Conditions on Saturday were the best any diver can ask for - calm beach entry, 65 degree water, and clear viz to 30 feet. During our morning dives we were treated to a cormorant sighting at 75 feet. The bird hung out, snacking on squid eggs, for a solid minute. A couple of cuttle fish also bandied about. During our night dive a curious harbor seal came to check us out, making multiple, quick passes in front of our bright lights. Tons of crab and shrimp were out hunting, and the glare of our light jolted a small bat ray awake, sending him to find a darker locale.
Tags: dive report by lacie marshall
My favorite time to go diving in California is during the first few months of the new year. It should be yours too! Here are 3 reasons why:
1. Better Visibility and More Marine Life. Visibility is typically better in the winter months in California. When the dive boat drops anchor at Catalina Island on a warm Cali winter day, and you can see 50ft all the way down to the bottom, I often hear divers exclaim: “We’ve reached the Caribbean!” Better visibility also means spotting much more marine life. You can now see that school of mackerel 40ft away twisting and turning as a sea lion swims among them. That beautiful but shy leopard shark swimming 30ft from you now looks crystal clear.
2. Less Crowds and Better Divers. Getting on a boat in the winter months usually means more space on the boat and fewer divers underwater. The divers you meet in the winter months are also more experienced and truly passionate about diving. Check out what boats are going out here: http://www.ecodivecenter.com/southern-california-scuba-diving-boat-schedule and come out and join the elite group of hardcore Southern California divers that dive in winter.
3. Night Diving. It gets dark several hours earlier now than in the summer months. Winter months allow divers to get in the water for a night dive at 6 PM, be done by 7 PM, then be able to squeeze in a second dive or go grab dinner/drinks and still get home at a reasonable time. Nighttime is when all the critters like octopuses, crabs, shrimps, rays and moray eels come out to hunt. If you’ve never done a night dive, this is definitely an experience not to be missed. Sign up for your advanced dive certification or night specialty now! http://www.ecodivecenter.com/content/advanced-scuba-diver-course
Dear Eco Divers,
To everyone who contributed to the making of my dive-tastic year, thank you for a great 2014! Here are just a few things that made it on my ‘Best of 2014’ list:
Best Class: Wreck Specialty in San Diego
Of course all of my classes make my best of the year list, but I have to especially call out the September Wreck Specialty class in San Diego. It was a whole weekend of fun with really cool people. We did two dives on Saturday, then a night out in downtown San Diego, and two more dives on Sunday. Diving the Yukon and the Ruby E are always exhilarating experiences. Definitely sign up for this class in 2015! We do this a few times a year.
Best Dive: Verde Island in Porto Galera, Philippines
Why? All the fish! I saw more fish in the waters surrounding Verde Island than I’ve ever seen in one dive. The fish were so plentiful it was hard to catch a glimpse of the ocean through all the fish.
Best California Sighting: Turtles! (TWICE!)
While teaching, I saw 2 baby Hawksbill turtles in California; one at Casino Point in May and one at Anacapa in October. Rare sightings!
Best Marine Life Interaction: Leopard Sharks
After 2 days of diving the wrecks down in wreck alley in San Diego, we headed up to La Jolla shores to free dive with leopard sharks, who gather in the shallows every summer to give birth to young. Swimming with 20 leopard sharks in 10 feet of water was surreal.
Best Trip: Bonaire
Home to some of the best shore diving in the world, the Eco group trip to Bonaire in May provided a flexible dive schedule where you could easily jump into the ocean at any time. The best part of all: a trip full of Eco divers, many of which have become good friends and dive buddies.
See you in the new year!
Winter is one of the best times to continue your scuba education, and here are 3 reasons why:
1) Classes are smaller and boats are less crowded. The summer rush is over and warm water divers stay at home. Our instructors are still very eager to teach and you get more attention from the instructor with a smaller class size.
2) Winter is the perfect time to do certain specialties like drysuit and night. Buy a drysuit at Eco and get a free drysuit specialty class. A free class and beat the cold at the same time? That's a no brainer! With less daylight hours, extend your diving opportunities with a night specialty and see all the cool critters that hide out during the day like octopuses and pipefish.
3) Visibility usually gets better during the colder winter months. Our kelp forests also thrive in colder waters so with thicker kelp comes more marine life. These are the perfect months to work on your Fish Identification specialty and Underwater Photographer specialty.
And don't forget...once you have your rescue certification and 5 specialties you attain the Master Scuba Diver rating, the highest recreational certification you can get as a recreational scuba diver!