The Wild Side of the Channel Islands
The kelp forests of California’s Channel Islands are mystical. They’re magical. They grow up to two feet a day and create a home for a wide variety of fish and critters from the water’s surface into the sand.
Bluewater Photo’s recent 3-day northern Channel Islands trip presented my first opportunity to dive the northernmost island, San Miguel, as well as log more days at the islands than I typically dive in a year. And I was stoked. And even more stoked after meeting all the other divers on the boat, the stellar crew of the Conception, and dropping anchor for dive one on a glassy kelp bed under sunny skies.
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San Miguel Island
They say that the first people to populate the Americas paddled their way down the kelp forests of the west coast and Channel Islands, venturing deeper into a wild and uncharted territory. And on descending through thick kelp onto large walls and channels reminiscent of northern Cali, I felt a sense of exploration raise the hairs on my neck.
Santa Cruz Island
After spending a full day at San Miguel, we ventured south in search of giant black sea bass, shallow kelps forests and their inhabitants: sea lions, harbor seals, huge sheephead, bat rays and abundant macro subjects.
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