- Chelsea Karosas
5 Reasons to be thankful to be scuba divers on Catalina Island
Scuba diving: the most beautiful opportunity to descend into a vibrant underwater world nearly unexplored by humanity. Whether you’re a photographer aiming your lens at a curious reef fish, a fisherman hunting to provide dinner, or an adrenaline junkie scouring amongst curious shipwrecks, scuba diving allows an incomparable experience with each and every venture.
While there is an immensity of remarkable diving all over the planet, we feel exceptionally lucky to live and work in what many consider paradise. And with Thanksgiving having just past, we figured that now is as good a time as any to take a moment to reflect on how just grateful we truly are.
So without further ado!
5 Reasons to be Thankful to be Scuba Divers on Catalina Island:
The Kelp Forests
The Channel Islands, including Catalina Island, are one of only a few places on the planet that thrive with these uniquely dynamic underwater forests. Kelp is a type of seaweed that latches onto rocky reef substrate by its holdfast and floats high into the water column, fanning its long blades, with the help of gas bladders positioned among its stalk. Kelp forests require cool water temperatures ranging between 42 and 72 degrees and clear enough water for avid sunlight penetration. They act as a flourishing hub for marine life and can grow from 10 inches to 2 feet per day!
Giant Black Sea Bass
The Giant Black Sea Bass, a type of bony fish, is most recognized for its astonishing appearance. The species is massive, capable of growing larger than 7 feet and weighing more than 700 pounds! Due to unregulated fishing and pollution, the giant sea bass population was pushed nearly to extinction, ultimately landing the fish as a Critically Endangered species by the IUCN in 1996. Though conservation efforts have been abundant, there is still thought to be only about 500 individuals left. Of this, Catalina Island is believed to host 40-50 of these Giant Sea Bass to spawn every year in the warmer months. Diving alongside these gentle giants has become one of the island’s most thrilling attractions!
The Dive Park
Considered one of the best dive spots in California, the Casino Point Dive Park is a scuba divers’ dream. Located just a few minutes walk along the picturesque harbor from downtown Avalon, the Dive Park is a Marine Preserve, buoyed in to avoid local water traffic, and home to copious amounts of marine species. Including not only kelp forests and Giant Black Sea Bass alike, divers are often lucky enough to spot spiny lobster, octopus, nudibranchs, bat rays, or potentially even a swell shark hidden deep in a rocky reef, as reported earlier in the week, along with the prevalent amount of fish and invertebrate species that reside locally. The Dive Park also offers an array of wrecks and sunken objects sure to peak the interest of divers in search of adventure. An old pier, swim platform, a couple of shipwrecks, and commemorating plaques are just a few attractions alluring to any explorer. And you can rent all of your gear on site!
Diving is more than just a sport here on the island, it’s a culture. Our team here at Catalina Divers Supply is a collection of talent, originating from all over the country. It takes a special type of person to live on an island and because of that, our adventurous team has accumulated dive experience from all over the world!
But it’s not just our team that is impressive, it’s our guests as well. Catalina Island attracts an array of divers, from those experimenting with our Introductory dives while on their cruise, to those lifetime divers that have logged thousands of dives all over the world and still choose to visit us here. Our diving community is diverse, with enough stories to entertain even the most traveled diver.
Lucky enough for us, while the island is a hub for our underwater world, above the surface is a treat as well. With miles of hiking trails that venture inland, countless events taking place on weekends, white sand beaches, and delicious local restaurants, there is plenty to keep anyone happy. But if you really want to know where to end the perfect day of diving, we’ll see you at our favorite local spot, The Lobster Trap, for Happy Hour.