Dive Spots

East End

San Nicolas is the most remote, least visited, and most mysterious of the Channel Islands. Once home to Chumash Indians, the island is now owned by the U.S. Navy and is part of the Pacific Missile Range. Unless invited by the Navy, it is strictly prohibited to set foot ashore. But don’t let that stop you from visiting the fertile waters around the island. The East End of San Nic provides a calm anchorage and some of the best game hunting in the Channel Islands. […]

San Diego’s Best Macro-Photo Dives

Underwater photographers looking for the ultimate macro dive site are in search of a gold mine, a motherlode. I know. My macro camera is big and bulky and I don’t get much pleasure out of swimming around a lot with it. I want to drop down onto site where I can shoot a whole roll of magnificent subjects in a 50-foot radius. I want a target-rich environment. San Diego has its fair share. NOSC TOWER By now, San Diego’s “Wreck Alley” is quite famous, especially […]

The Channels

The “Channels” dive site on the backside of West Anacapa Island is one of those dive sites I fell in love with immediately. It has a nice growth of kelp, healthy, but not too thick, a varied and unusual bottom structure, and a lot of little, and a few big, undersea creatures to keep you entertained on your dive. Another reason I like this dive is because it’s shallow, generally less than 30 feet and much of it less than 20. Shallow dives last longer. […]

Hidden Beach

Sometimes the name of a dive site is misleading. Take Hidden Beach for example. By the name you might expect it to be hard to find or off the beaten path. Well, these statements cannot be further from the truth. Hidden Beach is easy to find and is located right along Cannery Row. There is a little park near the Monterey Breakwater that is dwarfed by a large hotel on each side. The Monterey Bay Inn and Monterey Plaza Hotel effectively hide the entry from […]

Coral Street

Winter diving in Monterey may be personified by Beauty or the Beast. When winter storms roll through it’s best to find a warm fire, far away from the water. However, something magical happens during the period between storms. The swell calms down, particles settle out, and the offshore wind from an approaching storm turns the surface Monterey Bay into a mirror and the water, gin clear. This is my favorite time to dive Monterey. During the calm before the storm, divers are often able to […]

Little Geiger Cove

The big, grand dive sites around Catalina Island get all the press. Ship Rock, Isthmus Reef, Bird Rock, Eagle Reef—these are all incredible dive spots but rarely does a weekend go by where they’re not visited by several dive boats. I personally have an affinity for smaller, lesser known coves. All along the frontside of Catalina are dozens of calm little coves, perfect for just one charter boat or a couple of small boats. Little Geiger Cove is just one such gem. Little Geiger Cove […]

Kruse Ranch

There are two ways to dive Sonoma County: you can follow the crowds, or you can venture out on your own. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. At popular spots like Gerstle, Ocean, or Timber Coves, you will find easy access to the water, diver-friendly facilities, and plenty of parking. You will also find plenty of other divers and less game. Out of the way places often require a bit more work getting to and from the water, but you’ll seldom have a hard time […]

San Miguel Island-Channel Islands Outpost

San Miguel Island is the sixth largest of the eight Channel Islands, just 14 square miles in area. It is also the westernmost. Because of the way the mainland juts out into the Pacific Ocean, however, it isn’t the farthest from the coast, San Nicolas Island is. Miguel is 26 miles south of Point Conception and 55 miles west of Ventura. From Santa Barbara, the island is about a four-hour dive boat run; from Ventura, about five hours. San Miguel is one of the five […]

West End

The extreme west end of the West Anacapa Island is one of the most exciting, colorful dive sites in all the Northern Channel Islands chain—and it is rarely dived. This is a very special place. Descending to the reefs you cannot help but be overwhelmed by the color provided by profuse growths of gorgonia. The more common and colorful gold and red gorgonia are present but what makes this place special is the uncommon purple gorgonian; uncommon, however, except for here. There are several mini-walls […]

Point Joe

It was one of those magical days in Monterey. The ocean’s surface shined like polished onyx. Wave height was measured in inches, not feet. Sailboats sat lifeless in their slips, while their owners prayed for wind. Time to go diving! On rare days like these you can dive anywhere in Monterey, so we sought out sites that are undiveable under “normal” conditions. This day we checked out the extensive reef system off Point Joe. This site is about halfway between Point Pinos and Cypress Point. […]

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