Tagged: california

The Ruby E: One of San Diego’s Most Richly Historied Shipwrecks

The Ruby E, one of San Diego’s premiere wrecks for divers, has a rich and colorful history. Although initially commissioned to intercept Prohibition-Era alcohol shipments on behalf of the United States Coast Guard, she also assisted in Bering Sea patrols, thwarted Japanese task forces in the Aleutian Islands during WWII, and worked as a commercial fish processing boat in Central America. She now rests in 85′ of water outside of Mission Bay.

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USS Hogan wreck

Diving the Hogan Wreck

USS Hogan was a Wickes-class destroyer commissioned in 1919. During WWII, she served as a minesweeper and coastal convoy ship. In November of 1945, she was used as a target ship for firing tests and sank. Located south of the Point Loma peninsula on the US-Mexican border, the Hogan wreck rests just far enough from the []

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Sarcastic Fringehead

Diving at La Jolla Shores is like Going to the Zoo…

… In that I always seem to end up seeing one of everything. Seriously, head down there with a creature checklist and cross it off, and then ascend when you’ve seen it all. WOW, what an amazing night dive at La Jolla Shores. We went in at 8pm and dropped into about 15 feet of []

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Melibe leonina nudibranch

Melibe leonina nudibranchs are weird and awesome

Nudibranchs never cease to amaze me. Just when I think I’ve had enough nudibranchs for, like, ever, a new one I’ve never seen before comes along and voilà, instant nudibranch love affair all over again. I’d seen the Melibe leonina nudibranch in photos but never in the flesh (in the slime?). Then we went for a shore []

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Diving the Palawan Wreck

Palawan, formerly a Liberty Ship, is an artificial reef off Huntington Beach, California.   What is a Liberty Ship? Liberty Ships were WWII-era cargo carriers designed to be built cheaply and quickly, and were mass-produced by the thousands in the later years of the war. These steel-hulled ships were 441 feet long and 56 feet []

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Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber

Chamber Day 2013 and Catalina Kelp Diving

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013, marked the 25th annual Chamber Day on Catalina. The event benefits Catalina’s hyperbaric chamber, the only hyperbaric chamber in Southern California that is exclusively dedicated to the treatment of diving accidents. The Chamber, which is staffed 24/7/365 by volunteers, derives over half of its annual budget from Chamber Day proceeds. We []

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Acanthodoris rhodoceras nudibranch

New-dibranch: Acanthodoris rhodoceras

I love finding new critters I’ve never seen before. Sunday, Mat spotted this adorable tiny nudibranch in about 100 feet of water. We were diving off the Pacific Star near Blue Cavern on Catalina Island. It was a brave little thing, too; when I crash-landed into the sand next to it (oops), it retracted its little []

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Metridium (white plumose anemone) on the Eureka oil rig

13 More Photos from Diving the Oil Rigs and the Wreck of the Olympic

Another dive trip to the oil rigs off Long Beach came and went recently, with the typical trifecta of sites: the wreck of the Olympic, the Eureka rig, and the Ellen-Elly twin rigs. The swell prediction leading up to the trip was not encouraging, and surface conditions the day of the trip did not bring []

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Spanish Shawl nudibranch

A Sojourn with the Shawls

So I was having some issues with my strobe connection, which made my lighting situation pretty much suck, especially when it was called upon to light anything farther than 0.000000001 cm away. Incidentally, there aren’t a whole hell of a lot of sea creatures who tolerate that kind of proximity to us noisy bubble-blowers. So I opted for my old standby, the nudibranch, which either doesn’t care or can’t get away or both. And Spanish Shawls were all over the rocks. Awesome!

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Rebreather divers at the wreck of the Infidel

Tech Diving Catalina Island and the California Oil Rigs

Southern California Tech Diving with Ocean Research Group This past weekend, I attended my first Ocean Research Group technical dive trip on the Sand Dollar out to Catalina Island, California.  As a fledgling SoCal tech diver, it was pretty cool to do some “big kid” deep dives under the guidance of experienced divers and instructors. I’m also []

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Baby Pandas are Adorable Fuzzy Lumps of Boring

Today was giant panda cub Xiao Liwu’s public debut at the San Diego Zoo. Xiao Liwu, whose name means “Little Gift,” was moved to his outdoor habitat yesterday, where he did all kinds of adorable baby animal stuff for the media. Now, I’m no expert, but my understanding of pandas is that they do three []

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Why I Dive: Sea Lion Edition

People ask me all the time why I dive here in California. Maybe they’ve gone for a dive or a snorkel in Hawaii or the Caribbean, and they know the water here is so much colder and darker and less clear. I’ve lost count of how many times they’ve asked, incredulously, “Is there anything to []

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I don’t always solo dive, but when I do, I’m liable to spend eight minutes at three feet with a kelp crab.

On Saturday I got out for a much-needed fun dive in the Point Loma kelp. It felt like I hadn’t been in the water in a while, and it showed in my more-moronic-than-usual navigational skills. Mat and Nick were doing training dives for their rEvo rebreather class, and my initial intention was to watch them []

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Point Loma Sailboat Wreck Debris Cleanup

Update 2/2014: Although swells have long since reduced the Chelsea Lee wreck to a debris field, the rocky reef structure at the wreck site remains a favorite destination for divers due to its dramatic wall topography and rich marine life.   Cleanup of the Chelsea Lee Sailboat Wreck Yesterday, Marissa crew and friends went out to []

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Leopard Shark at Marine Room, La Jolla, California

Snorkeling with Leopard Sharks at the Marine Room!

Yeah, I usually dive. But it was a sunny day, and the shallow water was clear. And who wants to put on a drysuit and carry all that heavy scuba equipment across the beach in the hot sun? Not me, not yesterday. But the leopard sharks have moved in at La Jolla. And I had []

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Black Sea Nettle in Point Loma kelp beds, San Diego, California

Operation: Black Sea Nettle is a success!

One of my (many) favorite things about scuba diving in San Diego is the constant turnover of animal populations. I’ve lived and dove here for less than a year, and already I’ve been witness to the market squid run and the bat ray invasion. I was there when the juvenile rockfish moved in at La Jolla Shores, []

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Photo of scuba diving Marine Street Beach - kelp

Lobster Diving La Jolla’s Marine Street Beach, California

Tuesday evening I met up with the Power Scuba folks for a recon shore dive at Marine Street Beach in La Jolla. Someone got the fine idea that this site might be a good spot for lobster diving when the season opens in the winter, so we went down to check it out. It was []

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Garabaldi and kelp at La Jolla Cove

Diving La Jolla Cove

When I mention it, local divers are always shocked to hear I’ve never been to La Jolla Cove. NO LONGER! On Tuesday, Tedd and I set out to rectify the never-dove-the-Cove situation once and for all. Surface conditions were beautiful, with gentle 1-2-foot waves, plentiful sunshine, and no wind. We waded in and swam out []

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Metridium on HMCS Yukon

Diving San Diego’s Wreck Alley and Kelp Forest

I spent Memorial Day diving with my friends at San Diego dive boat Marissa Charters in Wreck Alley and the Point Loma kelp beds. It’s always nice to be out on the boat, but Monday was amazing! We had great weather topside and pretty good visibility out on our dives!   HMCS Yukon HMCS Yukon is a []

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Sarcastic Fringehead

Making my way back to Shores-cago

Okay, that was terrible. I’m sorry. Last night was my second night back in the cold, dark waters of sunny San Diego since our return from Belize. (I have so many photos from that trip that I’m intimidated by them. Eventually they’ll get sorted and posted. Promise!) Monday night, I joined the crew of the []

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Salp chain

An Uncommon Dive at La Jolla Shores

Friday morning, I went for one last cold-water dive at La Jolla before heading out of town for the Long Beach Scuba Show and our anniversary trip to Belize. With the possible exception of last year’s squid run, this was one of the most different and interesting La Jolla Shores dives I’ve ever done. In []

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Kelp at Two Harbors, Catalina

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 []

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Tube anemone at La Jolla Shores

Diving La Jolla Shores, San Diego: The Usual Suspects

I have a confession to make: It’s been weeks since my last time diving La Jolla Shores. Conditions have been less than wonderful and life has gotten in the way. This morning, a friend and I finally got back in the water (in honor of his birthday!) and had a great time. It sounds silly, []

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Casa de Balboa archways at Balboa Park, San Diego, California

Balboa Park: El Prado, San Diego, CA

This weekend, I visited Balboa Park in San Diego, California for the first time. Wow-what a cool spot! I can’t wait to go back and spend more time there. I spent most of my morning in the park’s El Prado area. Balboa Park Balboa Park is a 1200-acre green space in San Diego, CA. Named for the []

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San Diego Nudibranchs: Hermissenda crassicornis

When the visibility gets tough, the tough find nudibranchs

San Diego Nudibranchs A swell that has been plaguing the San Diego coastline with rough surf (seemingly forever…) finally subsided late last week, just in time for our scheduled Easter Sunday boat dive. Visibility was severely compromised, though, as a result of the extended period of rough ocean conditions. The water was green and murky… []

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Peltodoris nobilis - sea lemon (noble dorid)

Nudibranchs: The Sea Lemon

Anisodoris nobilis, or the noble dorid nudibranch, is also known as the sea lemon. This name is not only attributable to its yellow color, but apparently also to a citrusy smell it can give off when it is handled. Unlike many tinier nudibranchs, the sea lemon can reach up to around five inches in length. []

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Spanish Shawl Nudibranch in Point Loma Kelp Beds, San Diego

Nudibranchs: Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

After more than a month out of the water, and two months out of the cold California water, I finally got to go diving again! We spent the weekend on the Horizon dive boat diving San Clemente Island and the kelp beds of Point Loma, San Diego. I saw lots of sea lions and a []

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Market Squid Run in La Jolla, CA

San Diego, California: The Running of the Squid

2011’s market squid run was one of the most incredible phenomena I have ever experienced while diving. Every year, tens of thousands of these foot-long squid congregate to mate, lay eggs, and die. The water was thick with San Diego squid–visibility was limited not by particulate in the water column, but by the density of []

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Angel Shark

California Diving: Sharks and Rays

We’re headed back to San Diego in just a few short, hectic days. There are friends to see and things to pack, and of course there is cleaning to do… and whereas I miss our Killington friends dearly when we are away, I can’t wait to get back in the water. Going through old photos []

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Diving the California Oil Rigs, Part 3

(See Diving the California Oil Rigs, Part 1 and Diving the California Oil Rigs, Part 2) Above is a male sheephead, a common game fish in California, and below are a pair of females. Fun fact: all sheephead are born female, and eventually change to males later in life.   Here’s a Lingcod:   A scorpionfish: []

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