scuba

Recipe: Seared Halibut

Halibut is a favorite of many seafood lovers because of its mild flavor. The meat has a firm, large flake. I suggest pan searing halibut rather than grilling it. If you decide to grill it, remove filets from the grill when still slightly undercooked and cover with foil for several minutes before serving; the retained heat will allow the fish to finish cooking while keeping it moist and tender. One of my favorite go-to sauces is a fresh sage chiffonade with brown butter and toasted […]

Soft Bodies, Striking Beauty: Uncommon Opisthobranchs

Some of the prettiest creatures in the sea belong to the phylum Mollusca, most specifically the subclass Opisthobranchia, which includes sea slugs, sea butterflies, sea angels and sea hares, along with sacoglossans. Though they may have shells when they are embryos, most have lost them by the time they are adults. Never heard of sea butterflies or sea angels or know what sacoglossans are? Me, either! So pardon a short digression. While you may be envisioning ethereal creatures, sea angels and sea butterflies don’t look […]

Getting Certified Is Just The Beginning

Recently, along with thousands of other certified scuba divers and people who are curious about our sport, I attended SCUBA Show 2013 in Long Beach, California. My role was to help represent California Diving News in our booth and give a seminar about diving with big animals. In addition, on Saturday evening I had the privilege and honor of presenting the well-deserved 2013 California Scuba Service award to Dr. Sam Miller III, a longtime contributor to our community in so many ways. While those activities […]

California Dreaming

Summertime is here! That means a lot more Californians will be getting scuba certified and there will be a significant uptick in the number of out-of-state divers that visit California to take advantage of what our local diving has to offer. This increase in diving activity gives me an ideal opportunity to welcome all a lot of new divers to the California diving scene and first time diving visitors to our Pacific Ocean backyard.  I’d also like to provide a brief overview of some things […]

Very Large, Indeed: In Praise of Giant Kelp

Taxonomists got it right when they assigned giant kelp its Latin name, Macrocystis pyrifera. It is indeed very large in scale, scope and capability. We are lucky, you and I, that giant kelp — the largest kelp in the world — grows off our coast. With sunlight sparkling down through the canopy, swimming through a kelp forest can be summed up as an awesome, magical underwater experience. Giant kelp is a type of brown algae (yes, algae) that can grow up to 24 inches a […]

The Chemistry of a Dive Show

I don’t think that many of us pay attention to how we arrive at our opinions, but they’re often built on first impressions. Having been in the scuba business for quite a while I’ve attended many dive shows. I usually attend to be around the industry and catch up with friends, so my perception of consumer shows is more from observing them than from interacting.  And as it turns out, my perception of dive shows for all of these years has missed the point. In […]

Dive Gear: Time for Spring Cleaning

By the time this issue of California Diving News reaches your dive center, we’ll be well into springtime, a time of renewal. Days lengthen, temperatures climb and spirits soar. Even long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans will be bursting forth with tiny new buds of optimism. For a lot of divers, spring is the time when gear that hasn’t been used in a while gets hauled out of storage, and upcoming dives get planned. It’s easy to think that nothing happened to your gear while it sat […]

Rocks, Rainbows, Scorpions: A Playful Look at the Scorpaenidae Family

Paper covers rock. Scissors cut paper. Rock dulls scissors. You know the game, right? In the California fish version, called “Rocks, Rainbows, Scorpions” the rainbow scorpionfish beats its California scorpionfish cousin, but the rockfish beats ’em both with its “magnificence.” Read on to learn why — and to decide if you agree with the rules of this made-up game. The Scorpaenidae family is represented by no less than 56 genera and 421 species, 85 of which can be found off the Pacific Coast. The latter […]

An Invitation to Share

As an underwater photographer, I’m always pleased to see my photos appear in print, but I’m even delighted to share my passion and my imagery with a real-live audience. It doesn’t matter to me whether I’m in a large auditorium with a rockin’ audio and sound system, or projecting a few photos on the wall of a pizza parlor during a dive club meeting — it’s the sharing that counts. I like getting feedback from fellow divers and sharing tips with other photographers. I bet […]

Looking Back, Moving Ahead

Ask anyone who’s been diving for decades and you’ll undoubtedly hear a common chorus —  diving has changed a lot. Clearly, our sport has become safer. We have much greater access to dive sites all over the world as well as here in California. We enjoy the option of live-aboard diving and visiting faraway resorts at destinations around the globe. Our equipment is lighter, more comfortable, more durable, and far more efficient.  In diving’s early days our sport was about as male-dominated as the starting […]

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