If you have advanced diver certification and a yearning to explore the deep-sea habitat of exotic marine life, give Ken Kollwitz a call. Through his company, Channel Island Dive Adventures, he guides scuba explorations of three oil rigs some 25 miles off the coast of Catalina Island in California.
The trips are a huge draw for photographers, Kollwitz says, not only because of the interesting, hard-to-find aquatic life (including cabezon, garibaldi and scallops) that congregates on the shelves formed by the rigs’ sunken crossbeams, but also because the visibility is unusually good at significant depths (up to 50 feet). The excursion is also popular because of the panoramic ocean and sunset views.
A big plus: Non-divers are welcome to accompany divers for the boat trip, and they may be treated to dolphin- or whale-watching. Sometimes, the crew even throws in a deck-side barbecue, complete with beer.
The next oil-rig dive is on June 22, but if you miss that trip, a late-summer one is set for September 15.
$115 per adult diver, plus $10 for a semi-private stateroom (optional). The boat departs from the 22nd Street landing in San Pedro. For other packages, visit ChannelIslandsDiveAdventures.com, or call 805-469-7288.