Recent Articles

  • MLPA – What We Are Doing Wrong

    Many of us, as active divers, consider ourselves to be the people who most know* what’s really going on out there in the ocean—how things are going, whether there are any fish left, etc. We see it firsthand. (*Except for marine ecologists, of course!) Yet, for all of the certified divers in the United States, we’re remarkably disorganized—particularly in the …Read More »

  • California’s Purples

    Along the coast of California, there is a group of snails, members of the Subfamily Thaidinae, with a variety of names. Sometimes they are called “rock snails.” Others refer to them as “dogwinkles.” But some shell guide books will call them “purples.” If one opts for the latter term, then there is the Channeled Purple (Nucella canaliculate), which has a …Read More »

  • How to Photograph Blue-Banded Gobies

    California underwater photographers are always looking for bright colors to shoot against the muted greens, blues, grays, and browns of the reef and water. The striking contrasts make for excellent images. In Southern California waters one of the most brightly colored fish is the blue-banded goby (sometimes called the Catalina goby because it is so prolific at Catalina Island). These …Read More »

  • The Eyes Have It

    You are walking down the street and you cannot help but notice the very attractive member of the opposite sex walking toward you. Enjoying beauty for beauty sake, you try not to stare, then you lock eyes. What a rush! A husband and wife find themselves lost in a dark alley. A dirty beggar asks for change and the nervous …Read More »

  • Aquatec Air-3 Combo Power Inflator

    Streamlining underwater for the diver is always desirable. Movement through the water is easier. Management of equipment is also simplified. As California divers, however, streamlining is not just something to do to make diving easier, it is a necessity. Every extra gauge, hose, console, inflator, or regulator, hanging from our bodies underwater is a potential snag point in the thick …Read More »

  • Hagfishes – Repulsively Fascinating

    “The most repulsive creature around!” Such is the typical reaction of people when they first encounter a hagfish. But, really, such an extremely negative opinion is not at all justified. Not only are there plenty of other repulsive animals to choose from (how about, for example, a blood-bloated tick?), but hagfishes actually have many redeeming and fascinating features. Nevertheless, it …Read More »

  • The Secret Lives of Lobster

    The key to the successful hunt of an animal is a solid understanding of the habits, quirks and behavior of your particular quarry. With lobster season starting soon, the focus for underwater seafood hunters will shift to these crustaceans that avid stalkers call “bugs.” Here are some facts (and some observations that may not be “facts,” per se) to help …Read More »

  • Divemasters and Lifeguards: Diving Police?

    We all know they are there for our safety, but sometimes it appears as if the goals of divemasters and lifeguards is to take the fun out of diving. “Dive here, not there; stay with your buddy or else; come back with 500 p.s.i. or else.” They poke and twist your dive gear, ask a lot of questions, and want …Read More »

  • Effective Dual-Strobe Lighting Techniques For Macro Photography

    There’s a well-known saying, “Photographers are artists who paint with light.” Effective lighting techniques for photographing people work the same in underwater nature photography. Highlights and shadows show the contours, character and textures of an animal. Sharply angled lighting can create a tactile effect — make it so you can almost feel the animal’s skin. I’m a big fan of …Read More »

  • Lobster Scouting Report: West Palos Verdes

    Gaining much of my diving experience as a young man around the west side of Palos Verdes (PV), I never seemed to lack lobster in my freezer during the fall and winter. Along this stretch of coast, sheer cliffs with sections over 100 feet high plunge to the waters below. Rocky reefs and thick kelp extend offshore. There are pinnacles, …Read More »

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