San Diego County

Scripp’s Canyon

What is it about the thought of undersea walls that makes divers get that far-away look in their eyes? Perhaps it’s because the walls are so often awash with nutrient-rich currents full of life, making them a photographer’s paradise. Maybe it’s because the need for pinpoint buoyancy control and deep diving skills leads walls to be labeled “advanced dive sites,” which lends them an allure in and of itself. Or it may just be that swimming along a wall gives the sensation of flying above […]

Ruby E Wreck

I feel privileged to have been a personal witness the day the Ruby E sank to her final resting place and began her life as a reef. That was nearly 15 years ago. In spite of the fact that it was an intentional sinking—to create an artificial reef—she did not go easily. The plan was to open the valvesin the morning and let her fill with water. By late afternoon, it was obvious this was not going to do the job, so fire hoses and […]

The Missle Tower

There have been rumors about various deep-water sites of San Diego for years. These spots were too deep for ordinary scuba and told well before technical diving established a foothold in San Diego. Certain stories were told about various spots that were simply too deep for air and conventional scuba. Test target bombings of Navy vessels during the 30’s, the “Bottle Shop” near the Coronados Islands 170 feet down, where a wooden ship filled with boxes of the old San Diego Brewery beer sank (the […]

Zuniga Point

Every year, I anxiously await the opening of lobster season. For months ahead, I look at the date circled on my calendar with “Opening Night” written in with a big red pen. It is my own version of “Midnight Madness.” Instead of going to basketball practice at the stroke of midnight, I am usually underwater thrusting my hands into some dark crevice that I probably shouldn’t be, fighting off surge, chasing fast critters around the bottom, getting sick on a dive boat, and pulling sea […]

NOSC Tower Wreck

Those who have dived on the oil platforms know of the abundance of marine life that clings to the vertical steel members. And wreck divers know also how those hard metal surfaces attract much of the same kind of wonderful marine growth—thick, lush, vibrant and colorful. Wrecks and towers make for a bountiful oasis across often barren sand plains. San Diego is lucky. Not only do they have a good amount of wrecks (Wreck Alley), they have a great dive on a former tower and […]

The Fish Cannon

When asked to give a list of my favorite beach dives in San Diego County, I always find myself listing more and more dive spots as the years go on. Certain ones jump out more than others: the cabin cruiser off the La Jolla Cove North Wall swim buoy, Quast Hole, Octopus Reef, and God’s Rock off La Jolla Cove, the Banzai wall at the Marine Room, Numero Dos off Boomers, and Hole in the Wall off Alligator Head. However, the one I always come […]

The Wreck of the Yukon

My buddy and I were the first to descend to the wreck that day. If not for the blizzard of blacksmith fish over the hulk, we’d have likely seen the wreck after dropping just 20 feet. At 40 feet the school of fish parted, and I could see this was going to be a great day for diving the Yukon, the largest ship ever intentionally sunk off the California coast as an artificial reef. At 366 feet long, even in good visibility and a long […]

P-38 Wreck

Part of what makes a wreck a good wreck to dive is a good story, and this wreck has one. In May of 1943 the United States was still at war. With Guadalcanal in U.S. hands for about three months, and with the final battle to eject the Japanese from U.S. territory in the Aleutians underway, the war in the Pacific was by no means decided.  So when a young Army Air Force flyer lifted his P-38 Lightning off from Coronado Island, he had a […]

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