May 8, 2013
“This area’s great for new divers,” local diver Christian Vonstentzsch said of the South Bay. “It’s great for training, there’s both shallow and deep as well as a ton of sea life. It’s a diverse area.”
Dive N’ Surf student Kim Merritt, of Redondo Beach, made her first ocean dive off the beach at Veteran’s Park in Redondo Beach.
“I felt secure,” she said. “There weren’t a whole lot of factors to manage.”
Merritt along with friends Ashley Carnes, Rob Spencer and Jeff Trueman, dove to 30 feet.
“I was worried about becoming anxious but I didn’t feel it,” Carnes said. “It really opens up this whole other world.”
Her group saw ghost shrimp, halibut and other marine life.
“The biodiversity is probably the best part of local diving,” said Dive N’ Surf dive master Robert Prieto. He said that the Santa Monica Bay offers kelp diving as well as rocky reef, straight beach and sand diving.
A favorite dive for experienced divers is Cable Car Reef, a reef made from a streetcar, 14 automobiles and 330 tons of quarry rock that were dumped in 60 feet of water a few hundred yards off the Hermosa Beach pier in 1960. Other popular dive spots include the old Redondo fishing barge, a sunken ferry boat and the 441-foot USS Palawan Liberty Ship, which that was purposely sunk off Torrance Beach in 1977. The Palos Verdes Peninsula also offers spectacular diving options just off the beach.
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