Recent Articles

  • Rocky Coast Entries

    Rocky Coast Entries

    Most divers face the choice—beach or boat? While we would normally prefer to dive from a boat, this option is not always possible or practical. While sandy beach dives are often easy and accessible, many divers do not think fondly of them. They often require a long swim to an interesting reef, and—that sand—it gets everywhere. There is an alternative …Read More »

  • Pay Attention at Dive Briefings

    A few month’s ago something happened on a dive charter boat that I cannot seem to shake. I was by myself but had picked up a buddy onboard. It turned out to be a good day of diving, but what bothered me was those divers during the dive briefing simply did not pay attention. When I expressed my irritation to …Read More »

  • Scythe Butterflyfish Not A ‘Tropical’ Species

    I enjoyed Ken Kurtis’ recent article on Crane Point at the Empire Landing Quarry. This area of Catalina is one of my favorite local dive sites. As Ken mentioned, one of the highlights of this site is the scythe butterflyfish. They’ve been seen in Catalina waters for decades, and as Ken said, most likely dispersed from their usual tropical distribution …Read More »

  • Better Air Consumption

    Better Air Consumption

    Who would not want more dive time? In general, that simply translates to better air consumption. The slower you consume your breathing gas, the longer your dive. Let’s look at some ways to slow down your breathing gas consumption and thus prolong your dive times. STREAMLINE YOUR GEAR: All loose and bulky gear will create water resistance as you move …Read More »

  • APS Mantaray Fin Review

    APS Mantaray Fin Review

    Taking the APS Mantaray fins out of the box I was first struck by their length — shorter than most fins. Comparing them to my usual and much loved Force Fin Extra Force, they were actually about the same length. Compared to my wife’s Atomic split-fins, however, they were a good six inches shorter. Does the length of the blade …Read More »

  • Diving in Currents

    Diving in Currents

    While most divers like to dive in placid waters, there comes a time when it is desirable and pleasurable to dive in a current. So why deal with a current at all? Why not exclusively dive calm sites? Water-borne nutrients support all marine life, and currents bring the nutrients to the reef. Simply put, sites with consistent or at least …Read More »

  • The Rules Apply to Everybody

    On a recent trip to Cocos, my computer failed on the fourth dive of the trip (first dive of the second day). As I fired it up in the dive dinghy right before we left the mother ship, the screen lit up and then dimmed, went through its countdown procedure, beeped, showed a low-battery warning—and then went blank. Reactivating it …Read More »

  • Better Fish Portraiture

    Better Fish Portraiture

    Underwater photography can be a challenging adventure. You must keep the inside of your camera dry, deal with low light levels, and visibility that is measured in feet instead of miles. Not to mention that the sea is always in motion, making it difficult to compose even stationary subjects. And then there are those subjects that swim. Yes, fish portraiture …Read More »

  • How to Photograph Kelp Critters

    How to Photograph Kelp Critters

    If I were a poet I would surely pen an “Ode to Kelp.” California diving is both unique and fascinating due to our large beds of giant kelp. Kelp attracts, shelters and feeds much of California’s reef life. Many divers think of kelp that is something to be avoided, a barrier you must pass through to get to the reef …Read More »

  • Practical Night Diving

    Practical Night Diving

    We’ve all heard the excuse many times. It’s too cold, too late, or too close to dinner. Seems a lot of divers talk about a night dive, but when it comes time for the neoprene to meet the skin, many bow out. This is often their loss since night dives can be some of the most unusual and beautiful dives …Read More »

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