Recent Articles

  • 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 »

  • A Pop of Color: Admiring California Hydrocoral

    A Pop of Color: Admiring California Hydrocoral

    Much prized by underwater photographers for its beautiful colors, California hydrocoral (Stylaster californicus) is one of the 350 species of hydroids in the Phylum Cnidaria. A close cousin of the fire corals found in tropical waters, it is not a true (stony) coral. Cnidaria (the “C” is silent) is not a small, insignificant phylum. It contains approximately 10,000 species, at …Read More »

  • In Maui Before Sunset: Enjoying the Ease and Excitement of a Hawaiian Adventure

    In Maui Before Sunset: Enjoying the Ease and Excitement of a Hawaiian Adventure

    We’re lucky to have some incredible diving right here in our own backyard, but even hardcore California divers get a bit of underwater wanderlust from time to time. The thing is, we’re a little spoiled. When we’re planning local dive trips we don’t have to carry a passport and wait in line to clear immigrations and customs. We don’t have …Read More »

  • The Jewel of Emerald Bay: Indian Rock

    The Jewel of Emerald Bay: Indian Rock

    My buddy and I became separated. We could not see each other. Although the water clarity was upward of 50 feet, and we were about 20 feet off the bottom, and only 20 feet apart we were blinded simply by the engulfing mass of silver life that surrounded us. I even had trouble telling which way was up! The school …Read More »

  • The Perfect “Camp and Dive” Site: Ocean Cove

    The Perfect “Camp and Dive” Site: Ocean Cove

    Ocean Cove is well protected from the northwest wind and swell and provides access to some of Sonoma County’s best diving. A road runs from the campground to the beach, allowing easy access to the cove, and making this a very convenient place to launch inflatable boats and kayaks to explore areas further from the beach. The bottom of Ocean …Read More »

  • Gorgeous Gastropods: Admiring SoCal’s Colorful Seashells Shell Stats

    Gorgeous Gastropods: Admiring SoCal’s Colorful Seashells Shell Stats

    Intriguing shapes and gem-like colors distinguish the seashells shown here — but the vast majority of these fascinating marine creatures are much more cryptic. Many of them live in shells so covered with growth they are difficult to see, let alone identify. Seashells have been around for 500 million years. Many are collected, some are eaten, and some have been …Read More »

  • It’s Not Easy Being A Shark: A Different Look at Shark Attacks 

    It’s Not Easy Being A Shark: A Different Look at Shark Attacks 

    A familiar outline materialized before me as I finned along the sea floor. The pattern in the sand left little doubt that a large angel shark rested just beneath the surface. Since completely buried animals make lousy photographic subjects, I gently fanned the sand off my shy model. The large shark seemed not to be bothered, and even tolerated my strobe as …Read More »

  • “Nobody Here But Us Otters”: Scuba Solitude at Monterey’s Otter Cove

    “Nobody Here But Us Otters”: Scuba Solitude at Monterey’s Otter Cove

    Monterey County has an incredible variety of dive sites, and nearly every public access point offers up a great dive. However, some sites are often very crowed with beach lovers and divers, while equally good nearby sites go unnoticed. Otter Cove is one of those sites. Nearby Lovers Point is often chock-full of divers, while you may not find another …Read More »

  • Diving Anacapa’s “Coral Reef” 

    Diving Anacapa’s “Coral Reef” 

    When you think of coral reefs, chances are you think of underwater scenery featuring bright colors. Our waters are a bit too chilly to support actual coral reefs, but the colors here might just fool you into thinking you’re on an actual tropical reef. Anacapa’s Coral Reef dive site is covered with colorful invertebrate marine life. Patchwork clusters of tiny …Read More »

  • Picking Favorites: North Monastery Beach

    Picking Favorites: North Monastery Beach

    Last summer a clerk at one of my local dive shops engaged me in conservation. After exchanging a few pleasantries she asked, “What is your favorite beach dive?” This made me think a bit, since there are so many great beach dives in North/Central California. I really wanted to say, “Depends on conditions,” but held my tongue. After a bit …Read More »

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