Underwater California Photo Gallery
I learned to SCUBA dive along the central California coast in 1997. Little did I know that for almost the next two decades I would log close to 1,000 dives from as far south as Cortes Bank and north up into Mendocino County. Monterey and Carmel were my underwater backyard as I explored the lush kelp forests found along Cannery Row, 17 Mile Drive, and down around Point Lobos. Working for Adventure Sports Unlimited in Santa Cruz for 17 years, we would book charter boats to Big Sur and the Channel Islands off Santa Barbara and southern California. Those kelp forests were home to harbor seals, sea lions, schools of rockfish, drifting jellies, and so much more. On the rocky reefs, nudibranchs, sculpins, shrimp, and crabs scrambled over multi-colored anemones, hydrocoral, and sponges. If you were looking close enough, a camouflaged cabezon or lingcod could be seen lurking.