Recent Articles

  • A Squid Snowstorm

    A Squid Snowstorm

    “If they only knew.” That was the thought that ran through my mind as I surfaced at 12:40 a.m. on New Year’s morning on a dive that had began in the final hour of the previous year. It was an extremely clear night, and from my vantage point as we hit the surface I could see the bright lights of …Read More »

  • Gorgonian Corals: Admiring California’s Sea Fans

    Gorgonian corals, known as sea fans and also called horny corals, belong to the Phylum Cnidaria (the “C” is silent), which means “nettle” in Greek and includes hydroids, anemones, jellyfish and corals. All cnidarians are carnivores and their tentacles contain tiny harpoons (nematocysts) that can be fired to repel predators and catch food.  There are two cnidarian forms, polyps and …Read More »

  • Last-Minute Gift Idea is One That Lasts

    Last-Minute Gift Idea is One That Lasts

    The holidays are fast approaching and it looks like I might end up on the “naughty” list again — the list of procrastinators who put off holiday shopping until the last minute. It’s not that I’m a “bah humbug” kind of guy. It’s just that when it comes to gift giving, I want to give each member of my family …Read More »

  • Scuba Chef: Rock Scallop Flatbread Pizza

    Scuba Chef: Rock Scallop Flatbread Pizza

    While diving off Huntington Beach recently, I was asked if I could come up with an interesting way to prepare scallops. During our conversation our boat captain offered to take us to her favorite scallop spot nearby so I said, “Let’s go.” Within the hour we had enough scallops to prepare dinner for four. This rock scallop flatbread pizza can …Read More »

  • Blend In or Brawl? Crabs as Misunderstood Crustaceans

    Blend In or Brawl? Crabs as Misunderstood Crustaceans

    Some of the sea creatures I’ve described for California Diving News are more than a little aggressive. Many crabs, however, prefer hiding to fighting even when equipped with those seemingly formidable defensive tools called claws. Like 75 percent of all animals, crabs belong to the phylum Arthropoda, which means jointed leg and includes not only aquatic creatures, but also many …Read More »

  • The Secret Lives of SoCal Rockfishes

    The Secret Lives of SoCal Rockfishes

    With more than 100 rockfish species worldwide, about 60 live in the ocean off the SoCal coast. Some are closely related and look very much alike. Colors of the same species can vary and at least some of the fish are chameleon-like, changing color to match their surroundings. Additionally, rockfishes are evolving and forming new species at what Dr. Milton …Read More »

  • Here, Fishy Fishy: How to Photograph a Fish

    Here, Fishy Fishy: How to Photograph a Fish

    Own an underwater camera system and dive in California, and before long you’ll find yourself trying to create a great photograph of a fish. After all, with more than 550 species of fishes off the California coast we have a lot of great subjects. You’re practically guaranteed to have greater success if you develop a strategy for photographing fishes. I’ll …Read More »

  • Scuba Chef — A New Twist on an Ancient Recipe: Sheephead Ceviche

    Scuba Chef — A New Twist on an Ancient Recipe: Sheephead Ceviche

    Serves 4-6 Ingredients: 1 pound fresh sheephead fillet, cubed 8-9 limes, juiced 2 tomatoes, diced 4 green onions, minced 2 stalks celery, sliced ½ yellow bell pepper, diced ½ chopped fresh parsley Freshly ground black pepper 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil 1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro For garnish: avocado or mango slices, corn chips, cilantro sprigs Directions: Place sheephead in …Read More »

  • What to Do With Your Image Files After Your Dive

    What to Do With Your Image Files After Your Dive

    Underwater photography involves a lot more than just making a dive and tripping the shutter. In last month’s issue I delved into the things you need to do before you dive to be sure your camera system is set up properly and functions as you expect it to. This month I am going to discuss some best practices for dealing …Read More »

  • Marine Life: Bad-Ass ‘Branchs: The Mighty Aeolids

    In researching last month’s article on dorids, I finally got around to sorting my more than 370 photos of nudibranchs according to their classifications. I also looked for images for that article (on Doridacea) and this one (on Aeolidacea). The majority of nudibranchs are dorids and when the sorting was complete, that was overwhelmingly evident. I had loads of dorid …Read More »

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