Location: 64 miles from Ventura Harbor & 46 miles from Santa Barbara
Access: By boat only. Larger dive boats suggested.
Depths: All ranges
Photography: Hit or miss conditions.
The western most Island of the Northern Channel Islands is San Miguel.
San Miguel is influenced by nutrient rich California current which results in cooler water temperatures (55-60 F.) and marine life typical to what you would expect to find in the central California coastline. Here you may see Wolf-eels, BIG halibut, HUGE Bugs, and very lush invertebrates and nudibranchs. One of our favorite sites here is Wilson Rock, a remote pinnacle offering great gaming for rock fish and halibut plus some of the best macro photography opportunities at San Miguel.
Because of its location in the open ocean, it is subject to high winds and lots of fog. The island is a tableland of lush grasses and wildflowers, with 27 miles of jagged, rocky coastline dotted with sandy white beaches. The westernmost of these beaches, Point Bennett, is the only place in the world where up to six different species of pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) can be found.
San Miguel is famous worldwide for its pinniped viewing. In the winter, as many as 50,000 individual seals and sea lions can be seen at one time on Point Bennett, where they mate. Other wildlife includes the island fox, a species that is only found on the Channel Islands.
Fossilized bones of the Pleistocene pygmy mammoth have been found on San Miguel as well as archeological sites of human habitation dating more than 10,000 years old! The memorial of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a European traveler who discovered California in 1542 is located on San Miguel. A geologic feature called the caliche forest also attracts many people. This ghost forest was formed by caliche sand castings of plant roots and trunks. Today the plants are long gone, leaving behind the eerie stone replicas found off the coast.
San Miguel is an Island, that overall offers wonderful adventure and exploration for divers young and old! If interested in booking a dive trip to San Miguel reach out to the shop TODAY!