Santa Cruz

Big Rock

When you have a 112-foot tall rock that drops vertically into the sea, who can resist diving around it to see what lies beneath? Big Rock, off the north side of the west end of Santa Cruz Island, is just that—one chip off the old block, a real big chip. The prevailing weather comes right at the rock, so it is not too often you can dive here. The waves batter away at the monolith, cracking away large chunks that fall into the sea. These […]

The Largest Channel Island Has a Colorful History and a Variety of Diving Adventures Looking east from Pelican Bay

The history of California’s Channel Islands is fun. It’s chock full of interesting characters; men who made a living salvaging shipwrecks; a Nicoleno Indian woman who spent 18 years on San Nicolas Island with only wild dogs for company; and a man who proclaimed himself The King of San Miguel Island, to name a few. Among the colorful inhabitants of Santa Cruz Island was Margaret Holden Eaton, a woman way ahead of her time. She lived on the island with her husband, Ira, and child, […]


“Wall diving” has become popular on coral reefs throughout the world with just reason. Wall diving gives us a humbling look into the abyss. It also allows us to approach reef life in a different posture that is often more comfortable for the diver and the marine life. A true “wall dive” is a vertical drop of a hundred feet or more. Much of this feature in coral reefs is owed to how the reef grows in a vertical fashion over many thousands of years. […]

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 […]

Fraser Point

In the ocean realm, it is areas of transition that are most exciting. Currents collide, surf is tossed, animals meet, food and the fed make acquaintance. Fraser Point on Santa Cruz Island is just one such area of the Channel Islands. The entire island of Santa Cruz is a transition zone. Cold waters meet with temperate water species. The mix is dynamic and colorful. At Fraser Point, this mixing reaches its zenith. Fraser Point is a rocky finger of land on the extreme west end […]

Quail Rock

It was a strange sensation. It was like one minute we were diving the far reaches of the Northern Channel Islands, and the next, we were at Catalina Island. Water temperature had changed little but the marine life most certainly had. We were in the transition zone that often typifies diving Santa Cruz Island. Transition zones are great places to dive. One of the best off California is in the Northern Channel Islands chain, and Santa Cruz Island seems to be ground zero. In this […]

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