Recent Articles

  • Interacting with Sharks, Part 2

    In part two we’ll look at how to properly interact with nearshore sharks— sharks divers are more likely to encounter during a casual kelp forest dive. LEOPARD SHARKS Leopard sharks are the most exciting of the nearshore sharks. While a bottom feeder, they have classic shark shape with a wonderful pattern of spots across their back. Furthermore, they can get …Read More »

  • Film – Good-bye, Old Friend

    No doubt, by now you’ve heard all the ballyhoo about digital cameras. The wonders, the ease, the enjoyment. After shooting the same film camera systems for over 20 years, I finally switched to digital. While I love my new puppy, my old dog is dying, and I am really going to miss him. Film was something very tangible, images that …Read More »

  • AquaTec T-Rex Knife

    When smart designers combine functionality with style, a strange thing happens—functionality seems to double. It’s true with cars, computers (I love the Mac), fins, and more. Perhaps it’s because when the design team wants to make a product look as good as it functions, they take every detail very seriously, including the maximizing of function. Such as the case with …Read More »

  • A Splattering of Barnacles

    One of the interesting trivialities that has infiltrated the English language is the wide assortment of words that refer to multiple groupings of animals and other things. Some of these—schools of fishes, flocks of birds, pods of whales, prides of lions—are well known, and we tend to take them for granted. Others, however—smack of jellyfishes, squadron of pelicans and rumpus …Read More »

  • Dancing with Sheep Crabs

    One of our more comical California underwater creatures is the Sheep Crab. It is closely related to the spider crabs you see in the marketplace or in restaurants but its shell is so thick that the sheep crab is not commercially desirable. Sheep crabs are frequently seen by divers and often very large specimens are observed—as much as 30 inches …Read More »

  • A More Realistic Look At the Buddy System

    MORE THAN THE USUAL REASONS FOR THE BUDDY SYSTEM While solo diving is okay in very specific, shallow, and easy situations by highly experienced and trained divers using specific equipment, diving with a good buddy is always the preferred way to dive. But not just for safety. You will almost assuredly get more enjoyment out of a dive with a …Read More »

  • 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 »

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