One of the perks of diving in Southern California is definitely being able to dive all year round at the Channel Islands. The waters there teem with life due to the cold, nutrient-rich waters, making every dive a new experience and ideal for hunters and photographers alike.
The National park encompasses five of the eight California Channel Islands (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara) and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources. The Channel Islands are home to over 2,000 plant and animal species, of which 145 are found nowhere else in the world.
The water temperatures can be colder than Catalina so a 7mm wetsuit or a dry suit is highly recommended. The water temperatures from mid-July to late October are the warmest, ranging around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. From February to late June, the water temperature ranges in the low 50's. If you are diving San Miguel, just know that San Miguel usually has the coldest waters that can range from around 40 degrees.
Despite the cold waters, Channel Islands is full of marine life from giant black sea bass, to bat rays, sea lions and colorful sea slugs. Not only will their lush kelp forests and schooling fish will sweep your fins off, their healthy reefs are home to many camera-worthy plants and sea creatures. Visibility can range from 30 feet to over 80 feet, so be ready for a lot of action under the sea!
Check out our dive calendar for dive trips out to the Channel Islands! We have at least one trip per month. We are a vibrant group of scuba and free divers from LA and would love for you to join us!