Los Angeles County

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 […]

Aquarium of the Pacific’s Dive Immersion Program

One of my happiest childhood memories is of a family outing to Marineland of the Pacific on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The one image that sticks out in bright sharp color is that of their grand centerpiece aquarium. It had masses of big swirling fish including large sharks and a real deep-sea diver! The diver fed the fish while I pressed my face against the window in fascination. I almost screamed with delight when that diver came over to smile at me separated only by […]

Terrenea Resort dive spot article correction

A correction to the previously published article on diving the Terrenea Resort on the Palos Verdes Peninsula is in order. (The correction has been made to the online published version.) While the Long Point to the west does indeed fall within a conservation area where nothing may be taken, the area in front of the cove and to the east ALSO falls within a conservation area where taking of game is limited considerably. In correction to the originally published article, the take of any invertebrates, […]

Palos Verdes — Terranea Resort

As we prepared for our dive, dolphins swam a mere 50 yards from shore. This was good sign, indicating the likelihood of good fish life. Or perhaps the dolphins were paying tribute to their ancestors that entertained humans on shore many years ago. Old-timers still refer to this dive site as “Old Marineland.” Marineland was one of the oldest theme parks in America when it closed in 1987. Park guests were awed with a variety of sea life exhibits, and, of course, dancing dolphins. Even […]

Destination: Underwater California, Part 2: Los Angeles and Orange Counties

For those of you planning on visiting California to dive, please recognize that the number of dive sites here far exceeds what we can cover in a few pages. The variety and abundance of dive sites is mind-boggling, from the opportunity to see giant black sea bass, exceptionally lush kelp, a great wreck, or an abundance of lobsters. Our first installment in this series started in San Diego. Our next stops up the coast will be in Orange and Los Angeles counties, and the number […]

The Kelp Forest at Corral Beach

Driving west from Los Angeles on Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), travelers will enjoy breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and long stretches of sandy beachfront punctuated by rocky points and dotted with luxury waterfront homes. There’s a lot of natural beauty to behold, yet many divers may barely notice it as they make their way to the most famous and largest kelp forest in this area, at Leo Carillo State Beach. Or perhaps they’re on their way farther north to catch a […]

Leo Carrillo State Beach

If you’re looking to escape the craziness of Los Angeles, drive up the Pacific Coast Highway toward Malibu and in less than an hour you’ll arrive at Leo Carrillo State Beach.Located 28 miles northwest of Santa Monica, Leo Carrillo has more than a mile and a half of beach. The park offers several dive sites to explore and is suitable for all skill levels. The kelp forest at Leo Carrillo is absolutely huge, and substantial reefs extend beyond the kelp cover into deeper water down […]

Dive Spot: Malaga Cove

Unfortunately, during the late summer through the early fall, occasional tropical storms off Baja kick up large swells that land on south-facing beaches in Southern California. The large surf makes most beach diving difficult, if not impossible.  All is not lost for avid beach divers. When south-facing beaches are getting hit with the southerly swells, where do you head? For a north-facing beach, of course! But where in Southern California do you find a north-facing beach? Only two spots: One is La Jolla Cove and […]

Diving the AOP: California Tropical Diving

I ran into a group of divers recently and asked them if they have been in the water lately. One had, but he lamented that the water was very, very cold. The others chimed in that they were waiting for warm water. How sad that these divers were sitting on the sidelines because of a few degrees. Okay, to some, those degrees can mean the difference between a great dive and misery. But I have the answer for the diver who wants to be a […]

Terranea Resort, the New Marineland

I have some wonderful memories of visiting Marineland of the Pacific: Bubbles the pilot whale, Orky and Corky, Baja Reef… but my favorite memories came after the park closed in 1987. For a few years I seemed to have the place all to myself. Sea lions hauled out on the rocks at the point. A mating pair of barn owls would perch on an abandoned light post each morning. Around 1989-90 word got out that the public access was still open. It didn’t take long […]

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