Recent Articles

  • Going Pink in the Deep Blue: Scuba Divers Unite to Fund Breast Cancer Research

    Going Pink in the Deep Blue: Scuba Divers Unite to Fund Breast Cancer Research

    By Allison Vitsky Sallmon   In 2003, I was many things — 33 years old, a postdoctoral fellow at a Boston-area university, a veterinary researcher, a scuba diver, and a workout fanatic. What I wasn’t, was someone with a lot of free time. So on the October day that I placed my hand on my left breast and found a …Read More »

  • 42nd Annual USC Catalina Chamber Day May 4

    42nd Annual USC Catalina Chamber Day May 4

    In 1974 the Lockheed Corporation donated a hyperbaric chamber to the University of Southern California (USC) in an arrangement set up between USC and Los Angeles County, and the Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber officially opened for business, evaluating and treating injured divers. Fifteen years later, in 1989, the facility nearly closed due to a funding crisis. That’s when Roger Hess, then …Read More »

  • The “C” Word

    The “C” Word

    Want to make a room go hear-a-pin-drop silent, by simply uttering a single word? Unfortunately, I know how to do that. Just say the dreaded “C” word. Cancer. Not only will the room get quiet, but also people might look away — or even move away from you. The unfortunate truth is, all too often even people with the biggest …Read More »

  • Have You Seen a Sea Elephant? All About the Northern Elephant Seal

    Have You Seen a Sea Elephant? All About the Northern Elephant Seal

    This column is a departure from those I’ve done in the past because it features creatures I have never seen underwater. There are two species of elephant seals, northern and southern. Those found off the West Coast of North America are northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris). The three populations of southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonine) are found in the south …Read More »

  • El Niño, El Niño, El Niño ‘

    El Niño, El Niño, El Niño ‘

      The much-hyped El Niño season — one of the strongest in the past 60 years — is here. And it’s living up to the hype, ravaging the Southern California coastline with record-setting storms. The military is funding a coastline study to help determine how El Niño and climate change could impact its facilities and bases close to the ocean. …Read More »

  • Storms Uncover San Diego Shipwreck

    Thrashing El Niño storms, which stripped a great deal of sand from the shores of Coronado, California, have revealed an amazing glimpse into history. During low tide the rusted remains of SS Monte Carlo emerge from the beach, close to Avenida de las Arenas. Joe Ditler, who has been studying the shipwreck for 30 years, said wreckage appears from time …Read More »

  • On Ocean Stewardship

    On Ocean Stewardship

    In early January, California got hit with a series of storms. With no dive lined up on a Saturday morning I needed an “ocean fix” so I drove to the beach at Casa Cove in La Jolla to check out the colony of harbor seals that inhabits the controversial area known as the Children’s Pool. Their pupping season begins in …Read More »

  • Better Together: The Benefits of Being a Dive Club Member

    Better Together: The Benefits of Being a Dive Club Member

      A person with a wide circle of friends – one who’s always on the go, attending parties and events — is called a social butterfly. So, maybe a person who is always busy with dive club activities is a social butterflyfish? We’re not really sure. But one thing is for certain: Being a dive club member offers many advantages …Read More »

  • Former Patrol Boat Sunk As Dive Attraction Off Baja California Coast

    Former Patrol Boat Sunk As Dive Attraction Off Baja California Coast

    The first component of the “first artificial reef theme park in the Mexican Pacific” was put in place November 21, when the Uribe 121 was sunk off the coast of Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico, about 40 miles (64 km) south of San Diego. The 220-foot (67 m) former patrol boat was donated by the Mexican Navy and is the first …Read More »

  • Simple, But Complicated: All About Aggregating Anemones

    Simple, But Complicated: All About Aggregating Anemones

    They’re carnivores. And their harpoon-like tentacles are filled with powerful venom. If aggregating anemones grew bigger, divers would have reason to be very afraid. But thankfully, the anemones remain relatively small and their tiny harpoons (nematocysts) cannot penetrate our skin deep enough to deliver toxin to our bodies’ pain receptors. I learned these facts, and a few others, while researching …Read More »

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