The Gentle Giant

Still thinking back to April at Santa Cruz Island when 4 divers and I spent over 30 min face to face with a 6-ft, 400+lb black sea bass! Each of us had an eye to eye connection with the wise old gentle giant. We could sense its curiosity, and deeply felt the wisdom he held about the ocean. We left the encounter with so much more reverence and respect for the ocean and her inhabitants. What a magical moment! Have you had similar experiences with ocean creatures?

I'm Hungry...

The sea lions at Santa Barbara Island are more playful and friendly compared to those at other Channel Islands. This cute little guy looked at me with sort of a “I’m hungry…” look and then proceeded to chase after his dinner in front of me.

Dramatic Shot

Photo by our resident nudibranch expert (geek) and instructor Megumi Itoh from 6/1/19 dive trip aboard the Peace Dive Boat to the west end of Santa Cruz Island. Spanish shawl (Flabellinopis iodinea) is one of the common nudibranchs you see in Southern California so some divers just brush them off as a common sight, but there are many of us who love their flamboyant appearance. When the lighting is just right, you can get a very dramatic photograph.

Kelp Forest Dreaming

Though not to the former glory, the kelp forest is coming back in Southern California. One of the places where you see the luscious kelp forest is Santa Barbara Island. 

Harnessing the Energy!

Beautiful giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera) absorbing the abundant sunlight of Southern California. The gas-filled bladder at the base of the leaf-like blade holds the kelp upright, and the kelp fronds grow straight up to the surface. Kelp is a type of algae. Thus it does not have a root system to absorb water and nutrients. It harvests the sun’s energy through photosynthesis. The growing season for the giant kelp starts in spring and peaks in fall.