway. It’s also got a nice reef, full of kelp and critters, but again, best seen on a calm day.
trythebeach - 10/23/2015 11:30 PM
I went scuba diving here on 10/17/2015. Water temp: 61-65°F/16-18°C.
We studied up and went just after high tide to avoid the rocky entrance. It turned out to be a sunny day with calm 61° water, which wasn’t nearly as cold as we thought it was going to be. We finned out to the kelp and entered there. We saw plenty of colorful soft coral, kelp of course, nudi, frogfish, orange starfish, etc. Free parking was very easy access at the top of the stairs going down to the entry point.