Recent Articles

  • Bat Rays

    Bat Rays

    One fine summer day years ago, a friend and I took a small boat to a shallow cove off Anacapa, hoping to photograph the large number of bat rays that had gathered there. To avoid spooking the rays, my friend advised me to “slither” into the water as silently as possible. He slipped in first and I followed.  Perhaps our …Read More »

  • Nudis and Branchers

    Nudis and Branchers

    Ever see pictures of a critter that seems to have evolved from that box where all the holiday decorations are stored? Chances are you’re looking at a nudibranch.  Nudibranchs (sometimes affectionately called “nudis”) are members of the opisthobranchs, also known as sea slugs. The name nudibranch literally means “naked gill.” Their body shape ranges from oval to long and tapered. …Read More »

  • An Old Divemaster’s Guide to Preventing Seasickness

    There’s an old sailor’s proverb that states, “The only cure for seasickness is to sit on the shady side of an old brick church in the country.” While this whimsical advice is entertaining, it does not get at the heart of how serious seasickness may be, and how to prevent it. As to the seriousness, I offer the following true …Read More »

  • Tell the Preservation Success Stories

    Tell the Preservation Success Stories

    While I think we should always be presented with the bad news so that we can act to reverse the negative, we must also accentuate the success stories, places where we have done right by nature.  In my nearly 40 years of diving I have seen the California seas do some pretty wild oscillations within marine life populations, unfortunately, many …Read More »

  • Thornback Rays

    I couldn’t believe my luck. I had just reached the bottom at 20 feet and was cruising toward the kelp forest in deeper water when I saw a prehistoric looking creature lounging on the sand. It was light brown, with a distinctive flat, heart shaped head and a long tail. There were three rows of spines on its back. The …Read More »

  • Sea and Sea DX2G Sport Package Review

    Sea and Sea DX2G Sport Package Review

    When I first switched to digital a few years back I had waited for SLR cameras to get to a minimum of 5 megapixels. They hit it and I bought a nice expensive SLR camera, wrapped it in an equally expensive housing and off I went underwater to shoot away. Needless to say, it was barely adequate but it did …Read More »

  • How To Be A Comfortable Diver

    How To Be A Comfortable Diver

    Learning to dive is a lot like learning to drive a car. A certification card, like a driver’s license, is a license to learn, rather than an end unto itself. Both of these activities require participants to multitask–maintaining buoyancy, watching depth, time, decompression limits, currents, etc.– and each is difficult to enjoy if you consciously keep track of everything. Like …Read More »

  • Encounters with Pacific Electric Rays Can Be Shocking — But They Don’t Have to Be

    Encounters with Pacific Electric Rays Can Be Shocking — But They Don’t Have to Be

    Last August, a Pacific electric ray sought out the company of divers on more than one dive on Farnsworth Bank’s high spot. While this didn’t happen to me, it did to several people on my trip. They had photos and video of the ray hovering a few feet away from a diver in a relaxed and nonaggressive way.  While doing …Read More »

  • Ode to the Garibaldi

    Ode to the Garibaldi

    The California State Fish is the Golden Trout. Its beauty is equivalent to its name.   As any avid trout fisherman will tell you, this game fish, living only in the high-altitudes of the Sierra Nevada, is a coveted quarry. But it is also unusual if not rare. Not so rare is the California State Marine Fish, the Garibaldi. In …Read More »

  • Solutions for Common Topside Problems

    Solutions for Common Topside Problems

    I am very blessed to have Dale as my dive buddy. He is great in the water and makes my diving so easy and seamless. He checks and double-checks all the dive gear packed and our in-water time is perfect.   However, topside is always my department. He does not check or double check what I bring. But while on …Read More »

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