I’m a volunteer aquarist at the Chula Vista Nature Center. The aquarium deals only with native species and as such we sometimes do collection runs out in the bay. I wanted to join in on this so in January 2008 I signed up and became a certified open water scuba diver through PADI. It only took a couple of dives but I soon bought a PowerShot S60 and the accompanying underwater housing just so I could bring a camera along with me underwater.

San Diego is known for its great weather but that doesn’t always translate to great dive conditions for scuba divers. Due to the poor visibility, cold water, surge, waves, currents, etc. many scuba instructors here brag that if you can dive in San Diego you can dive anywhere in the world.

The best visibility I’ve seen would be about 30 ft but on most days it’s closer to 10 ft. Water temperature ranges from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit on the surface to the mid 50s at depth. Full 7mm wetsuits with hood, gloves and boots are the standard here.
Most of the photos were taken between 20-100 ft. The deeper you go the more color is lost until everything is blue-green unless flash is used.

Me gearing up

My dive buddies
dive buddies

Descending, looking up

Female California Sheephead
female california sheephead

Kelp Forest
kelp forest

Kelp Rockfish
kelp rockfish

The forward gun on the HMCS Yukon, a Canadian destroyer sunk about a mile off the coast in 100 ft of water. The Yukon sunk prematurely and now lays on her port side.
HMCS yukon gun

Garibaldi, the state fish of California

White-plumed anemone on the Yukon (Metridium farcimen)
white plumed anemone

Growth on the Yukon gun
yukon gun growth

On the surface above the Yukon. The Yukon has 4 buoys you can moor to and then follow straight down to the wreck. You can also see a charter boat in the background.
surfacing above the yukon

Looking through the hull of the Ruby E. The Ruby E is a 165′ Coast Guard cutter that was sunk in 1989. She now rests at about 85′ and is covered in strawberry anemones (not shown).
the ruby E

Juvenile California Moray Eel
juvenile california moray eel

Juvenile California Scorpionfish. Scorpionfish are edible but as the name implies they are venomous. The fin spines are venomous, painful but not fatal.
juvenile california scorpionfish

Navanax (Navanax inermis) A sea slug, grows to about 9″.

Hermissenda (Hermissenda crassicornis)

Gopher Rockfish
gopher rockfish

California Spiny Lobsters
california spiny lobster den

Tube-dwelling anemone (Pachycerianthus fimbriatus)
tube dwelling anomone

Feather boa kelp
feather boa kelp

Warty Sea Cucumber
warty sea cucumber

Spanish Shawl
spanish shawl

Club tipped anemone
club tipped anemone

Kelp forest
kelp forest

Surfacing after a late afternoon dive.
surfacing in the late afternoon

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