Veterans Park at Redondo Beach is best known as a dive-training site, but the calm surface and easy entry and exit also makes it a relaxing spot for experienced divers. Because there is very little current and the water is usually calm, it is also an excellent site for night dives and tech training.
Diving the site
Upon entry from the staircase there is a shallow, sloping sandy bottom. If you follow this west, you will reach the canyon that runs north-south. The canyon starts at about 50 feet (15 m), dropping off past recreational dept limits. While a swim along the sandy bottom offers plenty to see, if you want to get directly to the canyon you can swim on the surface until you are in line with the end of the pier, just past the shore break. This will bring you within a few fin kicks from the drop-off.
Heading south from your entry point and staying at about 65 feet (20 m) you will reach “The Monument’’ — a cinderblock with an old scuba tank and toy car sticking up from the sand. This is a popular place to see lots of fish and crabs. The Topaz Street jetty is good place to see lobsters.
What you’ll see
The sandy bottom is excellent for muck diving and is home to sand dollars, thornback rays, horn sharks, swimming crabs, target shrimp and, sometimes, a pacific angelshark. You’ll find the largest concentration of marine life along the canyon wall at depths between 60 and 80 feet (18 to 24 m). From 60 feet you can see many nudibranchs, scorpionfish, moon snails, torpedo rays, octopus, sarcastic fringeheads and juvenile black sea bass. You may also see bat rays, blue sharks, sea lions, dolphins, leopard sharks, angelsharks and large sheep crabs.
A night dive offers shrimp, Californian spiny lobster, nudibranchs, bat rays, rockfish, two-spotted octopus and eels. Divers have spotted Pacific seahorses, although sightings have been less frequent recently.
The winter months see squid runs, where thousands of mating squid draw predators to the area. During this time divers can see abundant patches of squid eggs.
You can dive Veterans Park at any time but take caution when there is high surf or strong north or northwestern swells. Veterans Park is a west-facing beach and protected from southern swells by Palos Verdes.
Dive site stats
Visibility: 0 to 35 feet (10 m)
Water temperatures range from 60 to 70 F (15 to 21 C0 up 40 to 50 feet (12 to 15 m) depth, where you’ll begin to feel a thermocline. Water temps range from 50 to 60 F (15 to 18 C) when you go deeper. Use a float, flag, anchor and descent line as required by local regulations.