Crescent Bay located in Laguna Beach, California offers a nice alternative to diving Shaw's cove. Whether it's day or night, Crescent Bay is somewhat shallower and slightly more exposed than Shaw's Cove; The few things that Crescent Bay lacks, it makes up for with plenty of Garibaldi, Blacksmith, Sand Bass, Senoritas, Blue Banded Gobys, Bats Rays, Octopus, Blennies, Moray Eels, Nudibranchs, Lobster, Cabezon, Halibut, Moray Eels and even a Sea Lion can be spotted here! You also have the ability to continue on to Deadman's Reef if conditions permit. The shallow areas are covered in large Mussel Beds, so bring your camera and hard sole booties; they're a sight to see! Difficult Level 6/10.
Interests: Garibaldi, Blacksmith, Sand Bass, Senoritas and Blue Banded Gobys are easily spotted along with Bats Rays in the sandy areas. Octopus, Blennies, Moray Eels and Nudibranchs are commonly found. In addition, Lobster, Cabezon, Halibut, Moray Eel, or a Sea Lion can be spotted here as well.
Entry & Exits: Use prudent judgement when Beach Diving, perform an environmental assessment of the area before you gear up. Sandy entry, use the handrail when traversing the stairs up and down from the parking lot. Apply a surf entry appropriate to the current conditions and within the scope of your training / experience.
Suggestions: Beginner divers will enter at the sandy beach. After a surface swim out to the reef which is just to the right or the left; The reef on the left winds towards Shaw's Cove, the one on the right leads out to Seal Rock and further on to Deadman's Reef.
Best time to Dive: During small or flat North Swells and High Tide.
Visibility: 10ft- 30ft
Warnings: Waves and Surge are strong during a South Swell. The Lifeguards can issue tickets for snorkel-less diving, solo diving or diving without a float / flag. It is illegal to approach the Sea Lions on the rocks, apply prudent judgement and maintain a safe distance.
Depth Recommendations:15 - 35ft is where most of the points of interest are for this site. 40ft is the recommended maximum depth for this dive site. Apply prudent judgement and consideration of your experience level, scope of your training as well as current conditions when planning and executing your dives.
Safety: Use of a Float, Flag, Anchor and Descent line are required for Beach Diving. Cell Phone, Oxygen Kit and First Aid Kit are always recommended.
Parking: Parking is free but can fill up quickly and very early on weekends. Be mindful of the residents and don't block driveways, you WILL be towed.