Catalina Dive Sites: Two Harbors
The diving at Catalina Island is some of the best in Southern California--even when it's not so great, like it was last weekend. I did four dives over two days, and found Catalina has been suffering from the same low-visibility problems as San Diego. I still had a great time! The Catalina dive sites I visited were Ship Rock, Eagle Reef, Rock Quarry, and Isthmus Reef.
Catalina has some beautiful and healthy kelp forests, and the water was blue at Ship Rock, if a bit on the murky side.
On the rocky reef, we saw some shy garabaldi...
... And some aggressive ones!
Eagle Reef was one of my favorite sites this trip. There was just so much to see, like this Hermissenda crassicornis nudibranch:
We also saw so many adult horn sharks that I lost count after a while!
At Rock Quarry, the usual bottom-dwellers were out, like this rockfish:
Rock Quarry was also home to the biggest sea hares I've ever seen. The sea hares at La Jolla Shores are generally about 6" long. These were actually rabbit-sized!
On the final dive at Isthmus Reef, we came across a den of California spiny lobster. If you look closely, you can even see one sitting upside down on the wall (to the left). Check out its glowing eyes!
I also saw this warty sea cucumber pretending to be a bridge.
As we were wrapping up the final dive in the shallows at Isthmus Reef, a few sheephead buzzed by.
We stayed at Two Harbors, which was a beautiful and sleepy small-town alternative to Avalon.
I love Catalina and can't wait to return!