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Exciting Diving Off Anacapa: Celebrating Eel Encounters

“Blub, blub — oooe‚ — ooooooh, glub!” With the excellent visibility, it was easy to see my dive buddy wildly waving her arms in an excited attempt to get my attention. I’ve seen this many times, and even from afar I can tell it means “excitement” rather than “distress.” I really appreciate when another diver wants to show me something underwater, so I quickly made my way over to her. As I searched the area, looking into a small crevice I noticed what she was […]

Shell Games: The Curious Habits of Hermit Crabs

While riding an Amtrak train along the coast just south of Santa Barbara I had an epiphany. It was sparked by the neatly parked RVs on the two-lane road along the shore below the train tracks. Are you ready? Here it is: Hermit crabs are the RVers of the crab world. Of course, human RVers can live independently of their vehicles while hermit crabs require a sea shell home for protection because only their heads, part of their carapace and the first three pairs of […]

Exploring a Not-So-Barren Landscape: The Sand Biome

Some divers swim over patches of sand in California as if they are trying to escape from something. The faster they go, the better. I understand the magnetic appeal of the adjacent kelp forest and rocky reef communities, but experience has taught me to appreciate, rather than avoid, the sand biome. At first glance, some sandy areas appear to be vast wastelands of nothing but sand. But I invite you to look again. I have learned that if I slow down and take a good, […]

Alien Creatures Of The Deep

As we head out of San Diego’s Mission Bay on a bright and sunny day, it’s the ocean conditions that will determine the dive site today. If conditions aren’t just right it will mean a kelp forest or wreck dive. There’s nothing wrong with that, but what we are hoping for is a dive experience that is quite a bit different, an open ocean dive! What we’re looking for way out in the “Big Blue,” isn’t fish or mammals, but pelagic invertebrates. Conditions are looking […]

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