South Coast

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 […]

Wreck of the Olympic II

As we roll over the side and the bubbles clear away, we see our wishes have been granted—the visibility is magnificent! We descend the down-line and at 50 feet, the wreck of the Olympic II comes into view. At that depth we can see nearly half of the venerable sailing ship’s 258-foot length. Her hull and deck beams spread below us like the bones of some ancient creature. Clouds of chromis, calico bass and myriad varieties of perch hover above the iron skeleton of the […]

Diver’s Cove to Fisherman’s Cove Loop

Today you’ve got just one tank. Why dive just one dive site when you can dive two? The neighboring pair of Diver’s Cove and Fisherman’s Cove in Laguna Beach allows you to do just that. And both are great beach dive sites. Parking for both sites are in the same location with paths to the water for each just a few steps apart. The parking is a handful of metered parking spots directly in front of Diver’s Cove and then some additional metered parking on […]

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 […]

Hueneme Submarine Canyon

Submarine canyons are fascinating geological structures that are gashes in the continental shelf that bring deep water and its creatures close to shore. They serve mainly to act as transport corridors for sand and sediment to find its way down the continental shelf as longshore currents push the sand along the beaches. For us underwater explorers, they make excellent dives for the interesting animals and excellent deepwater training. Upwelling brings cold nutrient rich waters close to shore that in turn support unique ecosystems quite different […]

White Point

Unknown to many are the hot-water volcanic vents off Palos Verdes. Is Palos Verdes an active volcano? Not exactly. Actually, not at all. But at White Point you can see something truly unusual in California diving — underwater hot springs. Many have likely seen the fascinating documentaries on TV about the discovering incredible ecosystems that gather in the deep ocean purely supported by huge underwater volcanic vents. These ecosystems are extremely complex with hundreds of species. While tiny in comparison, a similar eco-system is happening […]

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