At-A-Glance  Location: On the mainland side Anacapa Island (actually a chain of three islets) that is the closest to mainland of all the Channel Islands at only 11 miles off Port Hueneme. It is wedged between the dive sites known as the Pelican Preserve (which can only be dived in November and December) and Goldfish Bowl.  Access: Boat only. Skill: All levels. Visibility: Fair to good. Depths: up to 50 feet on sand. Hunting: Not allowed. Photography: Excellent fish photography. Only fair for all other. […]

Diving Anacapa’s “Coral Reef”

When you think of coral reefs, chances are you think of underwater scenery featuring bright colors. Our waters are a bit too chilly to support actual coral reefs, but the colors here might just fool you into thinking you’re on an actual tropical reef. Anacapa’s Coral Reef dive site is covered with colorful invertebrate marine life. Patchwork clusters of tiny corynactis anemones make up the main mosaic. You’ll see the lavender, yellow, and pink hues of these tiny anemones. Baseball-sized white-spotted rose anemones offer deep […]

Visiting a Friend Off Anacapa’s West End: Say Hello to Larry the Lingcod

AT-A-GLANCE   Skill Level: Beginner to intermediate but experience with currents is a must. Location: Seaward side (south) of the extreme west end of West Anacapa Island Access: Boat only. Entry and Exit: Dependent on local weather, swells and currents. Depth Range: 15 to 90 feet. Conditions: Variable. Exposed to the open sea. Conditions can sometimes be challenging. Visibility: Good averaging a consistent 40 feet. Photography: Good wide-angle around ledges and very good for macro with many small fish Hunting: Poor. Remember the north side […]

It’s Anything But a Trash Heap: Enjoying Anacapa’s Garbage Cove 

Garbage Cove! What kind of name is that for a dive site?! In spite of its unattractive name, the diving in this small cove is extraordinary. So just how did this dive location get its rather unattractive name? Early in the 20th century a much-needed lighthouse was built on the east end of East Anacapa Island. Construction of the lighthouse and other buildings was completed in 1932, making this the last lighthouse to be built on the West Coast. In the late 1930s Anacapa Island, along with Santa Barbara Island, […]

Fast, Fun Action at Anacapa’s Sea Lion Beach

Anacapa Sea Lion Beach
Anacapa Sea Lion Beach

No animals encountered in the California underwater world are quite as playful as sea lions. Their big dark puppy-dog eyes will melt your heart. Their antics and playfulness will make you laugh into your regulator. And they will challenge your underwater photo skills to the max. Encounters can happen almost anywhere along the coast and out at the islands but only a few locations hold the guarantee that you will see sea lions. One of these locations, and the easiest to get to, is at […]

Jewels of the Calif. Coast, Part 1: Northern Channel Islands

A native Chicagoan, it wasn’t until I became a scuba diver that I discovered Santa Catalina isn’t the only island off the SoCal coast; it is one of eight. In the past 40 years I have explored all of them. Each is unique above and below the water and each offers hundreds of dive sites, no two alike. Five of the eight comprise the Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary. This article is about four: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel. The […]

Anacapa’s Wreck of the Equator

With most sunken wrecks it is fun to talk about illustrious careers of sailing from distant ports to wayward harbors and islands. Who were the mysterious personalities that walked the vessel’s decks over the years? What were their dreams? Were they famous, infamous or just no-bodies? In what spectacular way did the boat meet its demise? Unfortunately, the wreck of the Equator on Anacapa Island lacks a remarkable story. Even its sinking was not particularly interesting.  The Equator was built in 1949 and sank later […]

Exploring Anacapa’s Parallel Reefs

Divers who frequent California’s Channel Islands are likely to have a love-hate relationship with currents. In general, swift currents sweep out dirty water and replace it with clean, clear water from the open ocean. Locations far from shore benefit the most from this cleansing action. At the same time, diving in strong a current can up the degree of difficulty a notch or two. This is the case with Parallel Reefs at Anacapa Island.  As the name indicates there are three reef strips running parallel […]

Landing Cove’s Other Arch

While Anacapa Island is often visible from the mainland, it’s often shrouded in haze, giving it a mirage-like appearance. The word anacapa is actually a European derivative of the Chumash Native American word for “mirage.” This island is the closest to the mainland of any of the California Channel Islands at only 11 miles out. In terms of land mass, Anacapa is the second smallest of the Channel Islands at only 699 acres. It is actually a chain of three islets running east to west […]

Admiring Anacapa Island’s Coral Pinnacle

As the boat motored around to the seaward side of the West Island of Anacapa, I asked a fellow passenger if he heard the crew mention what dive site we were going to dive next. “Coral something or another,” he replied. Cool. I love diving the site known as Coral Reef for its many colorful invertebrates. But as the charter boat Vision’s skipper began to anchor, it looked to me like he was setting up too far from shore.   The dive briefing clarified my […]

COPYRIGHT © 2019 CALIFORNIA DIVING NEWS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.Website hosted and managed by Make Me Modern.