Dive Spots

Tyler Bight

Dropping down through the thick kelp the numerous black rockfish in the water column parted. The first thing that caught my eye on the bottom was a red abalone. It was fat and sassy, just sitting there out in the open. After snapping off a few photos I demonstrated to my buddy a trick I learned a number of years ago where you actually get an abalone to dance. Breaking off a kelp frond I wiggled it in front of the abalone’s face (if you […]

Farnsworth’s Yellow Wall

Go to Jerusalem and you’ll want to see the Wailing Wall. Go to China and you’ll want to see the Great Wall. Go to Tavenui, Fiji, and you’ll want to see the White Wall. And when you go to Farnsworth Bank on Catalina’s backside, you’ll want to see the Yellow Wall. The Yellow Wall is a section of the reef at Farnsworth that’s covered with small, yellow anemones (Epizoanthus scotinus). And they’re everywhere. They start at a depth of about 80 feet, extend down easily […]

Northern Baja: La Bufadora

Three hours south of San Diego hides a special place that time seems to have forgotten and even the sound of its name creates a sense of wonder: “La Bufadora.” There is contention regarding the name’s origin (translation: buffalo snort), but many believe it has a direct connection to the blowhole, the main attraction here. This captivating geyser regularly spouts seawater over 50 feet in the air, often spraying unsuspecting visitors. Reactions to this phenomenon can be quite comical. While the blowhole may be a […]

Great Whites of Guadalupe Island

There are many “best” spots in diving. If you looking for the “best” spot to see small creatures, sites in Indonesia or Papua New Guinea come to mind. The “best” spot for humpback whales has got to be Tonga. The “best” kelp beds have got to be in California. While there are several locations to view great white sharks worldwide, Isla de Guadalupe is now recognized as the best place to observe and photograph these top predators. Guadalupe is unique among white shark diving destinations […]

Copper Roof House

Divers mostly think of the Monterey Bay as a place for shore diving, and the Carmel Bay for boat diving. While those with boats often head to Carmel Bay when the seas are flat, there is plenty of good shore diving in Carmel on all but the roughest of days. One Carmel dive that is relatively easy and should not be overlooked is Copper Roof House. This dive site sits at the far end of Carmel Beach, and is marked by a funky little house […]

White Point

Unknown to many are the hot-water volcanic vents off Palos Verdes. Is Palos Verdes an active volcano? Not exactly. Actually, not at all. But at White Point you can see something truly unusual in California diving — underwater hot springs. Many have likely seen the fascinating documentaries on TV about the discovering incredible ecosystems that gather in the deep ocean purely supported by huge underwater volcanic vents. These ecosystems are extremely complex with hundreds of species. While tiny in comparison, a similar eco-system is happening […]

Johnson’s Rocks

I had died and gone to nudibranch heaven. I love chromodorids. Their beautiful violet bodies are accented with bright yellow stripes. They are, unfortunately, not common. On this dive At Johnson’s Rocks I eventually saw six! Three of them were an inch and a half long, large specimens by any standard, all on the same rock! On that same dive I saw countless Spanish shawls and a Hermissenda the size of my thumb, the biggest I have ever seen! Needless to say, my camera was […]

Point Pinos

Fall is my favorite time of year to dive California. Schools are back in session and the beaches are empty. The coastal fog and wind all but disappears, the water is the warmest of the year, and visibility among the best. On these clear, calm days, I seek out sites that get little attention from summer divers. One of my favorite fall dives is Point Pinos. Point Pinos defines the southern point of the Monterey Bay, and was named by Able Du Petit-Thouars in 1837 […]

Club Med – Beautiful Oceans

I know the California kelp forest. But although I have dived the Caribbean multiple times, enjoyed the great viz, vibrant colors, and warm water, I barely know these coral reefs and their inhabitants, let alone the behavior patterns of its creatures. I read and have some guidebooks and know some of the species, but much of the marine life is simply foreign to me. I remember a trip a couple of years ago where my wife was asking me about the I.D. of a particular […]

Crane Point

A lot of times when folks dive Catalina, they go to the “usual spots” like Isthmus Reef, Ship & Bird Rock, Eagle Reef, or Indian Rock. But there are other great spots as well that don’t see divers on a regular basis. One such location is Crane Point, south-ish (to the left as you’re looking at the island from the water) from Blue Cavern and Sea Fan Grotto. It features a large platform that used to house a quarry crane and from where the site […]

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