Dive Spots

Mendocino County’s Caspar Cove

Divers from the San Francisco Bay Area or the Central Valley often drive to the Sonoma Coast and back in a single day. Mendocino County is a bit further away and an overnight or long weekend trip is usually more comfortable; and divers will need a place to spend the night. It is, of course, preferable to sleep where the accommodations are diver-friendly and near where you will dive. Caspar Cove is such a place where it’s a short walk from your campsite to a […]

Monterey’s Local’s Ledge

In their rush to motor to Carmel Bay, many divers pass right by some of the best sites in the Monterey Bay Area. There are many fantastic dive sites from Point Joe to just south of Cypress Point that often go unexplored. This is due to a number of reasons, notably the local landscape offers no protection from the prevailing wind and swell, and thus they may only be dived on the calmest of days. Many simply do not know these sites exist. One of […]

Aquarium of the Pacific’s Dive Immersion Program

One of my happiest childhood memories is of a family outing to Marineland of the Pacific on the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The one image that sticks out in bright sharp color is that of their grand centerpiece aquarium. It had masses of big swirling fish including large sharks and a real deep-sea diver! The diver fed the fish while I pressed my face against the window in fascination. I almost screamed with delight when that diver came over to smile at me separated only by […]

Santa Rosa: East End Pinnacles

Wiping the sleep from my eyes, I saw that my friend and dive buddy Josh was awake before me, putting away some toast and juice in hasty order. The second thing I did was to get my bearings. I could tell we were on the backside of Santa Rosa Island, the third in the Northern Channel Islands chain, but I wasn’t sure where we were or where we were headed. In my raspy voice the first thing I said to Josh was, “I hope we […]

Landing Cove’s Other Arch

While Anacapa Island is often visible from the mainland, it’s often shrouded in haze, giving it a mirage-like appearance. The word anacapa is actually a European derivative of the Chumash Native American word for “mirage.” This island is the closest to the mainland of any of the California Channel Islands at only 11 miles out. In terms of land mass, Anacapa is the second smallest of the Channel Islands at only 699 acres. It is actually a chain of three islets running east to west […]

Exciting Diving off the Farallon Islands

Fewer than 30 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge are found four groups of small islands, islets and rocks that make up the Farallon Islands. From the Spanish farallon, meaning “pillar” or “sea cliff” and collectively known as the Farallons, the islands are unique since they are as wild and untouched as any remote island can be and are very close to a major metropolitan area. Part of the City of San Francisco, they remain unspoiled because as early as 1909 they were recognized […]

Monterey’s Chase Point

While the entire east side of the Monterey Peninsula is one continuous dive site, experienced captains know that some anchorages offer much better diving than others. That is, after all, one of the great reasons to sign onto a charter boat instead of beach diving or futzing with your own boat.  Inner Chase Reef begins between 200 and 300 yards offshore and to the north from the Coral Street Beach. The reef runs parallel to shore and consists of a series of rocky ledges and […]

Butterfly Hunting at Crane Point

Much of Southern California diving is considered temperate with Catalina surface water temperatures topping out at 70 degrees Fahrenheit mid-summer and falling to the high 50s F in the winter. They’d hardly be considered “tropical” yet the area is home to butterflyfish. If you look in the right spot they are not hard to find. And that right spot is Crane Point in the Rock Quarry area on Catalina Island.  It is believed the Scythe butterflyfish first appeared at this location during the El Niño […]

Monterey’s North Monastery Beach

Those of us who started diving several decades ago reminisce about the old days, and rarely are the new days better than our memories of the past. However, on a recent dive in Carmel Bay I was elated to see that the oceans are not only holding their own, they are getting better. On this recent dive off Monastery Beach I saw more and bigger fish in one place than I have ever seen along the Central California Coast, even more than in the “good […]

Terrenea Resort dive spot article correction

A correction to the previously published article on diving the Terrenea Resort on the Palos Verdes Peninsula is in order. (The correction has been made to the online published version.) While the Long Point to the west does indeed fall within a conservation area where nothing may be taken, the area in front of the cove and to the east ALSO falls within a conservation area where taking of game is limited considerably. In correction to the originally published article, the take of any invertebrates, […]

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