Channel Islands

Fast, Fun Action at Anacapa’s 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 […]

A Gem of a Dive Site: Catalina’s Multi-faceted Bird Rock

In our humble opinion Bird Rock is among the best dive sites on Catalina Island. The underwater terrain varies from shallow reefs, a steep drop off down a wall, and even an underwater arch. We have been on dive charter boats at Bird Rock with a range of skill levels from certification classes to advanced divers and every body seems to come up smiling. The west side of the domed rock surface gives away to a gently sloping rock bottom with small ledges. Depending on […]

Challenges and Rewards at Egg Rock

Egg Rock Dive Site Channel Islands

Visiting remote dive sites can be challenging due to weather and sea conditions, but we often find that the more remote the site, the more rewarding the adventure in terms of underwater visibility and abundance of marine life. Well-known southern California examples of such locations include Farnsworth Bank, Begg Rock, Cortez Bank, and Wilsons Rock. Distance from shore and “sporting” sea conditions make them less frequented by divers. Egg Rock is almost unheard of among diving circles. It sits nearly smack-dab in the middle of […]

Natural Wonders at White Point

The Palos Verdes Peninsula at the Southern end of Los Angeles County can have some fantastic diving that often rivals that of the Channel Islands. Waters are generally clear, with abundant kelp and marine life, and there are even a few wrecks and an underwater arch or two. Charter boats leave from San Pedro and Redondo Beach but only the six-pack boat Island Diver visits these sites regularly. Shore diving options are limited, requiring hikes down steep trails. However, there is one location that allows […]

Santa Rosa Island’s Talcott Shoal

Talcott Shoal is arguably one of the best lobster hunting spots in all the Channel Islands.   But wait, you say, isn’t lobster season over? Not quite, especially for Talcott Shoal. Not only is this location great early in the season but for veteran hunters one of the best locations for a late season bug grab, especially for those big ones.   “Lobster Fever,” as it is sometimes called generally reaches its peak early in the season during October, at the season opener. Divers fan […]

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 […]

Nooks and Crannies

In the multitude of holes and mini-caves we found numerous lobster, an octopus, and a couple of moray eels. Mountains of rock rise from the bottom dotted with thousands of bright blue and red blue-banded gobies and here and there dazzling Spanish shawl nudibranchs.  This was our third dive of the day. So far it had been an exceptional day of diving but it seems that our dive charter boat, Sundiver Express, had saved the best dive for last. While it is a great dive […]

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 […]

The Wreck of the SueJac

Many divers have an affinity for shipwrecks. We seem to be drawn to examples of how man tries to tame the ocean with our so-called superior intellect and crafty hands only to find those creations dashed and sent to a watery grave. Through the power of the sea, and man’s folly, we divers often benefit with fun dive sites.  The problem we often run into is that these hulks are often difficult to reach, either through horizontal distance from shore or vertically in terms of […]

Window Pane Pinnacle

It’s like an underwater mountaintop, a rock spire reaching from the depths to within 25 feet of the surface. The top is barely the size of a two-car garage. The ocean side is a vertical rock face, plunging to over 130 feet and then steeply thereafter. Fish swirl about the monolith seemingly unaware of the magnitude of their underwater home. The Window Pane Pinnacle at San Clemente Island is one of the most spectacular dives in all the Channel Islands. The front side of San […]

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