Dive Spots

A.C.E. Becomes Southern California’s Newest Dive Site

Five years after the 58-foot, steel-hulled A.C.E. drum seiner sank off the coast of San Clemente, a team of divers from Beach Cities Scuba (BCS) recently located it and prepared the site for recreational diving.  Now buoyed about five miles south of the Dana Point Harbor, the A.C.E. offers divers an opportunity to explore a new wreck that’s roughly halfway between Los Angeles and San Diego.  Completely intact and resting on its port side with her mast pointing away from shore, an ecosystem is thriving […]

Farnsworth Bank: Purple Hydrocoral and Much More

The engine was off and the Conception was anchored when I awoke in the wee hours of the morning. I rolled out of my bunk and stumbled topside. The ocean was calm, with only a slight swell, and there was no other boat in sight. Off in the distance I saw the outline of familiar mountains. We were anchored on the backside of Catalina, on a fabled site called Farnsworth Bank.  While conditions appeared favorable, it was early. When the sun rose we might find […]

Liveaboard Diving Saba and Saint Kitts

Dropping down the mooring line we could easily look down to the pinnacle plateau below. The divemaster was below us, directly on the plateau. He was wearing ugly plaid shorts and could make out every hideous detail even from 90 feet above. And he was heading toward a dark shadow in the distance that looked like a giant finger pointing to the sky nearly 100 feet above. The dark shadow was about 150 feet away. I could already tell this was going to be a […]

Rock Quarry

I visit some dive sites with high expectations. Some meet these expectations. Other dive sites don’t have a big reputation, but they grow on me over time, eventually becoming one of my favorites. The Rock Quarry at Catalina Island falls into the latter category. The Rock Quarry lies west of Long Point and Goat Harbor, but east of Sea Fan Grotto and Two Harbors. Because it is well protected, conditions are usually calm here. I like to divide this dive site up into three areas: […]

Point Lobos State Reserve, Bluefish Wall

Sometimes all you need is a yen to go diving, your gear, and a way to the beach. At other times access to the better dive sites require a bit more planning. You may need to sign on to a charter boat well in advance to reach the more exposed and prolific sites, or you may need to think ahead and make a reservation at one of our restricted diving areas. Several dive sites that justify the time to plan ahead are the magnificent locations […]

Fire Rock

California winter diving can best be described as beauty or the beast. When winter storms are raging, divers can certainly experience marginal conditions. The time between storms, however, produces the calmest, clearest and warmest water of the year. Choosing a dive site depends on accessing the various sites against the wind and swell conditions. When a moderate northwest swell is running, a great spot is Fire Rock. Fire Rock lies south of Pescadero Point at the northern most point of Carmel Bay. The line between […]

Wreck of Ruby E

Although it was all planned out, the actual process was a bit comical. Slated to be the second edition to the now famous “Wreck Alley” off San Diego, the Ruby E just refused to sink. It was figured with all the valves open she would succumb to the sea about mid-day and divers would be on her by late afternoon. But as the afternoon wore on and shadows lengthened, it was becoming obvious it was going to take more. Project coordinator Al Bruton, then a […]

Fiji: South Pacific Underwater Wonderland — Liveaboard or Resort?

In many exotic world-class dive destinations around the globe you have two ways of approaching the diving — a land based resort operation making day trips to the various dive sites or a liveaboard vessel that cruises the exotic locale presenting the most time available on and in the water. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and perhaps in no place is that choice more pronounced than in Fiji. Fiji is a South Pacific Island paradise, above and below the waters. Two main islands, Viti […]

White Wall

We descended the anchor line and began to enjoy the better-than-average visibility. Before us loomed a series of vertical walls, all covered in white. The fluffy white Metridium anemones layered most of the rocky surfaces facing us, and we were surrounded by an enormous school of blue rockfish. I thought to myself, “O.K., it’s going to be a great dive.” The White Wall is located offshore of Point Pinos, a bit northwest of Aumentos Reef in Monterey Bay. This little nugget of a site was […]

Morse Point

Santa Cruz Island is a special place in the Southern California ocean. It is a place of transition. Currents mix, converge and collide here in different ways depending on the season and climatic shifts. What you find at Santa Cruz Island is a mixture of temperate and cold water species of fish and invertebrates. This is the sampler platter of California’s underwater world. Here you see bright orange garibaldi typical to southern warmer waters alongside bright white-spotted rose anemones that you usually only see in […]

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