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  • Chelsea Karosas

Fall Scuba Diving on Catalina Island

As I look out from the pier, I am almost fooled into thinking that it’s still summertime. A radiant sun sits high in the cloudless blue sky and beads of sweat form on my forehead as I watch American flags and dive flags dance together in the light breeze. Little kids shriek as they race the incoming surf, ultimately landing their small legs knee-deep in the chilly, clear water. It’s hard to believe that just recently, strong northeast winds sent a swell rolling through the harbor, spraying saltwater well over the breakwater and showering the walkways lining Crescent Avenue. Occasional wind is not totally uncommon this time of year, but luckily for visitors and locals alike, the Catalina weather expectations mirror today: sunny and beautiful.

Fall in Catalina is a magical time. The upwelling caused by eastern-boundary currents that was present over the summer season has abated, leaving crystal clear water with visibility ranging from 30 to 60 feet. Lobster season is in full effect and fishers on the island have been indulging in the sweet, delicious meat that the California Spiny Lobster is known for, though where these bugs are scavenged remains a secret that divers and hoop-netters keep to themselves. For those looking to stay in town, a quick trip to the Casino Dive Park is always a great idea. Garibaldi, kelp bass, and schools of baitfish amaze snorkelers in quantity, color, and voracious curiosity, right from the surface. Divers, fortunate enough to reach Giant Sea Bass friendly depths of 45 to 75 feet, have been rewarded with outstanding encounters with the noble fish. One group last week reported that while observing the large fish partially hidden behind kelp, they were able to watch 7 or 8 Giant Sea Bass all at once!

Whether you are visiting for a week or just a weekend, now is the time to get in the water! Take advantage of this alluring time in the season by hopping on one of our dive boat trips or guided dive/snorkel tours at the Dive Park. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

Catalina scuba diving with black sea bass

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