The Gap

Seven of the eight Channel Islands get their names from saints, generally because they were first discovered by Spanish explorers on that particular saint’s feast day. The one exception is Anacapa Island. Anacapa Island gains its name from a perversion of the Chumash Indian name for mirage. Anacapa is the closest to the mainland of all the Channel Islands and the first in the chain of the Northern Channel Islands. Viewed from the mainland, often shrouded in fog, mist and haze, it must have often […]

Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove is one of Anacapa Island’s best dive sites, offering plenty of things to see and photograph, as well as conditions suitable for divers of all experience levels. Anacapa is the second smallest of the eight Channel Islands (after Santa Barbara) and the one closest to the mainland—only 11 miles offshore. It’s actually three islands: West, Middle and East Anacapa. Island Packers and Truth Aquatics run land trips to East Anacapa, noted for its frequently photographed Arch Rock and lighthouse. The island is the […]

Landing Cove

Arguments continue to rage over the effectiveness of no-take marine preserves along the California coastline and its offshore islands. Many are just plain skeptical that they will be effective. While they are few and small, look to those examples of spots that have been well managed preserves for many years and the evidence is clear—they work. Landing Cove at the east end of Anacapa Island is a stellar example. All the diving around Anacapa Island is excellent; however, Landing Cove stands out in terms of […]

Landing Cove Point

The anchor had no sooner hit the water and the sea lions were slapping the surface daring us to come and play. I could not get my wetsuit on fast enough. I have been diving for just about 25 years and this scenario never changes. Any dive site that offers up sea lions, kelp, consistent visibility and great sea life keeps me diving and, more importantly, keeps me excited. Anacapa Island off the coast of Ventura offers so many of those dive sites, including the […]

West End Cove

Dropping down through the 60-foot visibility, I was not really paying attention where I was going and almost landed on top of the lingcod, one of my favorite fish in California. If for no other reason than this, West End Cove is becoming one of my favorite dive sites at Anacapa Island. Every time I have dived West End Cove I have encountered one or more lingcod. For lack of a better way of putting it, I find lingcod a “fun” fish for photography. Some […]

Wreck of the Winfield Scott

It was a dark December night with pea soup fog that caused the high speed contact with the reefs of Anacapa Island that were enough to end the short but colorful career of the Gold Rush steamer, Winfield Scott. The loss of the Winfield Scott 154 years ago provided California divers with a truly unique dive experience. The Winfield Scott was built in New York in 1850. She was a four-deck, three-masted side-wheel steamer, 225-feet in length with a beam of nearly 35 feet. She […]

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