Think Big

For this month’s issue I wrote and provided photographs for a feature story about the natural history of humpback whales. When writing the article, I couldn’t help but think that it might come as a surprise to some readers to find an article about humpback whales in California Diving News because humpbacks are not commonly encountered in our waters. But sightings do happen here, and they are fairly routine in Hawaii, Mexico’s Sea of Cortez and Revillagigedo archipelago, and several other destinations around the globe […]

On Staying in the Game

California scuba diving
California scuba diving

If you are anything at all like almost every scuba diver I have ever met, the idea of getting certified and exploring the underwater world was about the coolest thing you could imagine doing when you first signed up for your certification class. If you are like me, you remain an active diver. But a surprising number of certified divers drop out. They make a handful of dives or take a few trips, and that’s it. If there’s one thing I could fix, it’d be […]

A Balancing Act


In California, as is the case with most of the worldwide diving community, the majority of us spend a lot more time admiring the beauty and antics of smaller creatures that inhabit our kelp forests, rocky reefs and sand flats. While those smaller wonders often leave us scratching our heads in sheer amazement during our dives, they don’t grab the headlines as often as larger animals like gray whales, sharks and dolphins do. Sea stars provide classic examples of these smaller wonders. But in this […]

Now’s the Time

At the SCUBA Show in Long Beach last month I helped staff the California Diving News booth, gave two seminars, got to introduce several seminar speakers, and was honored to present Zale Parry with the 2016 California Scuba Service Award. I spent the remaining time visiting exhibitor booths on the show floor. Needless to say, I stayed busy. I have been in the diving industry in one capacity or another for more than four decades. So, it is probably not surprising that I know a […]

Look Before You Leap

Scuba diver and coral
Scuba diver and coral

The summer diving season is nearly in full swing. A lot of us dive year round, but in general, we dive in our local waters a lot more during summer and fall. If you and your dive gear have been out of the water for several months, now’s the time to: Take a close look at your gear. Check to see that zippers, mask and fin straps, wet suit seams, dry suits and seals are in good shape. Be certain that that you can put […]

The Business of Passion– The Diving Industry, Seen Through a Show

If you had a chance to sit in on casual conversation with a group of dive industry executives, you might hear someone comment about how the diving business is run by hobbyists. By that, they mean people who fell in love with diving and found a way to make a living at it. The conversation usually winds up with the group wondering how much farther along diving would be if it was run instead by a solid collection of business school grads. They stop short […]

The “C” Word


Want to make a room go hear-a-pin-drop silent, by simply uttering a single word? Unfortunately, I know how to do that. Just say the dreaded “C” word. Cancer. Not only will the room get quiet, but also people might look away — or even move away from you. The unfortunate truth is, all too often even people with the biggest hearts and the best intentions have no idea how to respond. So they withdraw. I am not casting blame here. I am simply repeating an […]

On Ocean Stewardship

In early January, California got hit with a series of storms. With no dive lined up on a Saturday morning I needed an “ocean fix” so I drove to the beach at Casa Cove in La Jolla to check out the colony of harbor seals that inhabits the controversial area known as the Children’s Pool. Their pupping season begins in mid-December, and I wanted to see if I might be able to see and photograph a newborn pup or two. I knew I would have […]

Winter Wonderland

It’s wintertime. And yes, despite the perception to the contrary we do experience winter in California, even along the coast in southern California. But even here, where our winters are usually relatively mild, the arrival of winter impacts the way a lot of us dive.   Some people dive less because water temperatures are cooler than in summer and fall, the surf is often higher swells are bigger, and the visibility can be reduced. But even if you are one that can be described as […]

There’s More to Diving Than Diving

Several weeks ago I was honored to serve as the Master Of Ceremonies for the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition (SDUFEX), a two-evening event in which the audience feasted their eyes and ears on a number of short films created by underwater videographers from all over the world. Produced by a hard-working committee of SDUFEX volunteers, and held in a beautiful state-of-the-art 500 plus seat theater at Qualcomm, this year’s show was the 16th annual. As has always been the case, there was a buzz […]

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