As our boat headed to the dive site, it was hard to imagine the previous year. With the island of Cozumel to my back, the 180-degree-view of water in front of me was filled with dive boats. While sometimes in the past I would be annoyed to see so many other divers, it was a relief to see all the boats, and it gave me a bit of hope for the future of the dive industry as the pandemic (hopefully) comes to an end.
Due to their unique position relative to the eastern Pacific current, or the California Current, the Channel Islands off California’s coast receive an ideal amount of nutrients and water circulation for optimum growth of California giant kelp. This colonial algae forms forests over the rocky reefs and walls surrounding the islands, and act as one of the world’s most productive marine ecosystems.
Diving with giant manta rays is always an exhilarating experience. Being in the water with these large intelligent animals is always humbling. They are also spectacular subjects for photography and video. Kona Hawaii in the United States is famous for night diving and snorkeling with the local mantas. This can produce stunning images, but it does take some special techniques.
Warm rinse water sloshed in the jug as my car hugged a sharp turn on California’s Pacific Coast Highway. I looked left at the mighty Pacific Ocean, the cliffs tumbling to the sea dotted by rugged pinnacles, stretching farther up the coast than the jam band solo currently playing out of the car speakers. Deep blue, favorable conditions all week, minimal swell, no-wind forecast—only unpredictable visibility could affect the diving today.
“You’re crazy; I don’t get in the water with bitey things!” The announcement of my impending great white shark trip drew a variety of such responses from horrified friends. The undisputed bad boys of the shark world, great whites are the largest of all predatory sharks, reaching lengths of up to 6m and weighing in at over 2,000kg.
Noted alumni of this USA centric non-profit include the following accomplished and renowned female divers:
Sabine Kerkau will be the first German female diver to be inducted in WDHOF, since it was founded almost two decades ago, in 1999.
Kerkau is a diving journalist, more specifically, a technical diving journalist. There are very few of these specialist reporters, and even fewer female techie correspondents. Kerkau is an intelligent author. She keeps the wreck or cave centre stage, and gives it maximum exposure.
Sabine Kerkau is the first German female diver to be inducted in WDHOF
Most years, Southern California on the US west coast is the site of a special marine life aggregation, treating locals to one of the most unique dives in the world. Hundreds of thousands of market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens) swim into recreational dive depths to mate and lay an expansive canvas of egg baskets (collections of eggs) across the sandy substrate.