Tagged: photography

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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Curaçao: Stunning Slugs, Snails, and Worms, or… the Pretty Yucky Stuff

Christmas Tree Worm Go anywhere stateside after Thanksgiving (hell, after Halloween), and Christmas stuff is everywhere. We arrived in Curaçao Thanksgiving Day, and I don’t recall seeing anything glaringly festive. That’s OK. The only Christmas tree I needed in the Caribbean was of the worm variety. Possibly the prettiest worm ever: the Christmas Tree Worm. []

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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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Wreck Diving North Carolina’s Graveyard of the Atlantic

After our ill-fated attempt to dive the caves of north Florida, we needed a Plan B if we were to salvage our trip. Armed with cell phones and hope, the three of us piled into our go-kart of a rental car and started the nine-hour drive north, making calls to dive shops and charter boats []

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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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Heading out of the Ginnie Springs Ballroom back into the spring

Let’s go cave diving! Actually, let’s not.

I’m still in a hurricane frame of mind from last week. Prior to Irene in August of 2011, I hadn’t really ever given hurricanes much thought. Those are east coast things that happen in east coast places, and being a primarily west coast kind of girl, they just didn’t factor much. Until Irene of course. And []

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2011-08 - Hurricane Irene in Killington Vermont

One year ago today: Hurricane Irene in Killington, Vermont

Growing up in Southern California, I was no stranger to natural disasters. I remember the Northridge earthquake clearly, and forest fires forced my friends to evacuate their homes several times over the course of my childhood. None of this prepared me for the destruction that Hurricane Irene brought to Vermont on August 29th, 2011–one year []

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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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Free diver with whale shark.

Diving with whale sharks in Placencia, Belize

Who wouldn’t want to swim with whale sharks? We certainly did–so when we realized that our anniversary trip to Belize was going to coincide with the May full moon (that is to say, smack in the middle of Belize whale shark season), we shuffled our itinerary around to include a couple of days in Placencia, []

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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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Spider Monkey on the New River, Belize

Belize: Altun Ha and Lamanai River Trip

In our first 24 hours in Belize, we got to two Mayan ruins sites, Altun Ha and Lamanai. In addition to the obvious historical coolness of Mayan ruins, a cool quality that people may not know is that you’re totally allowed to climb all over them. That would never happen in the States! I realized []

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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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Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

Great Sand Dunes National Park is a real gem of a park, located in southern Colorado. I visited in mid-September, and it had an off the beaten path feel to it, like nobody really knows it’s there; driving in at sunset, I felt like I was being let in on a well-kept secret. Nestled into []

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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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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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lamb in Scipio Utah Petting Zoo

The Dirty Lamb -or- “In which our heroine falls asleep, and wakes up at a petting zoo in Utah”

If I had a superpower, it would be “can sleep in cars and planes indefinitely, especially if it is sunny.” We drove to Park City, Utah last Friday for a long weekend ski trip with friends. It’s actually not that bad a drive from San Diego–it took ten-ish hours, and a good portion of the []

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California kelp

The California Kelp Forest

My diving career so far has been rich with travel. I have dove all over the tropical blue waters of the Caribbean and the untouched oceans of Fiji. I’ve seen the exotic Antarctic sea creatures that migrate north to the temperate waters of Sydney, Australia, swam with the seals in the Isles of Shoals off []

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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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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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