Dive Spots

Little Gibraltar High Spot

As great as they are, dive charter boats have to bypass some unique spots simply because you can only put so many divers on a small reef at one time. One such small yet delightful reef is Little Gibraltar High Spot on the mainland side of Catalina Island. We had the pleasure of visiting this site with a small group of divers on the charter boat King Neptune. The reef is more of a spire than just a high spot. Peaking out at 35 feet […]

Monterey’s Otter Cove

California’s Central Valley rapidly heats up during spring and summer. We all know that hot air rises, and as it does it drives our coastal winds, which in turn drives the upwelling that brings life-giving nutrients to our inshore reefs. These nutrients are why Monterey’s marine life is so abundant, but the summer wind often keeps us off our most exposed reefs. An optimal site to enjoy summer diving is at Otter Cove. Otter Cove is a bit north of popular Lovers Point and the […]

Adventures in La Paz Baja California Sur Mexico

As recently as just four decades ago the southern portion of the Mexican Baja California Peninsula (Baja California Sur) was largely unreachable except by long and infrequent ferry rides from the mainland or a rough and dangerous dirt road trip from the north that took several days. There was no airline service. Population in this territory was so small that Mexico did not deem it worthy of statehood until 1974. Since then a reasonably modern highway has been built and airline services offered along with […]

Mendocino County’s Buckhorn Cove

Before the discovery of gold in 1848, San Francisco was a tiny town of about 300. By 1853 San Francisco had 150,000 residences and needed wood to build the growing city. They found it in Mendocino County. The first mill was established near the present day town of Mendocino, and at one time nearly every tiny cove in the county supported a mill and port. One of the smaller mills was the Buckhorn Mill, owned by the Little River Mill Co., and was located at […]

Exploring Anacapa’s Parallel Reefs

Divers who frequent California’s Channel Islands are likely to have a love-hate relationship with currents. In general, swift currents sweep out dirty water and replace it with clean, clear water from the open ocean. Locations far from shore benefit the most from this cleansing action. At the same time, diving in strong a current can up the degree of difficulty a notch or two. This is the case with Parallel Reefs at Anacapa Island.  As the name indicates there are three reef strips running parallel […]

Ball Buster Pinnacle

There’s usually a story behind a particular dive site’s name. Ball Buster is one of the most challenging recreational dives in Monterey Bay. It is a massive pinnacle, about two-thirds of a mile off the Coral Street entry and accessible only by boat. This is onsidered an advanced site for several reasons; it is in the middle of a boat lane, has no shallow area for a safety stop, and stiff currents are commonplace. Some say this site was named after the large number of […]

Groovy Wall

It’s easy to imagine a hippie artist from the 1960s created this dive site by throwing bright colors randomly onto a canvas and proclaiming it, “cool, far-out, and GROOVY!” Look here! A work of psychedelic art on the bottom of the sea off Santa Rosa Island. The most stunning thing about this site is the colors. There is green amber across the top with kelp, alga and green anemones. Down the vertical rock face are splashes of pink, lavender, red and orange provided by a […]

Going Deep at Catalina’s Farnsworth Bank

Ask any experienced Southern California diver what they consider the most spectacular dive in all the Channel Islands and it’s likely you’ll hear Farnsworth Bank mentioned. A lot. Farnsworth is series of tall underwater mountains and sharp pinnacles approximately 1.6 miles off the backside of Catalina Island. Surrounding waters are deep and the area is constantly bathed in clear oceanic currents. It is the main mountain at a depth of about 55 feet that is the most often dived. There are several other nearby pinnacles […]

Monterey’s Aquarium Wall

Perhaps the single event that most shaped Monterey in recent decades was the opening of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in 1986. This aquarium specializes in the unique marine life of the Monterey Bay, and millions come to Monterey each year, largely to visit the aquarium. The aquarium’s founders chose their site well. The location is rich in history, and was previously the site of the famous Hovden Food Products Corp. (1916-1973), where Portola Brand sardines were canned. The aquarium also overlooks one of the calmest […]

Diver’s Cove and Fisherman’s Cove Loop

We headed out for Laguna Beach on a bright sunny morning with the intent of diving Shaw’s Cove. I love diving Shaw’s Cove. Problem is, so does everybody else.  With no parking available we headed in the direction of nearby Diver’s Cove. To my pleasant surprise there was a parking spot directly in front of the short stairway to the beach. Silly as it might sound, this is how our dive site was chosen this day by availability of parking. Along this relatively small section […]

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