Dive Spots

The Wreck of the Ruby E

The Ruby E is adorned with colorful marine life, but alas, the grand old lady is beginning to show her age. After all, she’s been serving as an artificial reef since 1989. And she was no spring chicken when she was sent to the bottom, having been built in 1934. She had first seen service as a U.S. Coast Guard cutter under the name Cyane. Her later occupation was that of a salvage vessel under the name Ruby E. Eventually too old and obsolete for […]

Moby Ling Cove

The Big Sur coastline stretches south of Malpaso Creek near Carmel to Ragged Point near the San Luis Obispo County Line. The dive sites here are wild, undeveloped, and offer some of the most pristine diving in the state. Access to most of these sites is extremely limited, as many of the shore-accessible sites require divers to be part mountain goat, and charter boat trips from Monterey or Santa Barbara are few and far between. The most accessible shore diving is found in an area […]

The Kelp Forest at Corral Beach

Driving west from Los Angeles on Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), travelers will enjoy breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and long stretches of sandy beachfront punctuated by rocky points and dotted with luxury waterfront homes. There’s a lot of natural beauty to behold, yet many divers may barely notice it as they make their way to the most famous and largest kelp forest in this area, at Leo Carillo State Beach. Or perhaps they’re on their way farther north to catch a […]

Exploring Carmel Bay’s — The Needle Dive Site

Although it’s not true in every case, it appears there is some logic behind many of California’s dive site names. The 16th Century Spanish and English explorers named the major headlands and islands. Offshore rocks normally bear the name of the ship that first ran into them. In the absence of surface features, most California sites are either named after the diver who discovered them, or after a prominent feature of the underwater topography. A good example of the latter is The Needle in Carmel […]

Orange County Dive Spot: Moss Cove

It had probably been about seven years or more since we’d visited Moss Cove, so I was excited to visit the area again, especially since it’s been a part of the new Laguna Marine Protected Area (MPA) for several months. Formerly a popular hunting area, I wondered if its new protected status would yield an uptick in biomass after only a short time. The first thing I noticed in the shallow area is that the kelp forest appeared to have grown. Was this a result […]

No Clubs Required: Exploring Catalina’s Golf Balls Reef

Catalina Island, in particular the town of Avalon, is a haven for residents and tourists alike, because it offers great weather and a wide range of leisure activities, including scuba diving — and golf. Ironically, the dive site known as “golf balls” isn’t located near a golf course. It’s below a bluff that local golfers use as a makeshift driving range.  Before entering the water here the charter boat captain offered a challenge: the buddy team that surfaced with the most golf balls would win […]

Butterfly Reef

A wise man once said that you really don’t know much about a subject unless you can describe it with numbers. This is true about many aspects of diving. How is the visibility? What gas composition is in your tank? How many fish did you see? I recently participated in a REEF fish count (see sidebar) and came away with a profound appreciation of just how impressive numbers can be. On our first dive we surveyed the Outer Butterfly Reef. This extensive reef lies offshore […]

Catalina Island: Way Out West at Johnson Rock

As wonderful as Catalina Island diving is, seasoned divers can get complacent about visiting many of its great dive site “Been there, done that,” they say. Well it is time to scream “Westward Ho!” and head for the Wild West of Catalina Island. The best diving on the far west end of Catalina Island is the reef and kelp forest area around Johnson Rock. It is an exceptionally large area with fascinating underwater terrain to explore, and marine life to enjoy. But here’s the thing. […]

Dive Spot Monterey County: Aumentos Reef

Each weekend Monterey’s fleet of charter dive boats speeds past Point Pinos as they head south to Carmel Bay and Big Sur. On their way they pass over some of the best diving in Monterey County — pristine reefs offshore of Point Pinos, which in Spanish means “Point of the Pines.” These are infrequently dived because they are exposed to the wind and swell, but on very calm days, you needn’t go farther for good diving. Aumentos Reef is one of the best dives near […]

Dive Spot Anacapa Island: Lingcod Lair

It wasn’t just a dive trip. This was an adventure, as charter boat owner Jim Smith positioned the dive charter boat Raptor near a “mystery” dive site. Jim decided to explore this area because his electronic scan of the bottom showed an interesting profile of rocky ridges. Since the site had no official name, he proposed an informal contest of sorts to name the location. So I went off with a “name the dive site” goal in mind.  Descending to the bottom where the reefs […]

COPYRIGHT © 2019 CALIFORNIA DIVING NEWS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.Website hosted and managed by Make Me Modern.