One Less Angel. Who Cares?

On a recent lobster trip I was the only photographer onboard doing my duty as a reporter and editor for this publication. The rest of the boat were fervent lobster hunters. A few were spearfishing as well. Those who know me know I don’t have any problem with hunting so long as it is done legally and ethically. Although I have not shot a fish in years, I used to be an underwater hunter and, occasionally, still take lobster. On this particular dive I was […]

The Price and Pain of Ocean Conservation

The application of the Marine Life Protection Act to the coastline of California came one step closer to completion as the proposals for the area from Pt. Conception to the Mexican border were forwarded to the Fish and Game Commission for approval on December 9th. Over the next several months the merits of the proposals will be debated and final evaluations will be determined before the end of 2010. This third of four phases will be complete when late this year. The final work on […]

Help! I Have Created A Monster!

Kim and I recently enjoyed a multi-day dive trip aboard the Conception out of Santa Barbara. It was four glorious days of exploring the Northern Channel Islands. While our main goal was article research and photography (with myself as the cameraman and her as the model) we had plenty of time to just knock around the reefs having fun. As much fun as we were having, I made a big mistake on the third day of the trip. I offered a camera to Kim. Now […]

A Reality Check on the Buddy System

The buddy system is something that is pounded into all basic scuba course students. “Never dive alone,” is the mantra for instructors teaching diving safety. But is the buddy system all it is really cracked up to be? While I support it, I want to say right up front it is way overrated. It is time for a reality check on the buddy system. Your dive buddy is not your own personal rescue diver, nor are you theirs. You are to be a totally self-reliant […]

California Marine Life Protection Act Dives into Southern California

California’s divers are the “eyes and ears” under the water, providing critical insight on the status of California’s near shore marine resources. Your intimate relationship with the ocean makes you an invaluable asset for successful implementation of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative! First, a bit of history. In 1999, the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) was passed, requiring California to redesign its system of marine protected areas to, among other things, protect the natural diversity and abundance of marine life. As many of you […]

What is a ‘Dive Club?’

Hang around the diving scene long enough and sooner or later you will be invited to a dive club. Is belonging to a dive club really worth your while? Yes. If you dive any more than a couple times a year, you will benefit by belonging to a dive club. Consider some of the benefits: MENTORING This is perhaps the biggest benefit of joining and belonging to a dive club but the least publicized and understood. If you are new diver, or just a bit […]

Dealing with Equipment Failures

I had an equipment failure on my last dive. There was actually no real danger. I didn’t panic, but for the first time since I’ve been diving, I was scared. I have been going over it in my mind, thinking hard about whether I did the right things. Overall, I came to the conclusion that I did everything right. If you prepare properly for every dive, have all the right things in place, you are way ahead to be prepared for how you might handle […]

Joy of Winter Diving

About this time of year the weather begins to cool, people begin to think about football and skiing, and many put away their dive gear to gather dust until next spring. Okay, maybe I like to swim upstream, but I love winter diving. It’s not that I dislike football or skiing, but I really like winter diving. Why you ask? Well, there are two reasons—conditions and marine life. A miraculous thing happens in Northern California during the fall and winter. The northwesterly winds wane and […]

Getting the Most Out of the Avalon Underwater Cleanup

The Avalon Underwater Cleanup is the granddaddy of them all. It is the oldest of its kind, now in its 21st year. This year the event takes place on Saturday, February 24. But what makes this underwater cleanup special is more than just its age. More divers participate in this underwater cleanup on a consistent basis than any other event of its kind. Typical participation is around 500. Entire dive clubs participate. A party atmosphere prevails and not only do divers get together to get […]

Your Brain as a Primary Piece of Diving Equipment

It seems that in the past year we have been plagued by a rash of diving deaths, the most recent being the death of a very experienced research diver (over 3000 dives) on the wreck of the El Rey in San Diego the first weekend of the new year. During the past twelve months we have heard of divers who died alone and those who died with buddies nearby, divers who died diving deep and those who died diving shallow, divers dying on air, and […]

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