South Coast

Marine Street

During the course of the diving year in San Diego, I always look for new spots to dive. The La Jolla Peninsula offers up some incredible shore diving spots, but I am always drawn to spots that are out of the way and heavily trafficked. Ideally, I like spots that are not well known, have reefs that are not too beat up from divers, and offer a lot of marine life to look at. While just a stone’s throw away from some of the better-known […]


Like a lot of San Diego divers, I used to think that there were no dive sites worth diving north of Scripps Canyon. After all, Point Loma and the La Jolla peninsula offered all the diving I could handle. I was a regular at the Cove, Casa Pool, Sunset Cliffs, etc. These are all fantastic dive spots. Why sit in traffic past the 8-805 split when I could spend more time diving? I didn’t realize the answer until I moved to Solana Beach in North […]


We often get spoiled in California by the picturesque scenes of beautiful coastlines and long stretches of sandy beaches. We are fortunate as divers not only to recognize the beauty of the coastline on land but also underwater. There are a few spots that really capture what California is all about both above and below the water. Powerhouse is such a spot. Powerhouse is a spectacular beach dive located in Del Mar, California near San Diego. It is named after a large powerhouse that still […]

Gaviota/Refugio Vista Point

There are not too many out-of-the-way places anymore. Practically all of the California coastline has been dived and explored underwater. But there are new areas to explore if one is willing to make the effort. Between Gaviota and Refugio State Parks in Santa Barbara Country is a lonely stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway of high bluffs, deserted beaches and thick kelp forests. Every time I drove down to Los Angeles I wanted to stop and dive here. But the trick was to bypass those […]

Long Point (a.k.a. Old Marineland)

The Palos Verdes Peninsula rises from the ocean in sharp cliffs along much of its shoreline. Viewed from the sea, it looks much like some of the mountainous Channel Islands lying offshore. But a glance up the cliffs shows that this is very much a part of the mainland with roads and homes. Access to the shoreline from the mainland is rare but where it does exist diving is excellent. One of these points is at a location known as Long Point. Public access is […]

Diver’s Cove

I love diving in the winter, especially when it comes to parking at one of the most popular dive spots in all of Southern California. On a recent winter dive we pulled up at Diver’s Cove in Laguna Beach and was one of two cars parked in the entire area. Not only were we the only divers in sight, but we also had just had a few days of Santa Ana wind conditions. The water was flat calm, and looked incredible. It only took us […]

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 […]

The Ongoing Search for the UB-88

It didn’t look as though 3 January 1921 was going to be a good day for the USS Wickes. As her port anchor was being raised that afternoon some 80 years ago, a link connector opened up, dropping 90 feet of chain and her anchor back into the dark waters of San Pedro Bay. The setback was apparently taken in stride since the log reports that the ship was underway just a few minutes later. The Wickes and her crew had an appointment to keep […]

Oil Platform Grace

Northern Channel Islands Chamber Day (September 10) dawned clear and sunny. Those of us on the Vision enjoyed the smooth, short ride on a glassy ocean to Grace, only eight miles offshore. Erected in 1979 in 320 feet of water, Grace is a platform not a rig. She doesn’t drill, she pumps oil from Gail to a Venoco facility in Carpenteria. The Vision dived the platform a bit differently than other boats I’ve been on. Instead of approaching bow first, the boat backed up to […]

Diving the Slot in Malibu

There are more than 20 miles of coastline in Malibu, and for divers who live and work in the San Fernando Valley and its northern environs, they represent the only diving possible during the workday when we can’t waste time in L.A. traffic. Fortunately, there are plenty of dive sites to choose from. These Malibu dive sites offer varied reefs, hunting sites, submarine canyons and sometimes easy access. However, many of these locations suffer from pounding surf; but when you gotta get wet, there is […]

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