Recent Articles

  • Why Go There? What to Expect from the Scuba Show

    Why Go There? What to Expect from the Scuba Show

    You’ve heard the old saying, “birds of a feather flock together,” right? I’m not sure how to correctly describe a gathering of scuba divers — a school? A herd? A pack? For the purposes of this article, we’ll call them a show of scuba divers. As in, the Scuba Show. Why?  Well, the word “show” fits in this instance, because …Read More »

  • A Little Burst of Sunshine: Enjoying Yellow Dorids

    A Little Burst of Sunshine: Enjoying Yellow Dorids

    Writing articles for this column motivated me to sort my thousands of California marine life images into specific folders such as bryozoans, hydrocorals, crabs, fish, nudibranchs, etc. Nudibranchs are further separated into aeolid and dorid folders — including 40-plus “yellow dorids.”  In the beginning, all of my yellow dorids looked alike to me. However, as time went on, I became …Read More »

  • The Difference is Diving

    The Difference is Diving

    Over the years I have attended hundreds of trade and consumer shows. I know because I have a collection of show credentials “badges” in my basement, hanging from lanyards. I’m not nostalgic and have never taken time to go through them, but the badges represent different industries, and different parts of a business life that at some point might be …Read More »

  • Awesome Nature: Predator Versus Prey

    There comes a time in the evolution of a diver, and particularly underwater photographers, when we graduate from reef scenics and little macro creatures and set our sights on more exciting subjects — that is to say big subjects. While there are many places in the world where divers may safely interact with large animals, the Revillagigedo Archipelago off Mexico’s …Read More »

  • Shell Games: Classifying SoCal Gastropods

    Shell Games: Classifying SoCal Gastropods

    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 »

  • I’m Certain

    I’m Certain

    In this issue longtime contributor Bruce Watkins shares his experience of living a diver’s dream of swimming with a humpback whale mother and calf off the island pinnacle of Roca Partida in Mexico’s Revillagigedo archipelago. Only a day later Bruce and his dive buddies witnessed the violence and reality of nature in its raw, wild state. It is a good …Read More »

  • Not Your Average Anemones: Examining Unusual Species

    Not Your Average Anemones: Examining Unusual Species

    We’ve discussed cnidarians in this column several times and will likely do so many more. There are about 10,000 species in this phylum and since most of them live in the ocean, divers encounter them all the time. Many are photogenic, which is why my files are full of their images. The two forms of cnidarians, polyps and medusae, are, …Read More »

  • Uribe 121 Sinking April 25 Off Baja California

    A date has been set for sinking the first underwater park attraction off Baja California. April 25 is the date planned to sink Uribe 121, an old Mexican Navy battleship in The Rosarito Underwater Park, or Parque Sumarino Rosarito.   The area in northwest Mexico is about 40 miles from San Diego. The decommissioned Uribe-class patrol boat, Uribe 121, has been …Read More »

  • Cold Water? Lucky Us!

    Cold Water? Lucky Us!

    A couple of days ago I was talking to a couple of my diving buddies at a local club meeting, and they were excitedly telling me about their upcoming trips to tropical destinations. As often seems to happen in discussions of that nature the gathering crowd began to explain to each other how easy it is to dive in warm …Read More »

  • The Mysteries of Marine Algae, Part Two

    The Mysteries of Marine Algae, Part Two

    Last month’s article pointed out that algae are classified as red, brown or green based on the color of their photosynthetic pigments and their evolutionary lineage. They all have chlorophyll a but only green algae look green. Other pigments mask green chlorophyll a in brown and red algae. In this article you will learn that basing an ID on the …Read More »

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