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When I was a new diver I looked for any information I could find about local dive sites and marine life. The World Wide Internet was not around then, so I spent a lot of time in libraries and book stores. Two of the first books I bought were Diving and Snorkeling Guide to Southern California and Diving West. Both are excellent books, but lack much information about the Palos Verdes peninsula. I had to learn by exploring every goat trail and rocky entry I could.
Over the next two decades I met other divers who showed me their favorite offshore sites as well as finding a few on my own. I knew that divers, new and old could benefit from a more detailed book about the beautiful dive sites around Palos Verdes.
I began writing this book a few years ago but lost the little I had done when my hard drive crashed. This year I vowed to finish the book. I originally had detailed chapters of thirty-six sites. Many are deeper than recreational dives allow. I've been trying to get photos from many of these sites for the past year but conditions would not allow it. I've dropped onto sites such as the Jenny Lynne, UB88 and Caissons recently, only to find poor visibility.
I decided to edit the book to include recreational sites only, and included twenty-five of my favorites. There are many more to dive, but they will have to wait until the second edition is finished.
For now, Diving the Palos Verdes Peninsula is available from CreateSpace, the publishing arm of Amazon.com
I hope others will enjoy the book and even try out a few of these sites. There is a lot to see here. https://www.createspace.com/3782647
14. Neptune Cove
Neptune Cove is not for the faint of heart. The trail is one of the toughest in Palos
Verdes. Entry over rocks and tide pools can be treacherous and the swim to the best
diving is a long haul, but I know divers who have done it. Parking is east of the
trailhead, and access to the water involves ignoring the signs and climbing over or
through the steel fence.
The trail leads to a large tide pool. Entry can be made here or from the cove to the
Neptune Cove has a series of large boulders and mini walls just offshore from the
tide pools. Nudibranchs, kelp, sponges and gorgonian blanket the reefs. Giant Sea
Bass and Torpedo Rays occasionally cruise through the kelp.
The most interesting feature here is the underwater arch, located at the southwest
end of the reef near the east side of the cove in fifty feet. The arch is big enough to
drive a car through. Its wide ceiling is a good place to spot uncommon nudibranchs
such as Dendrodoris behrensi.
Spanish Shawl, Flabellina iodinea
Blacksmith, Chromis punctipinnis
Top of the arch
Inside the arch
Visibility can be quite nice at Neptune Cove, but even moderate swells can reduce
visibility to near zero. It is best to dive here on only the calmest days. The parking lot
is located at 27 Calle Entradero, Rancho Palos Verdes. Boat diving is the easiest way
to dive Neptune Cove. The arch is located at N33° 45.076 W118° 25.070
Congratulations on researching, writing and publishing your long overdue dive guide book for Palos Verde. You put a heck of a lot into it but it is the Southern California diver and the underwater world who will get even more from your monumental efforts.
In the very early 1970s (Good gosh! 40 years ago!) I was a co-author along with Mr. Ron Merker (Dr.Bill's Basic (& only?)SCUBA Instructor) for the Orange County section of "Diving West." I am surprised and honored after all these many good and great years that a there is a modern diver who owned and used it as a dive guide
"Diving West" was unique in that it relied on experienced knowledgeable divers for their expertise and input on a specific area of the California coast- Ours was and still is Orange County; we included all the popular locations but there were some we did not disclose. Much to my surprise and I suspect also Ron's they apparently remain unknown and have not been dove to this day. I am relived that we did not disclose some of the locations, most were just too deep and dangerous for today's casual recreational diver.That is except one-- "Miller's Reef" off Moss street. I made a mistake of chatting with Dale Schlecker and made an off hand comment about Millers Reef- He proceeded in publishing it's location in CDN and later his guide book. The reef became for a short while "The OC dive spot, the grand central station of Laguna Beach diving." .So a word of warning keep the secret spots to your self and off the printed page.
In the first edition of Diving West encluded a very abreviated version of my popular article "Keep'en Kreepers." It was a step by step method of preserving marine life using common household items-now a lost art.
Diving West was unique in another way...It was the second dive guide published in the US. The first dive guide was way back in 1957; "Skin divers and spearfishermans guide to American waters" by the late Hilbert Schench and Henry Kendall.
Once again I congratulate you on your long overdue book,and wish you well in your future endeavors
I mentioned the area. The rocks south of the point in 60-70 feet are covered with invertebrate life. Ted's Pinnacle is the largest rock in the area. I was diving with Ted Sharshan once and before the dive, we discussed our favorite areas at Marineland. I have 376 dives there, and Ted has close to that amount as well. I told him about the large pinnacle that I go to every dive. He told me about a similar rock. We decided to show each other our rocks. I was excited to find many different species of nudibranchs and rockfish on my favorite rock. Ted then took me to the other side of the rock and pointed to a luggage tag he had placed there with the words Ted's Pinnacle on it.
We each got a kick out our "discovery".
Several people have asked about getting their copy of Diving the Palos Verdes Peninsula signed.
I will be a Pacific Wilderness, 1719 South Pacific Ave. in San Pedro on Friday, May 25 between 5pm and 7pm.
Jeff Smith has twenty copies for sale at the shop.
Last edited by MaxBottomtime; May 22nd, 2012 at 06:39 PM.
Got it, read it, loved it. My diving has been mainly from boats in the Florida Keys but the book makes me want to go back to California to dive where early divers first got to explore. There's a reference on Amazon to "vol. 1". Gotta "vol.2" coming out?