Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa Island’s Talcott Shoal

Talcott Shoal is arguably one of the best lobster hunting spots in all the Channel Islands.   But wait, you say, isn’t lobster season over? Not quite, especially for Talcott Shoal. Not only is this location great early in the season but for veteran hunters one of the best locations for a late season bug grab, especially for those big ones.   “Lobster Fever,” as it is sometimes called generally reaches its peak early in the season during October, at the season opener. Divers fan […]

Jewels of the Calif. Coast, Part 1: Northern Channel Islands

A native Chicagoan, it wasn’t until I became a scuba diver that I discovered Santa Catalina isn’t the only island off the SoCal coast; it is one of eight. In the past 40 years I have explored all of them. Each is unique above and below the water and each offers hundreds of dive sites, no two alike. Five of the eight comprise the Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary. This article is about four: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel. The […]

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 […]

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 […]

Santa Rosa: The Second Largest Channel Island

I’ve spent many a night on a dive boat anchored in Johnson’s Lee, one of Santa Rosa Island’s two somewhat sheltered anchorages. There is usually a nice but not spectacular sunset, then darkness. For a near-LAX-resident such as myself the nights seem particularly black; the only lights come from the stars above and any small boats anchored nearby. The silence is broken only by the ever-present wind and the sound of the boat’s generator. Twenty-six and a half miles off the California coast, Santa Rosa […]

Aggi Wreck

Of all the diving areas in Southern California, our Northern Channel Islands hold many of the most sought after diving locations. Yellow Banks, Fraser Point, Wyckoff Ledge and Point Bennett all provide incredible diving. But many divers argue, and with good reason, that Talcott Shoal provides the best diving in the area. The rocky reefs and ledges throughout Talcott support a wonderful diversity of sea life, and the dense, healthy kelp forests of the shoal are amazing to behold. As a lobster hunting ground, Talcott […]

Talcott Shoals

While few dive sites can offer everything to everyone, most sites stand out as exceptional for a particular purpose. Some are better for photographing big animals, some are better for nudibranchs. One site stands out as being consistently good for lobster hunting: Talcott Shoals. Talcott Shoals are located on the north side of Santa Rosa Island, near the west end. This is a big area that spans many square miles, and each boat that visits here has their own spots marked on GPS, with their […]

Bee Rock

In the fall and early winter you can sometimes get to dive sites normally too rough during other times of the year. Because they are rarely visited, they are excellent locations both for photography and game hunting. Bee Rock off the backside of Santa Rosa Island is such a location. In the late winter through the summer, Bee Rock usually is washed over by large swells, both from the prevailing northwest weather and the summer south swells from storms in the tropical Pacific. November and […]

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