Dive Tips

The Frugal Diver

We conducted a survey awhile back and found that the number two reason for people not diving as much as they like is money (number one reason was lack of time). We’d all like to make our diving dollar go farther in order to spend more time communing with the fishes. There are some easy and often not so obvious ways of doing this. Here are some suggestions: JOIN A DIVE CLUB Although they are great for parties and new friends and buddies, dive clubs […]

It’s Now Possible to Accurately Predict Water Temperature At Depth On Your Next Catalina Dive

In preparation for a dive, there are a number of things I’d like to know: surf, visibility, and temperature at depth. I can find surf information on-line, while visibility and temperature are presently not available. However, recent data released by the Catalina Conservancy Divers (CCD) indicate that there may be some hope to determine the temperature. The CCD has an array of temperature devices deployed at multiple locations and depths about Santa Catalina Island. Temperatures have been recorded nearly continuously for the past 10 years. […]

Kelp Diving 101

Once upon a time, before I took up underwater photography, I was a hunter. Off San Clemente Island one day I happened upon a lobster condo bristling with a million (well, maybe not quite that many) antennae. Kicking like crazy, I rushed the reef, coming to a halt with twitching antenna only inches from my fingertips. Immobilized, I watched all of the reef’s many inhabitants flip their tails and take flight. Lobsters zoomed by to the left of me and to the right; there were […]

A More Realistic Look At the Buddy System

MORE THAN THE USUAL REASONS FOR THE BUDDY SYSTEM While solo diving is okay in very specific, shallow, and easy situations by highly experienced and trained divers using specific equipment, diving with a good buddy is always the preferred way to dive. But not just for safety. You will almost assuredly get more enjoyment out of a dive with a buddy simply because you will have somebody with which to share the adventure. Some of the best friendships I’ve made through my lifetime were largely […]

Underwater Strenuous Activity

At the last Avalon Harbor Underwater Cleanup, my son Eric and I were cruising across the bottom picking up the occasional bottle or can when, at 50 feet, we came across an 8-foot long dinghy. Oh, boy! I saw my son’s eyes get real big. Dreams of cleanup glory danced in his head. As he swam toward the sunken boat, I was trying to figure out how I was going to (underwater) talk him out of trying to man-handle the boat to shore. Reaching the […]

Wreck Diving Basics

Wrecks are great fun to explore. Their history heightens interest and mystique. As artificial reefs, be it intentional or accidental, there is no comparison. They hold abundant surface areas and many angles and a lot of holes in which marine life love to hide. Can you visit wrecks as an average diver without any special training? Of course! But for maximum enjoyment and safety, you should take a wreck diving specialty course. Wrecks are often deep as well, and you have to be prepared and […]

L.A. County ADP: Beyond Advanced; You Become an Expert in Southern California Diving

With summer begins one of the most fascinating and enriching diving courses available. Starting July 10th, students enrolled in the Los Angeles County Advanced Diver Program (ADP) will experience diving in areas ranging from some of the best advanced beaches around to high altitude lakes. Students will, of course, do all the dives that you might guess would be included: night dives, navigation dives, deep dives, search and recovery dives, and boat dives. However, as an L.A. County program, ADP has access to resources that […]

Sign Language for Divers

My buddy swam up with a determined look on his face. A series of grunts and hand signals followed, but I had no clue what he was trying to communicate. He became frustrated and looked more like a Neanderthal with a toothache than the good diver he was. We proceed to the surface to figure out what he was trying to say. I’m sure everyone reading this has a similar story to tell. There must be a better way to communicate beyond the basic hand […]

What Makes The Viz

Water clarity (visibility) seems to be very important to divers, even inappropriately so at times. Divers speak with glee when the “viz” is in triple digits. I heard it once said that the reason the water is so clear is there is nothing in it—there is no life in it. While a lot of things make for clear water, or lack thereof, marine life is probably the most important and least understood and it is what affects water clarity in the most profound way in […]

Better Night Diving

Night diving is an exciting perspective on the underwater world. It opens opportunities for seeing different kinds of marine life and a variety of unusual behaviors from underwater animals. But night diving can have special challenges that can be distracting from the overall experience. While you want to be a safe diver, you don’t want to be so preoccupied by the dive itself so as to miss the scenery and creatures. A few adjustments to your diving techniques, habits, and procedures will make your night […]

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