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Italian Gardens, Catalina Island dive site - Courtesy of Carina Hall

Garibaldi fish at Italian Gardens, Catalina Island dive site - Courtesy of Jason Pepper

Italian Gardens, Catalina Island dive site - Courtesy of Carina Hall

Black Sea Bass on Italian Gardens, Catalina Island dive site - Courtesy of Carina Hall

Scuba Diving in Catalina Island, California, USA

Reader Reviews:

Dive Site: Italian Gardens

Location: Catalina Island

Description: Kelp forest

Depth: 25 metres (82 feet)

Visibility: 20 metres (65 feet)

Rating: ****

My first dive on Catalina, I excitingly jumped in then descended through the kelp forest not to be disappointed. Visibility was great and I followed the kelp down to the sandy bottom. The sun shone through the leaves creating a beautiful setting. At 25 metres I could see camera flashes. so I went in for a closer look. Unfortunately the viz had been stirred up in the excitement a little so I couldn't make out what was being photographed at first. but that was only because it was so big!!! I made out the shape and went in closer to find it was a rather spectacularly sized black sea bass. He was holding still, gapping and posing in front of the cameras for around 5mins. Then, a little spooked by us, he swam off right past me and I looked closely at his huge mouth and eyes. We hung here for a while longer and around five other basses came back and forth swerving in between us. Pretty superb for my first ever dive in kelp.

I then followed the seabed a little shallower and had the sheer enjoyment of seeing my first Garibaldi fish. Then I saw my 2nd, 3rd, 4th and many more, all gleaming bright orange, inquisitive and very friendly. They danced through the kelp constantly on the move making themselves rather tricky to photograph but brilliant fun to watch!

Carina Hall, PADI Divemaster



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