South Coast

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 […]

Salt Creek, Dana Point

I’ve been to Salt Creek numerous times over the last 15 years. My reaction has always been the same. BORING! Bad visibility, low reef structure and no kelp. But that perception was about to change. In the beginning of this past lobster season, I passed it by a few times. I was amazed at the kelp. Small patches, but for not seeing measurable kelp off the coast for many years, if not for a decade or two, this was a welcome surprise. At the end […]

La Piedra Beach

Have you ever wished for your own private beach that’s free of parking problems, over-crowding, noise, and other irritants sometimes found at popular Southern California Beaches? Would you like to dive such an oasis at the peak of summer and on a weekend, but not have to drive to some remote section of the California coastline or shell out millions for your own beach house? Well, wish no more; La Piedra Beach awaits you. Located just south of Decker Canyon, La Piedra, which is Spanish […]

Redondo Submarine Canyon

Redondo Canyon at Veteran’s Park is unique in so many different ways, and always comes through when all other dive sites are undivable. Why do so many instructors choose the Redondo Submarine Canyon for checkout dives, for night dives, for navigational dives? Surf is usually very calm here, partly due to the proximity of the Submarine Canyon offshore, as well as the harbor breakwater to the north and a jetty to the south. There is ample parking and overall the facilities are excellent. In addition […]

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 […]

Gosford Wreck

In old movies, cartoons, and perhaps even in your fantasies, sunken ships are old wooden sailing ships lying upright on the bottom, perhaps with just a hole or two in the sides, bow standing out proudly, masts intact. It’s just ripe for exploration. But anybody who has been diving long enough will tell you that wrecks, especially wooden ones, are usually just rubble on the bottom. Off the coast of Santa Barbara County, just east of Point Conception, however, is an exception. While it is […]

S.S. Avalon

S.S. Avalon – Good Ship, Good Wreck, Good Fun. Though most divers don’t consider Santa Monica Bay to be the nexus of the diving world, in the reach between Point Dume on the north and Palos Verdes Point (Rocky Point) on the south, there are some spectacular dives to be found. However, as my buddy and I descend through the gray-green water off Rocky Point, it didn’t look like this was going be one of the good ones. The water is a comfortable 61 degrees, […]

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 […]

Platform Holly

An oil platform offers something for every diver, whether sightseer, photographer, game hunter or techie. It’s also a special treat because the owner of a rig must grant permission to dive it, and that’s not given to just anyone every day. I look forward to Northern Channel Islands Chamber Day because the participating boats often dive a rig. I signed up for the Truth, which had Holly as its destination. The boat left Santa Barbara Harbor as the sun was rising on September 28 and […]

Montage (aka Treasure Island)

Controversy and debate are nothing new to real estate development along the California coastline. When developers purchased the Treasure Island property back in 1986, plans were ambitious to create a massive luxury real estate development. But the City of Laguna Beach had a different idea. Eventually, a compromise was formed that benefited all those parties concerned—the city, the resort developers and, most importantly, the public wanting access to this picturesque shoreline. Thus the Montage Resort and Spa complex was born with the public access portion […]

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