Gull Island Underwater Photography Trip

Santa Cruz Underwater Photography Trip

Gull Island and the "West End" of Santa Cruz 



This trip was a big success last year, with great conditions, so we are doing it again!


Date:           Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Cost:           $145 + $20 nitrox fee = $165

Number of Dives:   4


Boat Info: 

Boat directions:

Boarding time:    8PM or later, Saturday night in Ventura harbor, CA

Boat leaves at:    4AM

Boat returns at:   6:30PM Sunday (just a guess -can be weather dependent)


Destinations:    Gull island, Santa Cruz. West end of Santa Cruz. East end of Santa Rosa Island. These are my favorite sites in the Northern Channel Islands.


Water temps:    Can range from 52-59 degrees

Depths:             10ft - 100ft


Marine Life: very prolific - extreme amounts of macro life, nudibranchs, fish, top snails, harbor seals, torpedo rays, orange hydroids, brightly colored anemones, horn sharks, extensive purple hydrocoral. Large giant kelp forests. Lots of structure. These are some of the best dive sites in southern california.  The only place in so-cal where purple hydrocoral can be found in 30ft of water. Peak nudibranch season, you will be tripping over them. Gull island is a marine reserve and is filled with fish, and is protected from most swells.


Visibility - variable, 15-50ft, but should be good, as early March is before the green plankton blooms that come in April, May


More info: you will be assigned a bunk to sleep, travel time is 3 hours. All meals, high pressure fills and 32% nitrox included. Hot tub available. I will give briefings on dive sites, lens recommendations and how to find the best underwater photography subjects. No hunting on this trip.


How to book a spot:     Email Scott


Update - March 5th:

The Boat is full, but one person would like to sell their spot if you know someone who wants to go

Boarding is at 8PM on Sat march 6th

Bunks will be pre-assigned, so check the bunk sheet upon arrival

Directions are at

You can arrive with an empty tank if you need/want a fill

Weather for Santa Barbara: Showers, high of 62, chance of rain 50%, Wind speed 9mph

Sea sickness pills are highly encouraged for the trip over


Swell report for Sunday

Gull island is in the SW corner of the largest (longest) island and is "in the blue". Update - NOAA is showing larger swells .

gull island, santa cruz swell 


Further Reading:


Diving the Northern Channel Islands

Giant kelp Forests

Photographing nudibranchs


santa cruz island underwater

Gull island, Santa Cruz. Purple hydrocoral in the foreground


harbor seal, channel islands

Harbor seal, photo taken at Santa Cruz Island, west end


dendronotus iris nudibranch

Dendronotus nudibranch, found at santa cruz island, west end


hiltons aeolid nudibranch

You will definitely see Hilton's Aeolid on this trip


purple hydrocoral macro underwater photo

Purple hydrocoral close-up






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