Dive Spots

Off the Beaten Path in Laguna: Woods Cove

If anywhere along the southern California coastline can be called a Mecca for beach divers, it would be the Laguna Beach area along Orange County’s southern shores. The reasons are obvious: clear water, easy access, and an abundance of marine life that’s hard to match. It is not unusual to see a hundred or more divers assaulting the beaches here on any given weekend during the summer. Not to worry though. Laguna Beach offers enough quantity and variety of dive spots where one can obtain […]

A Cool Dive Off Cannery Row: Enjoying San Carlos Beach

Sometimes I seek out challenging sites with access to exposed reefs, deeper water and large animals. At other times I prefer to experience a relaxing dive, with an easy entry and exit, and plenty of colorful critters to photograph. Monterey County offers a great variety of dive sites, so there are plenty of sites to choose from depending on my mood and conditions. One of the most relaxing sites is San Carlos Beach. San Carlos Beach may be found at the end of Cannery Row […]

Visiting a Friend Off Anacapa’s West End: Say Hello to Larry the Lingcod

AT-A-GLANCE   Skill Level: Beginner to intermediate but experience with currents is a must. Location: Seaward side (south) of the extreme west end of West Anacapa Island Access: Boat only. Entry and Exit: Dependent on local weather, swells and currents. Depth Range: 15 to 90 feet. Conditions: Variable. Exposed to the open sea. Conditions can sometimes be challenging. Visibility: Good averaging a consistent 40 feet. Photography: Good wide-angle around ledges and very good for macro with many small fish Hunting: Poor. Remember the north side […]

A Perennial Favorite: Returning to Eric’s Pinnacle

I enjoy the excitement of being the first diver on a new site. However, not every unexplored site offers a great dive, and sometimes you have to pick through the rock pile before you find the true gems. I also enjoy diving my favorite sites year after year to visit with old friends, witness any changes and embrace the predictability of a great dive. Diving a familiar site can be as comforting as sharing coffee with an old friend. One site I enthusiastically dive time […]

Something For Everyone: Satisfying Diving at Hen Rock

You’ve got to love those dive sites that can satisfy all skill levels. Hen Rock is just one of those locations. Reef and sand bottom depths vary from around 15 to 85 feet on the outer pinnacles. And there is no shortage of things to see and do. Swim-throughs, schools of fish, mini-walls and overhangs — sounds like an advanced dive site, doesn’t it? It’s not. Hen Rock is one of the best beginner dive sites at Catalina Island. It has a lot of fun […]

Hen Rock

You’ve got to love those dive sites that can satisfy all skill levels. Hen Rock is just one of those locations. Reef and sand bottom depths vary from around 15 to 85 feet on the outer pinnacles. And there is no shortage of things to see and do. Swim-throughs, schools of fish, mini-walls and overhangs — sounds like an advanced dive site, doesn’t it? It’s not. Hen Rock is one of the best beginner dive sites at Catalina Island. It has a lot of fun […]

Something for Everyone: Satisfying Diving at Hen Rock

At-A-Glance Skill Level: All. Location: Just to the southeast of Long Point on the front side of Catalina Island. GPS N 33°24.051’, W 118°21.984’ Access: Boat only. Entry and Exit: Easy off boat as conditions are almost always calm. Depth Range: 15 to 85 feet. Conditions: Excellent where waters are almost always very calm. Visibility: Good averaging a consistent 40 feet. Photography: Good wide-angle with varied reef structure and occasionally a kelp forest. Hunting: Generally poor. Sometimes you might find a fair sized calico bass […]

Rocking It At Monterey’s Cloud Mountain

At-A-Glance Skill Level: Intermediate or better due the possibility of strong currents. Location: Offshore of Pacific Grove at 36° 38.326’ N, 121° 55.307’ W. Access: Boats may be launched from the public ramps at Monterey Breakwater or between Fisherman’s Wharf and Wharf #2. Facilities: None Entry and Exit: Only boat access Depth Range: 40 to 60 feet Conditions: Variable Visibility: 20 to 40 feet Photography: Great macro and fish photography even on days when the visibility to poor; good wide-angle photography when the visibility is […]

The Farallons: Raw and Rugged, with Sharks

At-A-Glance Skill Level: Anyone, even non-divers, may enjoy the surface cages. Advanced divers are only allowed in the submersible cage. When conditions allow, professional divers are permitted to venture out of the submersible cage, while on the bottom and under safety diver escort. Location: 30 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Access: There is a special closure around Southeast Farallon Island under the California Marine Life Protection Act that defines where boats may travel and anchor. Visit wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Marine/MPAs. Facilities: None, except […]

A Beach Dive With a Bit of Everything: 
La Jolla Submarine Canyon

At-A-Glance Skill Level: Novice to advanced Location: Water entry at several locations but the most frequently used is at Vallecitos Street south of the lifeguard tower at the south end of Kellogg Park off La Jolla shores. Access: Sandy beach from a free parking lot. Entry and Exit: Generally easy across a sandy beach surf entry. Avoid in larger surf. Depth Range: 10 to 50 feet along the sand flats then stair step down or steep drop, depending on location, to over sport diving limits. […]

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