Moby Ling Cove
Getting its name from an old story of a diver's once in a lifetime encounter with a grey whale this is an out of the way dive site that should only be visited during excellent conditions. On those days when it is not too stormy you can find dives that are untouched in comparison to the more popular Monterey and Carmel dives.
From Carmel, or Monterey take the 1 south to Garrapata State Beach. Once in the park look for a grove of cypress trees on your left. Parking is under these trees.
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01/31/2014 Jeremy Liem (Avg: 3.00 Review) - This is now within the Point Lobos MPA, so no hunting as mentioned in the 2009 review.
11/15/2009 Alex Matsumoto (Avg: 3.73 Review) - There are three beaches around Soberanes Point in Garrapata State Park. Two are a steep hike over dirt and the other is a treacherous climb (see map). I dove the third beach so skip to the third paragraph to read about diving, the first two talk about accessing the two other beaches.
1. The north most beach is the treacherous one, access it through gate #8 across from the barn. The pathway down is in a grove of Cypress trees (the only one) to the left of the entrance. The path begins as a narrow, steep dirt trail which changes into a large stone outcropping rising 30 feet from the water. If you climb down this outcropping you arrive at the northern most beach. The water here appears fairly shallow from the cliff, haven't dived there yet.
2. The second beach is accessed through the #9 turnout. Follow the trail right and hang a left on the pathway that takes you toward the ocean facing side of whale peak. Continue along the path making a left at the wooden fence posts and you will see the beach. The second beach has two paths leading down to it, the southern one being the easier. The hike to this beach takes 7-10 min. This beach faces westward and is pretty exposed, so a calm day will help ensure a good dive. Haven't dived there yet, but it looks pretty good.
3. The third beach is harder to access than the second, but being southern facing and protected, it is the calmest. To get there park at turnout #10 and follow the trail. There is a small unmarked side-trail on the left as you walk down the main trail and this is the entrance. The side-path is steep and made of loose dirt so I wouldn't attempt it with heavy gear nor without a buddy to help hand stuff up/down to. Looking out from the beach is a nice protected cove with good diving/hunting from 10'-40'. Within the cove there is a large sand channel down the center and some very nice boulder fields and towering rock formations on the sides that support some good fish life. The outer edge of the cove is marked by two large exposed rock formations straddling the way to the open sea. Beyond the rocks the waves are larger and divers are exposed to the ocean. Depth outside the rocks ranges from 20'-60'. The thing that struck me when diving here was the size of the fish. The lined, rainbow, pile, black and rubberlip perch I saw here were twice the size I'm used to seeing around Monterey. In addition there was an abundance of black and yellow rockfish, blue rockfish and kelp greenling also markedly larger than I'm used to seeing in Monterey/Carmel. Visibility was excellent at 60+ feet and the diving was beautiful and spearfishing productive. Great quiet place to get away from the overcrowded and overfished Monterey area and enjoy some largely untouched underwater habitat.
01/13/2008 Jesse Rorabaugh (Avg: 2.98 Review) - This is the best shore access of the Garrapata State Park shore diving sites. That was about the best thing I have to say about it. I was free diving, however, and this is simply not the place for it. SCUBA might be reasonably interesting as it is fairly deep and fairly isolated so there must be something interesting below the top 30 feet that I saw. The only really amazing experience I had there was encountering a group of Black Abalone. It is not every day you get to see one of those! Only dive in the best of conditions. This is Big Sur we are talking about. Dive all of Monterey and then when you are bored head to Garrapata State Park for a more wild experience. It should be noted that two dive sites actually share this parking lot. It has been a few years, but if memory serves me correctly you take the right trail to get to Moby Ling Cove, and the left trail to get to Soberanes Point. Soberanes Point is the 'double diamond expert only' site I never saw without surf. It is too deep for a free diver like me, but if you are looking for the most impressive shore diving near Monterey, that may well be it, particularly if you are a planning to hunt.
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Averages for Moby Ling Cove (1=worst,
Number of reviews for this site: 3