Channel Islands

Catalina’s Best Beginner Dives

The majority of divers certified in Southern California get their first taste of the ocean’s underwater world at Catalina Island. Catalina is one of the most heavily dived islands in the world, with good reason. There are over 100 excellent dive sites all around the island, many of them world class. Walls, kelp forests, big animals, macro dives — all make up the collage available to the diver. All skill levels will be pleased here, from novice to the expert. But more than anything else, […]

Catalina’s Best Advanced Dive Sites

Divers often gain their first certification dives at Catalina leading many to think that this place is for beginners only. But there are also advanced sites that will please even seasoned divers. An “advanced” diver is not always one with that stamp on their certification card. For definition here we will qualify “advanced” as a diver with a minimum of 50 dives (preferably 100) in a variety of situations including strong current, deep (100+ feet) and with proper equipment and knowledge to use it. FARNSWORTH […]

Catalina’s Favorite Macro Animals

Catalina Island has some great little critters to please your eye and fill the viewfinder of your camera. They are bright and colorful set against the muted blue, greens and ambers of the kelp forest. BLUE-BANDED GOBY There are places at Catalina where the rocks are freckled with tens of thousands of this brightly colored little fish. Although their range extends from the Sea of Cortez up through the Northern Channel Islands, they are the most concentrated at Catalina (a more extended common name is […]

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 […]

Foul Area

Very few have had the opportunity to dive Foul Area off the northwest end of San Miguel Island. Those who have, come back with tales of extraordinary sized lingcod, halibut and lobster. This is California underwater wilderness at its best. The Foul Area off Point Bennett is a large shallow reef area fraught with dangerous shallow reefs and racked by heavy seas most of the year. While this sounds like a horrible combination for diving, it keeps most visitors away for much of the year, […]

East End Reef

Hello, my name is Ken and I’m a Wallaholic. I LOVE diving walls. And that’s only one reason that I love to dive at San Clemente Island. But it’s also a reason that I really like to dive at East End Reef, located at the southeastern tip of Clemente. It’s not a dive site you can get to every time. And it’s not exactly close, as it’s about a 60-mile run from L.A. (six hours) and roughly the same from San Diego, so it’s definitely […]

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 […]

Garibaldi Reef

How dive sites get their names is frequently a mystery to me. Take Catalina Island. I have always wondered, and someday will research, where Farnsworth Bank, Toyon Bay, and Cherry Cove got their names. Other dive site names are quite obvious—Casino Point, Ship Rock, or Bird Rock. Most dive site names gain their names from either surface features or from individuals (although sometimes lost in historical obscurity). Rarely are dive sites named for underwater features and animals. Around Catalina Island there are some exceptions—Eel Cove, […]

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 […]

Sea Fan Grotto

Oh, how I love gorgonians! Kim—wife, buddy and underwater model—knows that if I see a large stand of beautiful gorgonian sea fan, I just have to take a photo with her in the background. Red and gold are common and make fantastic images against a blue or green water background. Add kelp and you have the makings of an award winning image. Lots of dive sites around the Channel Islands and along the coast have nice stands of this California type of soft coral, but […]

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