Recent Articles

  • A Diver’s Guide to Charitable Giving

    A Diver’s Guide to Charitable Giving

    A New Year is here, and with it good intentions to do more to help support the causes that matter to divers. But do you know where your donated dollars are going, and how hard are they working for the cause? Nowadays, appeals and requests arrive year-round, with the pace picking up during the holiday season and year-end. Even checking …Read More »

  • The Mysteries of Marine Algae, Part One

    The Mysteries of Marine Algae, Part One

    Writing and taking photos for this column has been a journey of discovery and enlightenment. I’ve learned the common names of many marine creatures I encountered (most specifically in SoCal, where I have spent the most time) but didn’t delve into anything bordering on the scientific. I also photographed a lot of “stuff” I couldn’t identify. While looking for material …Read More »

  • The Everyday Diver: Living the Diving Life, Year-Round

    The Everyday Diver: Living the Diving Life, Year-Round

    In the language of the automobile collector, there’s a term called the “everyday driver.” It’s the nice-ish car that you drive to the grocery store or on your daily commute. Then there’s the “other” car — the expensive classic that sits idle for months at a time and only gets taken out on short excursions when the weather is perfect.  …Read More »

  • Same Ol’ New Things

    Same Ol’ New Things

    It’s the middle of fall as I sit down to type this piece. As a California diver who works in the sport diving industry this time of year typically means two things to me: right now is when we’re enjoying some of our best local diving conditions, and DEMA, the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association annual trade show.  With regard …Read More »

  • Admiring California Hydrocoral

    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 »

  • Unusual Marine Life Sightings In So Cal Waters

    Unusual Marine Life Sightings In So Cal Waters

    A group of fishermen off Catalina Island were treated to a rare surprise on Sunday, September 14, 2014 when a large shadowy figure surfaced near their fishing boat, the Triton. It turned out to be a whale shark, estimated to be about 25 feet in length. Whale sharks are the world’s largest fish and have been measured at more than …Read More »

  • That Thing We Do

    That Thing We Do

    Legend has it that the wonderful author and humorist who went by the pen name Mark Twain was once asked how much he might charge for a speech. His answer was something like “Nothing if there is no time limit, and $20 if I have to make all my points in five minutes or less.” As a public speaker, author …Read More »

  • Who You Calling Shrimp?

    Who You Calling Shrimp?

    Shrimp belong to the Phylum Arthropoda, which means jointed leg and includes 75 percent of all animals. They aren’t all aquatic. Spiders, scorpions, centipedes and millipedes are arthropods that live on land. Shrimp are members not only of the Subphylum Crustacea — which includes crabs, lobsters, barnacles, amphipods and isopods — but also of the Class Malacostraca.   This article …Read More »

  • The Thrill of the Hunt: A Diver’s Guide to Lobster

    The Thrill of the Hunt: A Diver’s Guide to Lobster

    Who says we don’t have seasons in California? We most certainly do! There is lobster season and everything else. We’ll keep this simple: California spiny lobsters (“bugs”) are very tasty. They’re also hard to find at local seafood specialty stores and restaurants — and are often outrageously expensive when you can find them. Finally, they are a lot of fun …Read More »

  • Camouflage and Courtship: The Colorful Lives of California Kelpfish

    Giant kelpfish tend to keep their distance. I have many images of them taken from several feet away as they pretend to be part of the scenery. Since they can change colors (red, lime green, yellow and brown) and patterns to match the kelp or algae in which they have chosen to lurk, as long as they remain stationary this …Read More »

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