Arroyo Seco: diving the Tassajara River Gorge

In the spring of each year, several of my dive buddies and I pack our gear and leave our beloved Monterey Peninsula and steam down the south bound lane of Highway 101. Turning off the freeway, we head westward for half an hour, finally reaching the entrance to Arroyo Seco State Park. After paying our five dollar fee, we park our cars and begin to unload. For my dive partners this was not the usual dive trip. Along with masks, fins and tanks, we wore […]

Lake Tahoe’s Rubicon Wall

We approached the rim of the cliff cautiously. Five pairs of eyes peered over the edge and searched the dark water, but the vast expanse of the wall below us disappeared into a void of indigo blue. One by one my four companions and I jump off and begin our descent. Water visibility excellent, 50 plus at least. Pausing to take some photos, I lose sight of my dive buddies, but follow their trailing bubbles until they stop at 130 feet. We find ourselves in […]

Bonaire: A Paradise of Easy Beach Diving

Before you get too excited and think you’re about to discover some little-known secret about how to go through the waves of Southern California, we must confess from the start that that’s not what this article is all about (despite the catchy title). For a lot of divers marrying the words “beach” and “diving” doesn’t exactly evoke a warm and fuzzy feeling. And when we throw in the adjective “easy,” you think you’re being sold a bill of goods. Well, there IS a place where […]

Puerta Galera, Paradise Found

A simple backward roll in November of 2003 permanently altered my perception of Philippine diving and dive travel in general. When I acquired Dolphin Scuba Center (Sacramento) almost 20 years ago, I figured out early on that the only way to stay in business was to keep my customers interested in diving. Exotic dive locations seemed the logical choice, so over the years I have taken groups both large and small to top-drawer locales such as Palau, the Solomon Islands, Thailand, the Red Sea and […]

Pu’uhonua O Honaunau – a Place of Refuge on the Big Island of Hawaii

Honaunau Bay is a peaceful, calm section of the Pacific Ocean on the South Kona Coast that is filled with clear water, colorful fish, dolphins and friendly turtles. Few places are better for communing with nature, your inner spirit, your mate, your God. And compared to the resorts to the north, Honaunau gets relatively few visitors affording a chance for solitude. There are three very attractive features to this area: the Bay, one of the finest for snorkeling and diving in all the Hawaiian Islands; […]

Diving Loreto, Baja California

Loreto is located almost 600 miles south of the border on the Gulf coast of Baja, but less than two hours by air from Los Angeles. Due in part to Mexico’s creation of a National Marine Park surrounding several islands in the Sea of Cortez, scuba divers comprise an ever increasing segment of Loreto’s visitors. The Loreto National Marine Park encompasses an area approximately 50 miles long and 25 miles wide, and includes five major islands. Between Isla Coronados in the north, and Isla Santa […]

Galapagos Live-Aboard Dive Adventure

I have become fascinated by those islands that share the Eastern Pacific with California’s Islands. None of them hold coral reefs like those across the same ocean, but just the same, not unlike California’s islands, the islands of the Eastern Pacific share wild mixing of cool, cold and warm currents and nutrient rich waters forming a bath bound to breed unique and plentiful marine life. Add in isolation, and you have a formula that will create fantastic diving adventures. No more is this true than […]

Fort Lauderdale

A trivia question for you: You arrive by plane in the morning and by afternoon dive in 80 degree water over coral, sponges, sea fans, and tropical fish—yet when you surface and face west, a few hundred yards away is the mainland continental U.S. and a major city. What is that major city? When most of us West Coast divers think of diving Florida, we think of the Keys, the long string of islands off the extreme southern tip of Florida. It’s easy to understand […]

How to Get Satisfying Diving Excursions While on A Cruise Ship Vacation

Oh, those floating mega-hotels! Cruise ships of the 21st century have created a whole new way of seeing those very special travel destinations near and surrounded by the ocean. Although cruise ships now visit many popular dive destinations, serious divers often, however, turn their nose up at these ready-made, mass-marketed floating vacation packages—even if the buffets are fantastic. But many of us will be traveling on cruise ships this summer with loved ones that may not be as committed to diving as we are. What […]

Roatan, Honduras

My second dive off the island of Roatan impressed me the most, not with spectacular walls or big pelagic life (that came on the first and subsequent dives) but on simply the expanse of healthy coral reef and resident colorful tropical fish. Although the current was not terribly strong, we chose to make a drift dive. Visibility was well over 100 feet as we dropped to the reef 40 feet below. It stretched on in all directions as far as the eye could see. There […]

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