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.
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