VONHELM PINNACLES (Boat Dive)
Dive Site - VonHelm Pinnacles
Type - Boat access only
Skill Level - Intermediate-Advanced
Depth - 25-100+ feet
Location -Cambria California USA
This is has to be the one of the best places to Dives on the central coast. Located about one mile from shore of south Cambria. Von Helm pinnacles offers up the best in rocky relief, Deep Diving, Spearfishing, and Photography. This site was used by the Virgis fishing Dive charter back in the 1980's. When they stopped Diving there after their Dive charter shut down it was left untouched for many years. The sealife here is amazing to say the least. The top of the rock is at only 25 feet and the sides go down to about 100 + feet. I have not found the deepest area yet but have been down to 120 feet here on a few occasions. We have had days here where the visibility has been around 95 feet. You could look up from the bottom and see the boat and the anchor line dangling to the sea floor. There are two are three Pinnacles located in the area and you can hop from one to another on clear days. On one of the Pinnacles you will find a large ships anchor and huge links of chain still attached. The sides of the Pinnacles are are covered in matridians,scallops, and other various sea life. They are vertical on most sides so you need good buoyancy skills to dive here. Keep a close eye on bottom time if you venture to the deep. But most dives are conducted around 60 feet or less since that is where most of the sea life is situated. Using your Nautical chart head north leaving Morro bay harbor. Cut straight across Estero bay and head north about 25 miles. On your chart look for Vonhelm Rock. If you have a GPS it will be no problem finding it. Once there look for a patch of kelp off by itself out past the kelp beds inshore. Those kelp beds are the pinnacles and that's where you will want to set up your dive. If your going to make the trip up the coast which is about 25 miles check the weather first. Pay close attention to swell and tides. There can be a lot of current here if those conditions exist. Use our weather links to check before you go. If you do make it up there and it looks like you might call the dive just head towards shore and Dive Cambria rock. Its the rock wash rock right outside of Leffingwell Landing in Cambria. This make a good backup dive. Now to anchor here we try and find the a pinnacle that has a slope to it and drop the anchor. Try and put you anchor in the kelp. It makes it easy to find at the end of your dive. I don't recommend dropping on top of a pinnacle because if your anchor falls off you could find yourself without a boat when you surface. Just ask Jeremy Bonnett a local Diver about the swim to shore. After setting up your anchor pay close attention to the amount of current by looking at the amount of tension on the line. All in all this is a great Dive site, it just require some caution.
Be Safe and always have fun!