kelp

Encounters with Pacific Electric Rays Can Be Shocking — But They Don’t Have to Be

Last August, a Pacific electric ray sought out the company of divers on more than one dive on Farnsworth Bank’s high spot. While this didn’t happen to me, it did to several people on my trip. They had photos and video of the ray hovering a few feet away from a diver in a relaxed and nonaggressive way.  While doing internet research in November, I found another report of a ray/diver encounter at Farnsworth that took place several months after my trip. This behavior is […]

Ode to the Garibaldi

The California State Fish is the Golden Trout. Its beauty is equivalent to its name.   As any avid trout fisherman will tell you, this game fish, living only in the high-altitudes of the Sierra Nevada, is a coveted quarry. But it is also unusual if not rare. Not so rare is the California State Marine Fish, the Garibaldi. In Southern California, it is unusual to NOT find one or more over rocky reefs and in kelp forests. They seem to be everywhere and usually […]

Chestnut Cowries

Some shells must be cleaned and polished to reveal their jewel-like qualities, while others are perfect gems just as they are found in the ocean. One of the most beautiful shells found in California is the chestnut cowry, and this shell needs no work to show off its inner beauty. Cowries, in general, and chestnut cowries, specifically, have such stunning beauty that they are both enjoyed by divers and prized by collectors. The chestnut cowry is found from Monterey to Isla Cedros, Baja California. They […]

Kelpfest — April 16

Kelpfest will be held on Saturday April 16, 2011 on Main Beach in Laguna Beach from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. The Festival was started in 2010 with an aim to “Celebrate Giant Kelp and culture an appreciation for this important ecosystem in the community.” Students from all over Orange County who are involved in the Orange County Ocean Restoration Project put on the event. For the last nine years, students have been growing the kelp in their classrooms to restore it along the coast. This year, […]

Safe Abalone Diving

Each spring Northern California divers look forward to the beginning of abalone season with the exuberance of children waiting for Santa Claus. With good reason since abalone are one of the tastiest shellfish that you will ever harvest in California and they are still very abundant. Although diving, in general, and abalone diving, specifically, are very safe activities, a small number of abalone divers seem to get hurt each year. The three biggest safety issues in abalone diving are big seas, kelp, and alcohol. Most […]

How to Photograph Gorgonian Sea Fans

In Southern California waters we are blessed with temperate waters that encourage the growth of gorgonian sea fans. While they grow in branches that reach out from the reef, they are actually not a plant but rather a tightly grouped colony of tiny simple animals knows as polyps. The animals are a member of the Phylum Cnidaria animal group that also consists of anemones, jellies and corals. Much like their cousins they are very simple animals that consist of not much more than tentacles, a […]

Better Fish Portraits

The first step to good fish portraits is finding the subject. Sand and rocky reefs attract different types of fish. Why not get the best of both worlds? Choose a spot where sand meets rock. A low ridge with some kelp is a good sign that there may be fish nearby. It is time to quit searching and allow the shot to find you.  Start with a smaller subject. Empty your BCD completely and take a position on the sand nearby. A black-eyed goby makes […]

Lions Invade La Jolla Shores

La Jolla Shores is well known to most San Diego divers. Many local divers received their scuba certification there, including myself. Some divers after being certified at “The Shores” swear they will never dive there again! Many comments from new divers are, “There’s nothing but sand!” Veteran “Shores” divers know better. There is a great deal of marine life in the area and all one needs to do most of the time is slow down and keep their eye’s peeled. This is not to say […]

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