Senate Bill 1: Rigs to Reefs – Preserving California?s Thriving Artificial Reefs

With many of California’s 27 offshore oil and gas platforms approaching decommissioning, much more is at stake than which landfill will hold the scraps from these massive structures. Californians should be very concerned about the thriving artificial reef ecosystems these platforms support and the many species of fish—including the threatened Boccacio— that call them home. A legislative proposal currently under consideration provides a way to remove the visible portions of the structures while saving the existing reefs below the surface and funding endowments for marine […]

If It’s Tuesday, this Must Be Santa Cruz Island, Right?

What we have here in Southern California is a total of eight Channel Islands (a southern group of four and a northern chain of four). This is not to mention a handful of beautiful islands just south of the border. There are hundreds, if not thousands of dive sites to explore. Wrecks, reefs, pinnacles, walls—it’s all here. We also have a good sized fleet of live-aboard capable dive charter boats. So let me ask a straight forward question: When was the last time, if ever, […]

How To Piss Off The Divemaster

(The following is—hopefully obviously—written with tongue planted firmly in cheek.) There seems to be one (sometimes as many as THREE!) on every boat. Their main function is to annoy you and hamper your personal diving style. We’re talking, of course, about a divemaster, that insidious individual who tells you what to do and when to do it. Since their sole function seems to be to ruin your day, it stands to reason that turnabout is fair play (especially since there certainly can’t be any issues […]

Lobster Season: Where Are You Going Opening Night?

In case you have been living under a rock, lobster season opens Saturday morning, 12:01 a.m., on September 28. (For those of you who have trouble figuring it out, that’s Friday night, September 27.) If you are a true California diver, you should be asking yourself, “What am I doing the opening night of lobster season?”—the same way any red-blooded American would have plans well in advance for New Year’s Eve. To make the analogy of the lobster season opener with this holiday is actually […]

Diving is Sexy, but Not Sexual

Diving is a sexy sport. Diving is exciting and for the most part its participants (male and female) are more attractive because they are the outdoor types, vibrant, and in love with life. Young or old divers have a natural glow about them. But diving is not sexual. Scantily clad (or in some cases, almost naked) photo exposes of women in slivers of fabric that have little or nothing to do with diving have no business in the dive media. Photos of half naked women […]

It ain’t diving unless it’s 5:30 in the morning!

“Dale, when do we have to leave for the boat?” Kim asks as we climb into bed when Jay Leno signs off. She knows… why is she asking? Is it her hope beyond hope that the boat called and said they wanted to let everybody sleep in so they won’t be departing until brunch is over. “We depart at the butt-crack of dawn… you know, O-dark thirty… when it is darkest before the dawn,” I felt like saying. But to be kind, I tell her […]

My Life as a 13-Year Old Diver

My life as a 13-year old diver has been tough. I have been in freezing cold water at 55 degrees; I have also been to the Cayman Islands where it was 80 degrees in the water. No matter what the temperature, it still has been hard. My dad makes me carry all my dive gear! But the one thing my dad has taught me is that once you are in the water, all the hard work pays off. I love going diving with my dad. […]

Film – Good-bye, Old Friend

No doubt, by now you’ve heard all the ballyhoo about digital cameras. The wonders, the ease, the enjoyment. After shooting the same film camera systems for over 20 years, I finally switched to digital. While I love my new puppy, my old dog is dying, and I am really going to miss him. Film was something very tangible, images that I could actually hold in my hand. Although I have worked with them for years in publishing, electronic images seem as mysterious and unreal to […]

MLPA – What We Are Doing Wrong

Many of us, as active divers, consider ourselves to be the people who most know* what’s really going on out there in the ocean—how things are going, whether there are any fish left, etc. We see it firsthand. (*Except for marine ecologists, of course!) Yet, for all of the certified divers in the United States, we’re remarkably disorganized—particularly in the areas of marine conservation. Some old- school people may associate diving with recreational fishing, as that’s in fact what it was all about decades ago. […]

Divemasters and Lifeguards: Diving Police?

We all know they are there for our safety, but sometimes it appears as if the goals of divemasters and lifeguards is to take the fun out of diving. “Dive here, not there; stay with your buddy or else; come back with 500 p.s.i. or else.” They poke and twist your dive gear, ask a lot of questions, and want your autograph more than a crazed sports fan after his favorite star. So how do we deal with these “scuba police”? First, understand that they […]

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