Recent Articles

  • A Perennial Favorite: Returning to Eric’s Pinnacles

    A Perennial Favorite: Returning to Eric’s Pinnacles

    I enjoy the excitement of being the first diver on a new site. However, not every unexplored site offers a great dive, and sometimes you have to pick through the rock pile before you find the true gems. I also enjoy diving my favorite sites year after year to visit with old friends, witness any changes and embrace the predictability …Read More »

  • Think Big

    Think Big

    For this month’s issue I wrote and provided photographs for a feature story about the natural history of humpback whales. When writing the article, I couldn’t help but think that it might come as a surprise to some readers to find an article about humpback whales in California Diving News because humpbacks are not commonly encountered in our waters. But …Read More »

  • Mega Magic: The Magnificent Humpback Whales

    Mega Magic: The Magnificent Humpback Whales

    Humpback whales commonly grow to a length of close to 50 feet, and by the time they are adults, they weigh roughly one ton per foot of body length. Yet with as few as three beats of its tail an adult humpback is able to launch itself almost completely out of the water in a behavior known as breaching. It …Read More »

  • SoCal Rock Star: The Treefish

    SoCal Rock Star: The Treefish

    Of the some 102 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 »

  • Kingdom, Phylum, Subphylum and So On: A Diver’s Tour of the Taxonomic System

    Kingdom, Phylum, Subphylum and So On: A Diver’s Tour of the Taxonomic System

    Imagine walking into an introductory biology class, and on day one your teacher presents you with specimens of one male, female and juvenile of every living species found in the world’s oceans. Next, your professor adds in all of the fossil evidence known to science. Your semester-long assignment: “Start sorting, make sense of it all, and create a system of …Read More »

  • The World Of  Fishes: A Primer for Divers

    The World Of  Fishes: A Primer for Divers

    Fish fanatics. That term is an apropos way to describe a lot of divers. Those of us that fit the description love the seemingly endless variety of shapes and colors found in fishes. We are fascinated by their antics and the ways some species blend into their environment while others standout. We get a charge out of learning about and …Read More »

  • Our Changing Oceans: California’s Marine Ecosystems in Flux

    Our Changing Oceans: California’s Marine Ecosystems in Flux

    Divers have a front row seat to witness the profound changes that occur in our ocean world. Back in March I wrote a little piece about the seasonal changes we all enjoy each time our planet takes a lap around the solar system. This issue is about the longer term, and perhaps, more persistent changes that are happening to our …Read More »

  • The Fascinating “Bunny Slug”: The California Brown Sea Hare 

    The Fascinating “Bunny Slug”: The California Brown Sea Hare 

    A member of the phylum Mollusca and class Gastropoda, the California brown sea hare is a cousin of both nudibranchs and octopuses. Like nudibranchs, brown sea hares are hermaphrodites. Like octopuses, they can produce ink. And, though some think they bear faint resemblance to a rabbit, they are actually very large sea slugs. Brown sea hares have a reticulated color …Read More »

  • Suit Yourself: What You Need to Know — Thermal Protection for California Diving

    Suit Yourself: What You Need to Know — Thermal Protection for California Diving

    The rich California coastline offers a bounty of marine life and a range of dive locations to suit every diver. We’ve got kelp beds, rocky reefs and wrecks. We’ve got offshore islands reachable only by boat, and we’ve got some spectacular shore diving, too. We can hunt and collect our dinner, or capture stunning images with a camera. In other …Read More »

  • It’s Just a Phase: California’s Quick-Change Artists

    It’s Just a Phase: California’s Quick-Change Artists

    Newborns of many species — horses, kittens and elephants for example — look like miniature versions of their parents, although they are universally a lot cuter. It is, of course, a great advantage to be cute as cuteness might help a mother bond to its young and lessen the odds of animal parents abandoning their young should they misbehave. Other …Read More »

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