Santa Monica’s Scuba Haus closes after 51 years

Siting on the corner of 25th and Wilshire Blvd, Scuba Haus was both a neighborhood icon and local diving staple for over 50 years. Starting today it joins a growing list of old-school California dive shops that have shuttered in the Santa Monica Bay-area over the past decade including New England Divers, Blue Cheer, and American Divers. Whether it’s rising rent, retail fatigue, or a sign of changing times, we now have one less place to get a regulator serviced, a tank vip’ed, or to try on a wet suit free without worrying that you would have to ship it back if it doesn’t work out. Something to consider the next time you’re shopping on line.

At least the ocean isn’t closing any time soon. We’ll see you out there.

A sign of better dives.




Diver Day at the Aquarium of the Pacific – Saturday, March 10

Scientific divers, bug hunters, and warm-water warriors one-and-all, it’s time for Diver Day at Aquarium of the Pacific. Free admission to all certified divers with an urge to explore the underwater world without all the hassle of getting wet. Sponsored by the good people at Sherwood Scuba, this event will also showcase the great underwater work that volunteer divers are doing here in California and offer you the opportunity to get involved and help make a difference in the health of the ocean.

The title sponsor of the event Sherwood Scuba, has started a new initiative called Sherwood Scuba Marine Conservation which supports research and conservation-driven programs across the worlds oceans. Check out their Facebook page and like it to support some really terrific work and to find out how a dive manufacturer can make a difference in protecting the worlds oceans.

Mark your calendar for what will be “fin-tastic” day. See you out there.

For more information, click on the link below:



TBT – The Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Los Angeles County Underwater Unit 1966

A lot of people don’t know this but formal dive training as we know it today was born out of a relationship between the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the County of Los Angeles in the early 1950’s. As a matter of public safety in response to a rash of scuba-related deaths, officials in Los Angeles decided to develop formalized standards and procedures to create a system by which divers could be safely certified. The newly formed County Underwater Unit, looking to pursue a point of authority in the field, reached out to SIO and their Dive Safety Specialist Conrad Limbaugh for help developing standardized training for recreational divers. This resulted in the first formal instructor training program for scuba certification. The rest is history. All, and I mean all,  of the current training agencies and their procedures can be traced directly back to the Los Angeles County program and this pioneering partnership.

The partnership continues as every year the Los Angeles County Underwater Instructor Certification Course returns to SIO for a weekend of hard ocean training and expert lectures. The photo below is from 1966 and it marked the first year the county handed out the Conrad Limbaugh Award, accepted posthumously by Connie’s widow Nancy. This award remains one of the most prestigious honors in diving.

When people ask you where diving started, you can now tell them. See you out there.

In the foreground, the large man walking away is Dr. Glenn Egstrom, Dive Officer Emeritus for the University of California system and a dive master for the 1966 UICC.
2017 UICC Candidates being briefed at Scripps Pier by SIO Diving Safety Officer and 2016 Conrad Limbaugh Award winner Christian McDonald.

Diver Day at the Aquarium of the Pacific – March 11th

aquarium-of-the-pacificIt’s been such a wet winter in California that we haven’t had much time to get in the water  with our finned friends. The Aquarium of the Pacific wants to help you with your marine withdrawals and is offering free admission to certified divers showing their c-cards and accompanying I.D. There will also be exhibitions by a lot of great local marine scientists and NGO’s talking about the state of California’s ocean and how you can help. It’s a great time to get out with  the ocean community and enjoy a dry day with the fishes.


For more information, head over to the Diver Day page.

Los Angeles Waterkeeper Divers Battle The Devil……weed off of Palos Verdes!

A few months ago, CFD spent some time talking about the importance of divers working as stewards of their own local waters  by profiling the Los Angeles Waterkeeper and their Dive Program Manager Ian Jacobson. LAWK divers had just finished their part in a  NOAA-funded kelp restoration project in the Los Angeles South Bay and were looking for support and participation for their next project, the removal of sargassum horneri, an invasive algae taking advantage of El Nino warming to run wild all over the Southern California Bight. We’ll, Ian and his divers are in full swing, and with the help of NOAA scientists,  are using new technology to remove the devil weed from great swaths of our nearshore rocky reefs. The Los Angeles Daily Breeze recently profiled the efforts of these divers and it’s well worth the read. It’s also a great example of what an impact local citizens can do to directly benefit our nearshore environment. For a chance to help, check out the dive program page at Los Angeles Waterkeeper and find out what you can do .  Another link to the article appears below. Just click on the pretty scary picture.

The horneri is as high as an Elephant’s eye! Click on the scary photo by Adam Obaza to see the Daily Breeze article.

Throwback Thursday – Dive n’ Surf and Bob Meistrell from 1966

With the recent passing of Body Glove founder Bob Meistrell and the complete remodeling of Dive n’ Surf in Hermosa Beach, I thought I’d share an old D n’ S ad from a 1966 issue of Skin Diver magazine. It is from a time when diving was viewed a little differently and the personalities driving the sport were a little bigger. The fish were as well i suppose. Now before everyone gets all worked up about the Giant Sea Bass in the photo, I’d like to point out that Bob became one of the biggest supporters in ocean conservation in the surf and dive industry, serving on the boards of educational institutions such as the Cabrillio marine Museum in San Pedro and the California Conservation Corps’ Sea Lab in Hermosa Beach. The ocean had no bigger supporter than Bob Meistrell. So enjoy as we at CFD share this remembrance of Bob and say thank you to him for all he did for people who loved the ocean.

For more current contact information, click on the photo.

Divers you should know – Dr. Wheeler North

In a never ending journey to dive enlightenment, CFD would like to roll out a new feature spotlighting people that have played an important role in the California diving community but for some reason are nearly forgotten by contemporary divers.  They were educators, pioneers, and leaders.

Meet Dr. Wheeler North, a graduate of Scripp’s Institution of Oceanography and for over 40 years the premier expert on California’s kelp ecosystems.  Working for Cal Tech, Dr. North developed kelp forest replenishment techniques that remain relevant to this day as plans are in motion to restore the beds off Palos Verdes. He was also a pioneer in the field of dive training, working with Conrad Limbaugh, Bev Morgan, and Al Tillman during the development the Los Angeles County  dive program, precursor to all other dive training programs. In addition, he is widely credited with being the first marine scientist to utilize scuba equipment for research purposes. He also worked on groundbreaking research on biomass fuel and CO2 sequestration. Based on all he did, it is also most likely he didn’t sleep either.

Dr Wheeler North

In short, an amazing career that impacted and continues to impact our diving community on a regular basis. In recognition, So Cal Edison named the largest man-made reef in California the Wheeler J North reef. Find out more about it here.