Channel Islands

White Rocks (a.k.a. Sea Fan Grotto)

White Rocks, also known as Sea Fan Grotto, is one of the classic “must-do” dive sites at Catalina Island. Just east of Blue Cavern Point, massive slabs of rock sheared away from the cliff centuries ago and stacked themselves in such away underwater as to create a wonderful cavern that is suitable for all levels of divers. The rock pile can be clearly seen protruding from the surface, making this site easy to find. Some of the rocks are white with bird droppings, hence the […]

Little Flower

On the northeast end of San Clemente Island, Little Flower is one of those protected coves that’s nearly always calm. And, because it has something for everyone, novice to advanced, it’s quite popular with divers and the dive charter boats that ferry them to and from the mainland. The shoreline extends 25 or more yards underwater, thus, the shallows are rocky and shrouded in palm kelp. Exploring this area is like a treasure hunt. The rocks and kelp hide and provide shelter for fish—including calico […]

Ruby Rock

One of the most difficult tasks is to please a group of divers with widely different experience and purpose. Novices generally look for calm waters with relatively shallow depths. More experienced divers look for new adventures and can easily handle a bit of current and depth. Photographers and hunters look for the same thing, but to a different end. While few sites can handle all expectations, Ruby Rock is a sure bet to please most, if not all, of your group. Ruby Rock is located […]

Avalon Underwater Park East End Wrecks

San Diego’s “Wreck Alley” is the Mecca for wreck divers, right? There are 4 main wrecks within a few square miles, with the crown jewel being the 366- foot long Canadian destroyer Yukon. It is all great diving, but many don’t realize that there is another spot in Southern California waters with over a half a dozen wrecks all in the area about the size of three football fields— and it can be dived from shore. Conditions are nearly always excellent with water visibility averaging […]

The Ab Spot

Yes, at one time there were abalone at Anacapa Island—abundantly. So much so that this particular dive spot gained its name from a now scarce mollusk. And, yes, they can still be seen here, but you really have to look— but don’t touch! As you know, abalone are fully protected to hopefully give them a chance to recover numbers. Just touching them can kill them. Abalone are hemophiliacs. If they are cut or damaged in any way they bleed to death. Both black and green […]

Wycoff Ledge

Divers have a natural affinity to walls. Perhaps it is due to the falling sensation we get when we peer over the edge? Perhaps it is the flying sensation we get while cruising along a deep wall? But I bet it’s mostly the interesting and abundant marine critters that call the wall home. One of the most spectacular walls in Southern California is known as Wycoff Ledge. Wycoff Ledge is located on the south side of San Miguel Island. While San Miguel is one of […]

Goat Harbor

Sheltered cove, open sandy beach, camping availability, easy anchorage, good diving. Sound like a plan? Have a boat? You need to head to Catalina Island’s Goat Harbor. Located amidships the lee side of Catalina Island (about the middle facing the mainland), Goat Harbor provides a safe anchorage during a storm and a darn nice camping site pretty much anytime. The “U” shaped harbor is about half a mile wide with well-formed reef structure on either point and a sandy beach in the middle. It’s one […]

Talcott Shoals

While few dive sites can offer everything to everyone, most sites stand out as exceptional for a particular purpose. Some are better for photographing big animals, some are better for nudibranchs. One site stands out as being consistently good for lobster hunting: Talcott Shoals. Talcott Shoals are located on the north side of Santa Rosa Island, near the west end. This is a big area that spans many square miles, and each boat that visits here has their own spots marked on GPS, with their […]

Underwater Arch

Arch Rock on the east end of the East Island of Anacapa is the symbol of the Channel Islands National Park. Its sweeping grandeur is one of the most beautiful ocean scenes in the world. Gulls and pelicans are in constant motion around the rock edifice as the blue sea swirls below kelp lapping at the surface. As beautiful as this is there is a vista nearby that rivals the beauty of Arch Rock, only this location is underwater and, consequently, seen by far fewer […]

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 […]

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