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The Return of the Sea Otter
Historically the California Sea Otter dotted our coastline, with over 16,000 individuals ranging from Oregon to Baja, Mexico. Sadly the relentless fur trade and the introduction of toxoplasmosis to our marine ecosystem devastated the Sea Otter population to a mere 50 individuals. Thankfully dedicated efforts by leading organizations such as the Monterrey Bay Aquarium and the Department of Fish and Wildlife have led to the most gratifying news- The California Sea Otter population is currently at record high of over 3000 individuals! Dying to see one in the wild? Easy. Pack your bags and head up to Monterey. I recently dove Otters Cove (near the aquarium) and had the pleasure of seeing an otter hanging out above the kelp catching a little sun. Otters Cove has an easy to moderate beach entry and can be accessed via a short staircase to the sand. Parking is directly in front of the staircase, and is both ample (on a weekday) and free. Should you catch a little bad luck and arrive on a day with rough conditions and bad visibility all is not lost. When the bay side is rough headed over the peninsula to Carmel for calmer
diving. Point Lobos has world famous diving, though you do need a reservation and to pay a small fee ($35/dive buddy pair) if you plan to launch in the state park. Want a little more advice from a local? The staff at Breakwater Scuba on Cannery Row are incredibly helpful, and they're oh so conveniently located just up the road from the aquarium. Pack a hood and gloves (better yet wear the Bare Evoke wetsuit), because the water is chilly but hands down worth the drive!
Happy diving and remember to take only memories and leave only bubbles ~ Lorna McFarlane
Wreck of the Yukon by Dylan Johnson
Yukon was a Canadian Mackenzie Class
destroyer, 366 feet long, 40 feet wide, with six decks and over 100 compartments. Recalling the first time I dove the Yukon four years after it was sunk holds a lot of nostalgic memories for me. In fact, it's what got me into technical diving, and later led to becoming an Instructor.What is known by many as the best wreck accessible to recreational divers in Southern California, the Yukon is an amazing dive that should be on your bucket list. It was gutted and cleaned before being sunk in 100 feet of water off Mission Bay in San Diego's "Wreck Alley," making it one of the largest artificial reefs around. The Yukon is the most intact wreck in Southern California and requires an Advanced Open Water certification to dive and Wreck Diver Specialty to penetrate (go inside) the wreck.Catch our wreck weekend adventure Wreck certification
Video Of the Month: Last Weeks Annual Pier CleanUp Dive
Great local footage by Ian Wells and Lorna McFarlane
|Dominica Island Dive Adventure #2 March 2017|
Dive sites are covered in thriving healthy coral reefs and schools of fish like chromis, creole wrasse and sergeant majors. Larger pelagics patrol the outer edges of the reefs and barracudas, turtles and sting rays frequently swim right through dive groups. Seahorses and frogfish are common and other rarer critters like batfish, flying gurnards, yellow head jawfish and upside-down jellyfish can be found if you carefully search the reefs.
We will also take a boat to explore the deep water just off shore that is home to the world's largest toothed whale, the Sperm Whale. Watching these magnificent creatures is a memory you will never forget.
|The wildlife is the best part of being a scuba diver. |
Why are hobbies like scuba diving so important? What is your argument when trying to
convince your friends to join you in this wonderful sport? While there are many answers to these questions that range from technical, to adventurous, to travel-related reasons, I would guess most of us claim that the wildlife is the best part of being a scuba diver. What fun is a dive if you don't get to see anything cool?
The most amazing thing divers get to experience is the observation of the marine life in its natural state. It is so exciting to spot a ray gliding over the sandy bottom, a shark darting through the swaying kelp forest, or a sea lion darting through the bubbles escaping from your regulator exhaust! While your non-diver friends may focus on how scary it seems to be so deep underwater, or on the claustrophobic feeling of a new environment, we must teach them to imagine the excitement of discovering how it feels to be a part of the underwater world!
The octopus is one of my favorite things to see. Enjoy this video of me following a Maldivian octopus as he tries and fails to change his camouflage to hide from me!
Free UW Photo Clinic October 4th at 7pm Just Show Up:)4027 Sepulveda Blvd Culver City CA. 90230