Opinions

Exploring a Not-So-Barren Landscape: The Sand Biome

Some divers swim over patches of sand in California as if they are trying to escape from something. The faster they go, the better. I understand the magnetic appeal of the adjacent kelp forest and rocky reef communities, but experience has taught me to appreciate, rather than avoid, the sand biome. At first glance, some sandy areas appear to be vast wastelands of nothing but sand. But I invite you to look again. I have learned that if I slow down and take a good, […]

The Spice of the California Diving Experience

Mention California diving and the first thoughts of divers around the world are likely to be about our kelp forests. Their reaction is proof that just seeing a photograph of shimmering rays of sunlight dance through a golden undersea forest can get you hooked on California diving. And as so many California divers know, exploring a kelp forest in real life is a magical experience.   More than 800 species have been documented to inhabit a healthy forest of giant kelp. Those creatures include the […]

Dive Boat: Spectre

For more than 26 years the dive boat Spectre has consistently offered excellent service to the divers of Southern California. Their loyal following of customers provides irrefutable evidence regarding their longstanding commitment to excellence.  The Spectre hails from Ventura Harbor Village dock and caters to divers on trips to Anacapa Island and the east end of Santa Cruz Island in the Northern Channel Islands. These destinations are stunning both above and below the water, and are part of the Channel Islands National Park. Almost all […]

The Value of a Dive Mentor

Kim, my wife and usual dive buddy, has been laid up lately from a severe back injury. Upsetting as it is I have since found it to lead to some new opportunities. With Kim being out of the picture I decided to turn lemons into lemonade. I was going to find some new dive buddies.  I remembered that some guys from my church had recently been certified, a young college kid and a middle-age family man. They were both looking to gain more diving experience […]

SCUBA Show 2012 is Requesting Film Festival Submissions

Assemble your best underwater video film footage now for the SCUBA Show 2012 underwater film festival. The 25th annual SCUBA Show is the largest dive expo of its type in the U.S., and this year it takes place the weekend of May 5-6 at the Long Beach Convention Center. One of the most popular portions of the annual Southern California SCUBA Show has been the unique continuous film festival. Films will be projected digitally in HD on a massive screen and viewed by thousands of […]

Tell the Preservation Success Stories

While I think we should always be presented with the bad news so that we can act to reverse the negative, we must also accentuate the success stories, places where we have done right by nature.  In my nearly 40 years of diving I have seen the California seas do some pretty wild oscillations within marine life populations, unfortunately, many of them downward. But here I want to emphasize the success stories because they reinforce what we can do (or not do) to improve the […]

Ode to the Garibaldi

The California State Fish is the Golden Trout. Its beauty is equivalent to its name.   As any avid trout fisherman will tell you, this game fish, living only in the high-altitudes of the Sierra Nevada, is a coveted quarry. But it is also unusual if not rare. Not so rare is the California State Marine Fish, the Garibaldi. In Southern California, it is unusual to NOT find one or more over rocky reefs and in kelp forests. They seem to be everywhere and usually […]

Underwater World Shoot-Out — August 1-8, 2011

The six-day World Shoot-Out will take place on August 1-8, 2011, in any natural water resource found around the world, including seas, oceans, lakes, rivers, under the ice and more. During the week the whole underwater world will be performing as one huge festival, hosting professional and amateur photographers competing with each other for some cash and very worthy prizes. Participants can take part in the competition by diving in their familiar or favorite destination during the days of the shoot-out. Competition registration deadline is […]

NorCal Underwater Hunters Big Ab Competition — August 20

This special event will begin at Ocean Cove, Sonoma County on the California’s North Coast. It is open to free-divers only and current California Department of Fishing Game laws apply. Entry fees are $30 if preregistered and $40 day of event. To receive a free shirt you must preregister. The preregistration will end on July 20. After that you will have to purchase your shirt at the event. All divers are required to fill out and turn in a waiver form and show current California […]

Monterey Shootout Underwater Photo and Video Competition — September 9-11

The 2011 Monterey Shootout underwater photo and video competition will be held September 9-11, 2011. Formerly known as the Northern California Underwater Beach and Boat Dive Competition, the 2011 Monterey Shootout has expanded to include a film festival, multiple educational seminars, and much more. In this unique, three-day event, underwater photographers and videographers of all experience levels are invited to compete for over $20,000 in prizes, including premium gear and trips to exotic destinations. Entry fee is $70 before July 25th and $85 thereafter. For […]

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