Is there anything to see at Redondo’s Veterans Park? Many local divers often ask this question.

Those familiar with the Veterans Park location (just south of the Redondo Beach Pier) know it primarily as a site for dive instruction. The site is used regularly by many instructors & divemasters due to generally good conditions, easy parking, public bathrooms, showers, and a wide open sandy bottom. The depths are also ideal for training open water classes, generally in the 20-30 foot range.

So then what is there to see? Plenty – you just have to know where to look.


A sarcastic fringe head (Neoclinus blanchardi) peeks out from cover.

Once you walk down the stairs from the parking lot to the beach you’ll have a short walk across the sand to the water. From there you have to decide whether you’ll head straight out (west), or swim out a bit and turn north or south along the canyon wall, which starts at about 50ft.

A red kelp crab

A red kelp crab

Starting the dive from  0-50ft you will see a sandy bottom. In this area you will typically find sand dollars, swimming crabs, target shrimp, thornback rays, horn sharks, and the occasional pacific angel shark. From the beginning of the canyon wall (50ft) it’s a gradual decent down the wall to the recreation dive limit of 130ft. Between 60 and 80ft is where you will find a large number of sea creatures. There is vegetation growth starting at 60ft where you will find bass, white fish, sarcastic fringe heads, scorpion fish, moon snails, torpedo rays, octopus, a large variety of nudibranchs, and home to juvenile giant black sea bass. In the winter months squid start laying their eggs. This is quite spectacular as there are squid egg patches as far as you can see. The most surprising sighting in the last few years was a population of pacific sea horses that starting showing up, my dive club (Pacific Wilderness) buddies and I counted 10 separate seahorses one night. The odd thing is the horses all disappeared overnight this past summer.

Pacific Seahorses

Pacific Seahorses (Hippocampus ingenues). Click to enlarge.


Last fall we even had one club member film a baby grey whale at Veteran’s Park, possibly the same newborn spotted there with Mom on New Year’s Day a year and a half earlier. The water temp is typical 60 – 70 degrees in 50 feet and shallower water. Deeper you will definitely feel a temperature difference from 50–60 degrees.

So what is there to see at Veteran’s Park?

A lot!

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Story and Photos by Kirk Wester
Kirk is a PADI Dive Master and has been diving for 33 years. Kirk’s photos were shot with a Sony RX-100m2, Ikelite Housing, and Dual Sea & Sea YS-D1 strobes.