ocean

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 out at the store involves deciding on the spot if you wish to donate to this or that cause by adding an amount above the […]

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 to local diving, our late fall and early winter water often serves up our best conditions. And this year has been exceptional! We have enjoyed […]

Spiny Skinned and Symmetrical: California’ s Sea Urchins

My introduction to sea urchins — on my first scuba dive — was a learning experience. I learned how easily their sharp, brittle spines pierce human skin. Most importantly, I learned to avoid contact with sea urchins, which is easy because the animals are sedentary, slow moving and not aggressive. Sea urchins are classified as Echinodermata, which means “spiny skinned”. The 6,000-member phylum also includes sea stars, brittle stars, sea lilies and sea cucumbers.  Five is a magic number when it comes to echinoid body […]

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