Monterey’s MacAfee Pinnacle

Hello wild ones!

I have embarked on another epic underwater journey while diving in Monterey, California.  This popular cold water diving destination had my dive buddies and I eager to explore so we chartered the Beach Hopper.  Our captain Mary Joe took us to a dive site known as MacAfee Pinnacle located Offshore of McAbee Beach at 36° 37.048′ N, 121° 53.770′ W.

dive buddy

We suited up with 7 mm wet suits, hoods, gloves, booties and all to prepare ourselves for the 52 degree water that awaited us.  When we arrived to the pinnacle I peered over the side of the vessel and noticed hundreds of jellyfish drifting around.


My mouthed gaped open in excitement and fear but I trusted that my gear would shield me upon entry.  So I walked to the stern of the boat, placed my hand over my regulator and mask then went for a giant stride into the sea.  I shrieked upon entering the jellyfish minefield as I pushed my way through it.




But I found serenity while slipping  beneath the stinging floats and giant kelp.



When we got to the bottom at 40 ft. my dive buddy Dan and I found a blue lingcod.  This fish was very impressive to me as it’s blue hue lured me in.  I came to find out that even it’s meat is blue in color.


We also came across huge anemones varying in color and species as we made our way around the pinnacle.



After circling the pinnacle we encountered a bait ball of sardines.


I felt deeply connected to the ocean whilst being encompassed by Monterey’s prized bait fish.  Then I felt in tune with the ocean as the fish swarmed and danced around me.


The ocean was blackened by the sardines and I felt very small next to such a tiny fish.  But as I watched the tornado of fish around me I noticed how they reacted to a jellyfish in their presence.


Just as the jellyfish began to leave the scene it was to my turn to do so as I was low on air.  When I got back to the dive boat the other divers started coming aboard too.  One diver who had been diving that spot for the last five years said he had never seen a bait ball of that size.  It made my heart happy to know our ocean’s protected areas are indeed working.

Until next time stay wild!

Briana Smith


Where: Monterey Bay, California

Dive Site: MacAfee Pinnacle

Depth: 40 ft.

Viz: 20 ft.

Water temp: 52 degrees



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