Tagged: island

Giant manta ray at Revillagigedos Islands

I Got Pooped On By A Whale, And All I Saw Were These Lousy Manta Rays

It was hard to pinpoint where, exactly, the whales were, but I had a guess—and my guess was confirmed when we were suddenly doused with a brown cloud of whale poo.

I’ll let the reality of that sink in for a second.

Pooped on. By a whale.

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Decompress Like A Boss

If someone tells you that they like doing decompression, they’re either lying or they haven’t done enough of it to know better.

This is a rule.

I will concede one very notable exception to this rule, and that is decompression on walls or pinnacles. On walls or pinnacles, a diver can make his or her way up the reef, conducting—and actually enjoying—their deco stops during what amounts to a second recreational dive, without that pesky “getting out of the water and doing a surface interval” part.

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Atlantis Submarine in Oahu, Hawaii.

Photo of the Week: Atlantis Submarine

Ever feel like you’re being watched?

Of course you have; we all have.

Ever hear a strange whirring sound underwater, and think, “Oh, I’m just being watched by about 50 kids in a tourist submarine?”

No?

Me neither.

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Catalina Island, California: Red Octopus

When the Red Octopus Isn’t: Cephalopod Camouflage in Catalina

More camouflage today–this time from the cephalopods. Red octopus ran rampant at Catalina Island last weekend, scavenging on the discarded squid egg cases littering the seafloor. As they passed over kelp, seagrass, sand, rubble, and the egg cases in various shades of white and brown, their skin color and texture shifted to blend the animal into its surroundings.

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Feather star (crinoid) in Anilao, Philippines

Creepy crinoids and the camouflaged critters that colonize them

What stalks across the seafloor and ripples around the reef?

What looks like a plant, but then GRABS you when you swim past?

What has no brain, an anus next to its mouth, and a bunch of sticky arms that reach out and attach to you?

What’s beautiful and terrifying all at once? The crinoid.

What’s underwater and creepier than a crinoid? NOTHING.

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Anilao, Batangas, Philippines: Frogfish

Frogfish are basically sponges with mouths

How to find a frogfish? Look for sponges. Look at all the sponges. If a sponge looks like it has a mouth, it might be a frogfish. If it doesn’t look like it has a mouth, it might still be a frogfish. Maybe poke it. If it moves, your chances that it is a frogfish just went up.

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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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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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Curaçao: Claws, Jaws, and Cephalopods

Just some crustaceans, eels, and mollusks we encountered on our recent scuba diving trip to Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles: Banded coral shrimp…   The batwing coral crab…   The red reef hermit crab…   The white speckled hermit crab…   Banded clinging crabs… which I think are just ADORABLE…   Spotted cleaner shrimp…   The perennially-grumpy []

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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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Healthy Fiji coral reef

Scuba Diving Fiji’s Viti Levu!

Fiji is home to some of the world’s best dive sites. When the currents pick up, the soft corals “bloom” into a breathtakingly colorful display, earning the islands the title of “the soft coral capital of the world.” A direct flight away from Los Angeles, Viti Levu, the biggest Fijian island, is one of the easiest Pacific islands to get to from the United States.

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Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, San Juan, Puerto Rico

This day in 2011: El Morro, San Juan, Puerto Rico

A year ago today, five of my best girlfriends accompanied me to San Juan, Puerto Rico for my bachelorette party. Our weekend of food and drink and sunshine was briefly punctuated by an educational trip to the El Morro fort. Its full name is a mouthful–Castillo de San Felipe del Morro–so you can see why []

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Stuart Cove's Dive Hut

Nassau, Bahamas: Beaches, Boats, and Brews

Everything seems brighter in the tropics. I chose to process most of these in HDR because I really liked how it brought out the bright, saturated colors of the islands. First, a few from Stuart Cove’s, the dive center where we spent most of our vacation:   These bait boxes go underwater with the shark []

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Diving Nassau, Bahamas: David Tucker Wreck and the Hollywood Bowl

  Our last dive day in Nassau brought sunny, tropical weather once again. However, the ocean had not yet recovered from the storm, and strong currents, coupled with compromised visibility, made diving a little bit difficult. The David Tucker was donated by the Royal Bahamas Defense Force to become an artificial reef. It sits in []

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Diving Nassau, Bahamas: Shark Diving

My favorite dive from our entire trip was the Caribbean reef shark feed. It was the perfect Valentine’s Day gift from my husband! We dove with Stuart Cove’s, a dive operator known both for Bahamas shark diving and the underwater production of many major Hollywood films, such as Flipper, Jaws: The Revenge, Into the Blue, []

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Diving Nassau, Bahamas: More Tropical Fish (and other critters)

  Barracuda hunt primarily by sight, and are therefore sometimes attracted to shiny objects, as they might resemble the scales of prey fish.  I’ve sometimes had barracuda follow my camera around, presumably because they were interested in the flashes of light from my strobes. This was not one such fish. It wanted nothing to do []

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Diving Nassau, Bahamas: Tropical Fish

  Just a few of the tropical fish we saw in the Bahamas…   Gray Angelfish:   Trumpetfish:   Pufferfish:     Parrotfish:   Please check out my entire Nassau underwater photo gallery here.

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Diving Nassau, Bahamas: Sea Turtle

  If I had to characterize the diving in the Bahamas with one word, it would be… “big.” It seems like everything underwater there is big. Unlike, say, Curacao, where the vast majority of sea life is tiny and to be found within the crevices of the coral reef, the marine life of the Bahamas []

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Diving Nassau, Bahamas: Southern Stingray

  On our descent into the Sea Viking/Mike’s Reef site in New Providence, Mat spotted this huge southern stingray, about 3-4′ across. I got right in its face with my fisheye lens.   Feeling the need for a sense of scale, I motioned for him to come over into the frame…   … but apparently []

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Diving Nassau, Bahamas: Wrecks of the Willaurie and Anthony Bell

Anthony Bell Wreck The Anthony Bell is an old 90′ Bahamian tugboat. She was scuttled by Stuart Cove’s to create an artificial reef. Prior to sinking, Anthony Bell was meticulously stripped to make the wreck safer for divers.   Rusting metal still poses a hazard, however, as do some of the inhabitants of the artificial reef, such []

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Ellen Oil Rig Southern California

Southern California Offshore Oil Rigs

This weekend we had the opportunity to dive Eureka, Ellen, and Elly, oil rigs off the coast of Huntington Beach, California. These rigs are in active operation and stand in water 260-720′ deep. With special permission from the oil companies that own them, divers can charter boats for the ~10 mile crossing. Anchoring is impractical []

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