Dive Spots

Yap: More Than Just Mantas

Would you like to see some of the world’s largest creatures inches above your head, and then later in the day see some of the world’s smallest creatures go through an elaborate mating ritual? If you said, “Yes,” then you need to get yourself to Yap. Yap lies in the western Pacific, a little over an hour (by plane) south of Guam. It’s truly an “undiscovered” gem. I’ve been going there since 2002 and I give you the disclaimer that it’s one of my favorite […]

Laguna Beach’s Best (and Easiest) Beach Dives

While it can hold its challenges, beach diving California can be very rewarding and even easy. There are several advantages to beach diving. First of all it is cheap! For the cost of an air fill and perhaps some quarters for parking you can have a great underwater experience. The schedule is flexible. If you want, you don’t have to get up at 0-dark-thirty to catch the boat. Sleep in a bit then hit the beach. Or perhaps you don’t have an entire day to […]

Dive Spot: Malaga Cove

Unfortunately, during the late summer through the early fall, occasional tropical storms off Baja kick up large swells that land on south-facing beaches in Southern California. The large surf makes most beach diving difficult, if not impossible. All is not lost for avid beach divers. When south-facing beaches are getting hit with the southerly swells, where do you head? For a north-facing beach, of course! But where in Southern California do you find a north-facing beach? Only two spots: One is La Jolla Cove and […]

Catalina’s Top 3 Rarely Visited Dive Sites

I love diving Catalina Island. It is one of my favorite places in the whole world to dive. But after having dived Catalina thousands of times, it can seem at times to get a little old; however, there are excellent dive sites that are rarely visited. Why theses sites are rarely visited is quite simple: they are definitely advanced sites. The reasons are twofold — strong currents and depths. While not exactly “secret,” these charter boats will sometimes hesitate on taking divers here unless firmly […]

Brian’s Crack

Like any good diver I listened to our divemaster’s instructions, and followed the anchor line to the bottom. Just as advertised the entrance to the cave was directly to the right of the anchor. I dropped to the bottom of what appeared to be a 10-foot pit and stared into nothingness as the cave disappeared into blackness. Switching on my light revealed rock walls that were brilliantly colored in hues of red, yellow and orange. Brian’s Crack is located just offshore and west of Pescadoro […]

Long Point, Catalina Island

The huge moray was friendly to the point of scary. It came right out of its hole directly at me only to turn and head toward Kim. This was Psycho, a long time resident of Pirate’s Cove just on the inside of Long Point, Catalina Island. While Psycho is gone, his (or maybe her) cousins remain. This is one of the best spots to see moray eels at Catalina Island. But the dive site of Long Point has much more to offer than just friendly […]

Black Dog Ridge

A few years ago Sami Laine and Chuck Tribolet were looking for Local’s Ledge off Cypress Point when a high profile ridge popped off the bottom on their depth finder. Like all good explorers they chose to dive the ridge instead of the ledge. It turned out to be such a spectacular site that Chuck named the ridge after his boat–Black Dog Ridge. Black Dog Ridge runs approximately northeast to southwest, and the ridge is shaped roughly like the keel of a sailboat–long, narrow and […]

Horseshoe Reef

Some dive sites are good for invertebrates, others are good for fish, and still others have interesting bottom topography. It is, however, unusual for sites to have it all. One of the Camel Bay sites that, indeed, has it all is a seldom-visited spot called Horseshoe. Horseshoe is best described as one of the “outer” outer pinnacles and is a newly discovered spot a bit further offshore than the Outer Pinnacles in Carmel Bay. This raised rocky area is shaped much a “U” or horseshoe […]

Fraggle Rock

I’m sure all of you remember the famous Jim Henson of Muppets fame (Sesame Street). Do you remember his children’s show know as “Fraggle Rock”? It lasted for about five years in the 1980s and featured a large cast of characters in a variety of shapes, sizes, personalities, and colors, all living in the same community. Not only was the show entertaining for children but adults loved it as well (this one included). It is no wonder I was immediately attracted to this dive site […]

Diving the AOP: California Tropical Diving

I ran into a group of divers recently and asked them if they have been in the water lately. One had, but he lamented that the water was very, very cold. The others chimed in that they were waiting for warm water. How sad that these divers were sitting on the sidelines because of a few degrees. Okay, to some, those degrees can mean the difference between a great dive and misery. But I have the answer for the diver who wants to be a […]

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