Recent Articles

  • Parks in the Sea Part 1:  Crown Jewels in 
California’s Underwater Kingdom

    Parks in the Sea Part 1: Crown Jewels in 
California’s Underwater Kingdom

    It is no secret that through the last 100+ years the pressure from industrial expansion and population growth in California has put our ocean environment at serious risk. Can that risk be mitigated? Is any damage that has occurred reversible? Yes to bosdth questions. There is a solid argument for optimism. That case for optimism comes from the joy of …Read More »

  • The Bright Spots

    The Bright Spots

    The world’s oceans are under siege, and California waters are no exception. Veteran divers know it, and hard science confirms the facts. Scientific studies tell us that without any significant change in commercial fishing regulations, the total tonnage of finfish and invertebrates, with the exception of other than squid, taken commercially in California waters decreased by more than an astonishing …Read More »

  • California’s Undersea Flower Animals: The Stony Corals

    California’s Undersea Flower Animals: The Stony Corals

    It’s a fact stranger than fiction: there are underwater creatures commonly found in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast that are biologically classified as “flower animals.” The class is Anthozoa, formed from two Greek words, anthos, meaning “flower” and zoa, meaning “animals,” and it contains the stony corals. Anthozoa is a class within the photogenic phylum Cnidaria (the “C” …Read More »

  • Monterey’s Iconic Dive Site: The Breakwater

    Monterey’s Iconic Dive Site: The Breakwater

    At-A-Glance Skill Level: Beginner or better. Location: The Breakwater is located at the intersection of Cannery Row and Foam Street in the City of Monterey. Access: Available at the base of The Breakwater, or above San Carlos Beach, northeast of The Breakwater. It is a short walk to the beach down a well-maintained set of stairs. Facilities: Restrooms and showers …Read More »

  • An Underwater Safari: Exploring Africa Cove

    An Underwater Safari: Exploring Africa Cove

    When we boarded the Sundiver Express we were headed for Catalina Island, but when we reached our dive site, the skipper, Kyaa, said we’d just reached Africa. I’m not exactly certain how Africa Cove got its name, but I’m guessing it’s because exploring this site is like being on an underwater safari. Almost immediately I found a pair of moray …Read More »

  • Ocean Creatures Without Borders: Observing SoCal’s Changing Ocean

    Ocean Creatures Without Borders: Observing SoCal’s Changing Ocean

    Political borders are essentially meaningless to marine life, as they can swim or drift across them without concern. Recently several marine critters have entered into southern California waters, including Catalina, as somewhat natural range extensions through dispersal. I find these new arrivals of great interest. Fish such as barracuda, yellowtail, tuna and even tiny anchovy can migrate through active dispersal, …Read More »

  • Monterey’s Accidental Dive Site: Municipal Wharf II

    Monterey’s Accidental Dive Site: Municipal Wharf II

    ‘What is the best dive in Monterey Bay? What is best? Best for photography? Easiest entry? Most diverse marine life? Not an easy question… No easy answers… One way to address the question is to listen to what the experts say. Lynn May, the original owner of the Silver Prince dive boat, could dive anywhere he wanted. He claimed that …Read More »

  • Red, Green, Yellow and Brown: The Colorful Lives of California Kelpfish

    Red, Green, Yellow and Brown: The Colorful Lives of California Kelpfish

    Kelpfish Stats Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Subphylum: Vertebrata Superclass: Gnathostomata Superclass: Pisces Class: Actinopterygii Order: Perciformes Family: Clinidae: Giant kelpfish, crevice kelpfish, striped kelpfish, spotted kelpfish Family: Labrisomidae: Island kelpfish Genus/species: Giant kelpfish (Heterostichus rostratus) Island kelpfish (Alloclinus holderi) Spotted kelpfish (Gibbonsia elegans) Striped Kelpfish (Gibbonsia metzi) Crevice kelpfish (Gibbonsia montereyensis) Giant kelpfish tend to keep their distance. I have …Read More »

  • A Coastal Kelp Diving Excursion: Leo Carillo State Beach

    A Coastal Kelp Diving Excursion: Leo Carillo State Beach

    There is nothing quite as peaceful and refreshing as a glide through a wonderful kelp forest to forget about the frantic-paced life of Los Angeles. And Leo Carrillo State Beach is just the place to do it. While I know a dive cruise out to Catalina or Anacapa Islands is preferred, sometimes we simply do not have the time to …Read More »

  • Salty Talk: A Diver’s Guide to Seas and Oceans and Bays and Such

    Salty Talk: A Diver’s Guide to Seas and Oceans and Bays and Such

    Archipelago. I love that word. While it can mean any group of islands close to each other I frequently hear it used to describe many islands that carry great diving opportunities. In the eastern Pacific Ocean we have the Galapagos Archipelago off Ecuador, and off the tip of Baja, the Archipelago Islas de Revillagigedo (try saying that one with marbles …Read More »

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