Dive Spots

Wharf #2

What is the best dive in Monterey Bay? What is meant by best? Best for photography? Easiest entry? Most varied marine life? Not an easy question; not an easy answer. One way to deal with the question is to listen to what the experts say. Lynn May, former owner of the Silver Prince dive boat, could dive anywhere he wanted. He claimed that the best dive in Monterey Bay was underneath Wharf #2. Beneath the wharf is a three-dimensional structure that has something interesting to […]

Sea of Cortez Loreto Slowly Awakens

Loreto is different. It’s a place where you can stand in the middle of a cactus jungle, ranging in size from a few inches to 30 feet high, dwarfing you in its shadows. Surrounded by the huge Giganta mountain range, this quaint town in southern Baja was once the capitol of California and is the host to the first of 21 missions, built in 1697. This island-studded haven that lies nestled along the Sea of Cortez has only recently began to grow into one of […]

Los Coronados Islands: Lobster Shack

A school of tropical triggerfish dances 20 feet away in 100 feet of visibility. Closer examination of the reef in shallow reveals brightly colored cardinal fish. You are in Mexican waters, to be sure, but getting here did not involve a long plane flight nor even a time-consuming border crossing. In fact, it was only a 90-minute boat ride, straight out of Mission Bay in San Diego, good old USA. No visas, no customs, but a different world just the same. The Los Coronados are […]

Point Dume

One of the most consistently thrilling, yet hazardous beach dives along the Southern California coast is at Point Dume. Here the Dume Submarine Canyon comes very close to shore, closer than any other submarine canyon. Couple this with a powerful oceanic current that literally side-swipes the point and you have an exciting underwater combination. Whales, large sharks, pelagics, and more pass by this point on a regular basis. But this is not a beach dive for the faint of heart. It takes a careful eye […]

Farnsworth Bank

I peered over the side for a better look and watched the reef drop away to a vertical wall. Even though the visibility was well over 80 feet, I could not make out the bottom below. When I switched on my light I was dazzled by the color—purple hydrocoral, orange sponges, and pink gorgonia. Just then an enormous school of bait fish swam up the wall and over my head. Another great dive at Farnsworth Bank. Farnsworth Bank is a sea mount located in open […]

Gerstle Cove

Back when I was a new diver I embraced a number of dive sites for their easy entries and abundance of marine life. Like many, as I gained more experience I sought out more advanced sites, with the promise of more marine life. One of my formally favorite sites is Gerstle Cove, and I must admit that it has been nearly eight years since I dived there. This year I took a new diver there and was truly sorry that I was away so long. […]

Socorro Adventures Aboard the Solmar V

Mexico’s Socorro Islands are world famous for their predictable encounters with giant manta rays but that’s not all they offer. Several species of sharks are commonly seen here, including hammerhead, Galapagos, silky, white-tip reef and silvertip, along with bottlenose dolphins. Whale sharks are almost always seen in November and December, while humpbacks arrive to give birth and mate from January to early April. (Underwater sightings, while rare, have occurred.) The Socorros, also known as the Revillagigedos, are 250 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas and […]

Veteran’s Park

During the cold winter months in Southern California, there is one red-hot night dive spot that stands out against all of the rest—Vets Park, Redondo Submarine Canyon. Veterans Park is located approximately six miles west of the 110 freeway at the end of Torrance blvd. The locals call it “Vets” and it has become a night dive meet up for many dive enthusiasts, and a Mecca for photographers. Many have dubbed this a true California Muck Dive and for good reason. During the daylight hours […]

The Jester of Torqua Springs

It was a fairly “ordinary” dive. Pretty, lots of fish, a few lobster, but most were short. No matter, I was taking pictures, hoping to capture the last remaining soupfin shark or black sea bass before they moved on to their winter stomping grounds. Seeing neither, the dive, however, deteriorated into a half-hearted lobster hunt just the same. Near the end of the dive, I was off looking into a particularly promising lobster hole while Kim was nearby poking around as well. There were at […]

Inner Chase Reef

Inner Chase Reef is known among local divers as one of the best sites for underwater photography in the Monterey Bay. This reef is swept by ocean currents and yet receives moderate protection from Point Pinos. The combination produces relatively calm conditions with a cornucopia of marine life to photograph. Chase Reef is a rocky outcropping composed of two structures. The Outer Reef is located in deeper water (40-110 feet), extends from Point Pinos towards Coral Street, and the only access is by boat. The […]

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