Butterfly House

California North, USA West
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Difficulty
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Viz (last reported 113696h ago)
Max Depth
40ft (unconfirmed)

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving at Butterfly House

The access path leads down the cliff to a rocky staging area just above the dive site. The dive site is a tricky rocky entry for intermediate to advanced divers only. This is an OCEAN EXPOSED dive site, so, conditions can change rapidly. Be prepared for anything, and, don't get in on a questionable day. However, once you're in the water, this dive site is well worth the effort. Rocky reefs, deep shore diving (60-90 feet) and a rich giant kelp forest are all within easy reach once you are in the water at this site. Bring two or three tanks, and, take your time getting your gear down to the staging area in multiple trips before suiting up to avoid injuries. See http://www.saintbrendan.com/cdnsept00/mont9.html for additional information. This site is located just south of Carmel Proper, on Scenic Drive just north of Stewart Way. Proceed South on HWY 1 to Carpenter. Turn right on Carpenter to the For Way Stop at Ocean Avenue. Turn right on Ocean Ave. and follow it all the way down to Scenic. If you miss the left turn onto Scenic, one of two things will happen. Either your car will become hopelessly trapped in the sand, or you will need a regulator to exit your car. (In other words, if you go too far on Ocean, you will be in the ocean). Follow Scenic around until you can see a house that has a roofline that looks like a giant butterfly. That is the dive site. The access path is about 100 feet back towards Carmel.
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Rod Jenkins
Rod Jenkins
Nov 1, 2008, 12:00 AM
scuba
Every time I would attempt to dive this site, the conditions have been too rough, causing me to move to another site. Today there were some waves but it was calm enough for a dive. After making the trek down the rocks, which required some planning to get our gear to the beach, the entry was not bad. Expect at least 15 minutes to be safe in getting all your gear and don't try to do it all in one trip, especially if this is your first time at this site. Surface swam out perpendicular to the entry and went down at the first kelp forest. We could have gone farther but there was a mean current pushing us north once we were out beyond the protective rocks. Underwater, lots to see, especially if you are farther out. Depths drop gradually, from about 15-20ft close in to 50+ft as you head out. Rocky, wildlife covered bottom with a large kelp forest make this dive worth while. Be wary of the changing conditions on your return to the entry point; the weather here can change very quickly and generally not in the diver's favor.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Brian Xavier
Brian Xavier
Apr 12, 2008, 12:00 AM
scuba
Great dive on a flat day. No surf the day I dove but the locals say watch out- it gets rough here. Lots of plant and rock formations. Easier to reach the small cove by walking down the rocks on the north side. Great dive that reminded me of Coral Street. Pick a good day. Stewart and Scenic Road.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Owen DeLong
Owen DeLong
Apr 18, 2005, 12:00 AM
scuba
This is a great place to dive on a good day, and, outright dangerous on a bad day. Conditions can change rapidly between entry and exit, so, if you notice increasing surge or changes in current/surge/visibility while down, it might be worth surfacing and evaluating an exit. Access to the site is difficult, involving climbing down a rocky cliff face, but there is ample safe space for setting up your gear on some mostly flat rocks before climbing the rest of the way down to the entry. The climb down from the staging area to the entry is not difficult. Take your time, and make multiple trips to the staging site rather than trying to carry too much. Keep one hand free for steadying at all times. Conditions in the water are good visibility, some very nice kelp forests and a couple of good reefs as well as some good sand channels. Multiple forms of inner bay and outer bay life are within easy kicking range, and, you can kick out to significant depth if you are so inclined. Average depth very near the entry is 40-60 feet, getting deeper as you kick out further. There is a long rock-reef along the left of the entry. Avoid this while at the surface, and do not surface close to it. It is a very hazardous area with frequent rogue waves. I recommend avoiding it under water as well, although on very calm days, it is a great reef to explore near the bottom at calm high tide.
Originally posted on shorediving.com