View topic - Whats your favorite California Dive Site-Why

Whats your favorite California Dive Site-Why

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Postby Critternut » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:57 am

I just returned from diving the West End of Anacapa Island. After drifting in open ocean photographing black sea nettles, then a second dive on the reef system there, i was quickly reminded why i love it there
The giant kelp, swaying in the current like wind, eel grass flowing back and forth, giant sea fans, bat rays, blacksmith, huge sheep head and more...definitely and amazing place to dive.
Wide angle is a must at this spot, i used my Tokina 10-17 and my Nikon D300, YS 250 strobes....Actually my first outing with the strobes and i was very pleased!

This area is great for macro too, next time your headed for Anacapa, request the west end/rat rock area and good luck!.

Mike Bartick~Critternut
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Postby seekncritters » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:42 pm

There are so many great locations. How can I possibly choose a favorite? I guess I could say there's a place you shouldn't miss if you want to experience southern california diving, and that's Catalina Island.

Catalina has a wonderful variety of socal marine life, with everything from nudibranchs to moray eels, giant sea bass, angel sharks and bat rays to huge schools of fish, purple hydrocoral, gorgonians, and lots of giant kelp... and the front side is almost always diveable:


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Postby LAlstrand » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:43 am

I will always jump at the chance to go to San Clemente. I have always had great vis when I have been there, and the plant and animal life is huge because the military keeps most others away. You also have a great chance to see the unexpected there. On my last visit we had a turtle shadowing us during one of our dives. As for shore dives, my current love affair is with Shaw's Cove. Easy entry and such a variety of terrain from sand to rocks and some fun swim throughs. Lots of life, although I still find it odd that you can fish there but you can't pick up shells... Oh well.
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Postby Trace » Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:31 pm

La Jolla Shores for beach diving you never know what you'll find there!
Boat diving would be "Blue Water" diving, strange critters and somewhat strange diving!
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Postby scottg » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:43 am

that's a tough one! I think it changes every few months for me. Farnsworth, so-cal oil rigs, flame reef at santa cruz are just a few of many favorites for me.

Scott Gietler Owner/Editor, Underwater Photography Guide & Bluewater Photo

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Postby coolwaterbubbler » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:29 pm

Southern California has so many great spots that people know about like Anacapa and Catalina I have to go with a local delicacy of mine. Just north of Palos Verdes Hagertys cove in 55 feet of water is a WWII LCM landing craft, it’s a small wreck, its a shallow dive, and probably to small for more that 4 divers. It might just be because it is local but I love that dive. My favorite thing about the LCM wreck is it is one of those spots that seems to always have something different. As far as the usual suspects it has a great variety of gagorian and clubbed anenomies that you find on wrecks. In addition to that the usual fish are the 2-3 foot sand bass that live in the under carriage of the wreck, garibaldi, and greenlings. From there it is a crap shoot! I have seen torpedo rays, blue banded gobies, scorpion fish, swell sharks, and lobster. Stopping at this spot is like stopping at a rout 66 dinners not telling what you will find.
I like that but that’s just me
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Postby Zig » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:14 am

My favorite SoCal shore dive is Long Point at Old Marineland. A vast kelp forest, huge life-covered pinnacles, many species of nudibranchs, huge sunflower stars, bait balls, seals, and very often, bright blue water. In my opinion, from the shore, this can't be beat.

By boat, I'd have to say Farnsworth Banks. Unbelievable.

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Postby maggieD » Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:43 am

I've really been thinking about this topic, there are so many places to dive that are just wonderful here in So Cal. But the one place that we've gone back to time after time in the last years is the wreck of the Avalon. I like the stern the best for wide angle and the bow for macro but overall the wreck is great fun.
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Postby paddi » Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:18 am

I will vote for Catalina Island as my favorite California’s diving destinations. There are so many reasons behind it. One major advantage of Catalina Island is that there are places from beginner to advance divers. It is a great place to train new comers while enjoying the exiting diving.

Also the marine life is magnificent. I was able to explore sheep crabs, kelp fish and sea lions in my last dive. It’s a great experience.

Also don’t forget to explore wrecked plane and a few sunken ships around the island.

Retired, Now Diving.
Planning family vacations to USA Next December.
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