Recent Articles

  • CA Marine Protected Areas Poster Now Available

    CA Marine Protected Areas Poster Now Available

    The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has completed a interpretive poster for the California Marine Protected Area (MPA) network. The 26- x 36-inch full-color poster provides an informal introduction to the network, and features satellite imagery as well as photos of marine animals and habitats protected within MPAs. The poster is designed to give the public a first introduction …Read More »

  • Sea Slug Courtship and Reproduction

    Sea Slug Courtship and Reproduction

    Except for having to dissect a frog, I enjoyed high school biology. As an adult, however, I have found marine biology even more fascinating. Reproduction specifically. I had no idea it could be so complicated under the sea. Take, for instance, nudibranch mating and egg laying. Over the years I have taken photos of a lot of things I could …Read More »

  • Exciting Diving Off Anacapa: Celebrating Eel Encounters

    Exciting Diving Off Anacapa: Celebrating Eel Encounters

    “Blub, blub — oooe‚ — ooooooh, glub!” With the excellent visibility, it was easy to see my dive buddy wildly waving her arms in an excited attempt to get my attention. I’ve seen this many times, and even from afar I can tell it means “excitement” rather than “distress.” I really appreciate when another diver wants to show me something …Read More »

  • 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 »

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