Recent Articles

  • She Seas Sea Stars: Sea Stars Exposed

    She Seas Sea Stars: Sea Stars Exposed

    Lying on or crawling ever so slowly across the bottom, the sea star looks deceptively simple and slightly out of place — like it might have fallen from a child’s crude drawing of the night sky and landed on the sea floor. But don’t let the sea star’s appearance fool you. It’s a complex, fascinating creature, indeed.  For example, the …Read More »

  • ScubaChef: Savory Grilled Seabass

    ScubaChef: Savory Grilled Seabass

    The California white seabass isn’t actually a seabass at all, but is a member of the croaker family. It is also known as the king croaker, weakfish and seatrout, and is prized by commercial and recreational fishermen because of its mild flavor and flaky texture. Thanks to ongoing conservation efforts the California white seabass has received a “Best Choice” rating …Read More »

  • Spiny Skinned and Symmetrical: California’ s Sea Urchins

    Spiny Skinned and Symmetrical: California’ s Sea Urchins

    My introduction to sea urchins — on my first scuba dive — was a learning experience. I learned how easily their sharp, brittle spines pierce human skin. Most importantly, I learned to avoid contact with sea urchins, which is easy because the animals are sedentary, slow moving and not aggressive. Sea urchins are classified as Echinodermata, which means “spiny skinned”. …Read More »

  • Welcome to the Second Golden Age of Diving

    Welcome to the Second Golden Age of Diving

    I attended the 43rd San Diego Underwater Photographic Society (SDUPS) Film Festival recently. Held at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the event showcases still photographs, slide presentations and videos from SDUPS club members.  We were treated to one fantastic image after another. We saw it all from nudibranchs and squids to sharks and whales. The imagery came from destinations as …Read More »

  • Exploring a Not-So-Barren Landscape: The Sand Biome

    Exploring a Not-So-Barren Landscape: The Sand Biome

    Some divers swim over patches of sand in California as if they are trying to escape from something. The faster they go, the better. I understand the magnetic appeal of the adjacent kelp forest and rocky reef communities, but experience has taught me to appreciate, rather than avoid, the sand biome. At first glance, some sandy areas appear to be …Read More »

  • The Spice of the California Diving Experience

    The Spice of the California Diving Experience

    Mention California diving and the first thoughts of divers around the world are likely to be about our kelp forests. Their reaction is proof that just seeing a photograph of shimmering rays of sunlight dance through a golden undersea forest can get you hooked on California diving. And as so many California divers know, exploring a kelp forest in real …Read More »

  • The Scuba Chef: The Magical Flavor of Fresh Sea Urchin

    The Scuba Chef: The Magical Flavor of Fresh Sea Urchin

    When I was 13 my father took me camping at Rosarito Beach on the Pacific side of Mexico’s Baja peninsula. We set up our tent right on the beach. The next day a local fisherman took us on his small wooden boat to a shallow reef just a half-mile off the coast. It is a day I’ll never forget — …Read More »

  • Aggregating Anemones: Gangsters of the Sea?

    Aggregating Anemones: Gangsters of the Sea?

    Imagine what Hollywood would do with a film about anemones. Take aggregating anemones for example. They are relatively small, but these carnivores are well armed and can be surprisingly aggressive toward their neighbors, so you might imagine they’d be cast in a gangster movie — with lots of special effects like fiery explosions and crash scenes. Their tentacles can fire …Read More »

  • Dive Boat: Spectre

    For more than 26 years the dive boat Spectre has consistently offered excellent service to the divers of Southern California. Their loyal following of customers provides irrefutable evidence regarding their longstanding commitment to excellence.  The Spectre hails from Ventura Harbor Village dock and caters to divers on trips to Anacapa Island and the east end of Santa Cruz Island in …Read More »

  • Giant Sea Bass: Are They Really Back From the Brink?

    Giant Sea Bass: Are They Really Back From the Brink?

    My first giant sea bass encounter occurred off San Nicolas Island in the 1970s. I sensed something overhead and looked up. A gigantic Goodyear blimp hovered over me.  A cartoon I‘d seen recently popped into my head. Two large fish were face to face. A scuba diver’s legs and fin-clad feet protruded from the puckered mouth of one wearing a …Read More »

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