Channel Islands

Caves, Caverns, Coves and Cliffs at Cruz

The archipelago off the Southern California coastline known as the California Channel Islands is made of eight islands, each with its own distinct character. Our very own Santa Cruz Island holds many distinctions. At 96 square miles it is the largest of the Channel Islands. It is approximately 24 miles long and its highest peak, Diablo Peak, is 2,450 feet tall, the highest in all the Channel Islands. This is the only Channel Island with a valley with vernal pools and a seasonal marsh owed […]

Lulu Reef

Lulu Reef is a series of three rock pinnacles inside Eagle Reef on the mainland of Catalina Island’s west end. Because of its proximity to Eagle Reef, it sometimes does not get the attention it deserves. All three rocks can be explored on a single dive. The main pinnacle is in the middle of a small rocky point. Rising from a depth of 60 feet to within just 12 feet of the surface, it is the largest (about the size of a large house) and […]

Wall Diving Awaits off Santa Cruz Island’s Ruby Rock

I’ve got great news for wall diving enthusiasts. At Santa Cruz Island’s Ruby Rock there are several walls to explore. One wall in particular drops vertically from the surface to nearly 110 feet. The tallest is on the western point of the cove. A smaller 50-foot wall is located on the east side. The walls at both locations feature lots of crevices and hiding places for a variety of marine animals. Anemones provide a lot of the color here. Corynactis anemones are the tiniest, but […]

Little Gibraltar High Spot

As great as they are, dive charter boats have to bypass some unique spots simply because you can only put so many divers on a small reef at one time. One such small yet delightful reef is Little Gibraltar High Spot on the mainland side of Catalina Island. We had the pleasure of visiting this site with a small group of divers on the charter boat King Neptune. The reef is more of a spire than just a high spot. Peaking out at 35 feet […]

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 […]

Groovy Wall

It’s easy to imagine a hippie artist from the 1960s created this dive site by throwing bright colors randomly onto a canvas and proclaiming it, “cool, far-out, and GROOVY!” Look here! A work of psychedelic art on the bottom of the sea off Santa Rosa Island. The most stunning thing about this site is the colors. There is green amber across the top with kelp, alga and green anemones. Down the vertical rock face are splashes of pink, lavender, red and orange provided by a […]

Going Deep at Catalina’s Farnsworth Bank

Ask any experienced Southern California diver what they consider the most spectacular dive in all the Channel Islands and it’s likely you’ll hear Farnsworth Bank mentioned. A lot. Farnsworth is series of tall underwater mountains and sharp pinnacles approximately 1.6 miles off the backside of Catalina Island. Surrounding waters are deep and the area is constantly bathed in clear oceanic currents. It is the main mountain at a depth of about 55 feet that is the most often dived. There are several other nearby pinnacles […]

Santa Rosa: East End Pinnacles

Wiping the sleep from my eyes, I saw that my friend and dive buddy Josh was awake before me, putting away some toast and juice in hasty order. The second thing I did was to get my bearings. I could tell we were on the backside of Santa Rosa Island, the third in the Northern Channel Islands chain, but I wasn’t sure where we were or where we were headed. In my raspy voice the first thing I said to Josh was, “I hope we […]

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 […]

Butterfly Hunting at Crane Point

Much of Southern California diving is considered temperate with Catalina surface water temperatures topping out at 70 degrees Fahrenheit mid-summer and falling to the high 50s F in the winter. They’d hardly be considered “tropical” yet the area is home to butterflyfish. If you look in the right spot they are not hard to find. And that right spot is Crane Point in the Rock Quarry area on Catalina Island.  It is believed the Scythe butterflyfish first appeared at this location during the El Niño […]

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