Past Meetings

Annual Holiday Party is Saturday, 12/02/2017!

Our 2017 Holiday party will be Saturday December 2nd 2:30 to 5:30pm at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery. $25 for all the pizza, jambalaya, and salad you want.We will also have the winners and award presentation from our annual photo competition. (You can view the photos entries here!)

Want to join us? Register & Pay here.


General Meeting – Wednesday, 11/15/2017

Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month (except for December) at Denny’s Restaurant at corner of Topanga Canyon & Roscoe Blvd, in Canoga Park. Social time starts at 6:30pm and the general meeting at 7:00pm. See our events calendar for more information.

Speaker: Kevin Sullivan

Diving God’s Pocket

When divers think of an international dive they usually have visions of crystal-clear blue water, sandy beaches lined with palm trees, and of course warm water. However, there are many other exceptional places in the world. God’s Pocket resort rests on tiny Hurst Island just off the north end of Vancouver Island in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Hurst has spectacular walls and supremely lush marine life. Encounters with large wolf eels, multiple species of rockfish, greenlings, and the exceptional giant pacific octopus await explorers. Topside, visitors enjoy sightings of bald eagles, humpback whales, and orcas. Waters are temperate, but not freezing. Come out to the November meeting and see what this very special destination is about!

Kevin Sullivan has dived for 16 years and has served on the Board of the Pacific Explorers for 15. He avidly dives Southern California and volunteers his time with Reef Check.

Speaker: Craig Hoover

Exploring Baja California

Baja California embodies the spirt of the wild west. Craig Hoover will be speaking this September about exploring Baja’s culture, geography and biodiversity. Learn about geologic origins of this peninsula, the first people, missionary period, and current efforts to conserve the heritage of this region. Prepare to learn a bit more than you probably ever wanted to know about the sea slugs of Baja.

Craig Hoover is a biologist who researches the biodiversity, ecology and evolution of communities. He specializes in nudibranch sea slugs of the eastern Pacific Ocean. Craig completed a Master’s degree in biology from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona studying the genetics of one of Baja’s nudibranchs. He is currently a lecturer in biological sciences at Cal Poly Pomona. Every weekend Craig dives and photographs California’s coasts. He has logged over 1500 hours exploring underwater in Alta and Baja California.

General Meeting – Wednesday, 08/09/2017

Speaker: Naren Gunasekera

Sri Lanka

Currently a land use planner in Agoura Hills, Naren worked in the tourism industry in his home country of Sri Lanka for seven years, traveling the length and breadth of the island. This included four colorful years setting up and running a diving center in the capital Colombo where until 2010 diving was mostly off limits for tourists. Naren co-founded the second and most commercially successful dive operation in Colombo, Island Scuba, after diving the 15 wrecks off the coast extensively. Island Scuba was the first recreational diving center in Sri Lanka that focused purely on dive tourism, catering mostly to experienced divers eager to discover deep and untouched wrecks. Before he sold it in 2016, Island Scuba received three consecutive TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence and coordinated film shoots for National Geographic, the BBC and Al Jazeera. He is also a overland and underwater photographer who has been published in Popular Photography, Life Times Sri Lanka and Serendib magazine among others.

General Meeting – Wednesday, 05/10/2017

Speaker: Ken Kollwitz

from Channel Island Dive Adventures

This month Ken and friends will talk about exploring Cuba including diving, culture and history. Ken will have guests, Brandee & Don Sisting joining him who will talk about observations and experiences with Cuban communism, specifically what it is like to live in a country that has been “frozen” in time for 58 years. Brandee & Don along with another couple spent 4 wonderful days in a private home before the group trip started. Their experience will be the first part of our presentation and will include history about the Revolution, Guantanamo Bay, and the Bay of Pigs.

Ken’s part of the presentation will be on the CIDA group land & live-aboard dive trip from December 29th- January 7th, 2017. It was a fantastic experience learning about the people, culture and government while in Havana and the diving from the Jardine l Aggressor live-aboard dive boat. We snorkeled with crocodiles, dived with sharks, dived reefs rarely visited by divers all the while being well taken care of by the crew of the new Jardine l.

Reef Check & Chamber Day 2017

Check out this month’s newsletter for more information on opportunities to join the Pacific Explorers for Chamber Day & Eve 2017 and for volunteering for Reef Check.

 2016/17 Spiny Lobster Cards Due April 3oth

For those who are still catching lobster (season is still open) remember to return your cards by April 30th to CDFW. If you don’t you’ll pay a $20-30 fee the next time you get one. Simply make sure it’s filled out an mail it to:

Lobster Report Card
3883 Ruffin Rd
San Diego, CA 92123

General Meeting – Wednesday, 04/12/2017

Speaker: Brent Durand

from Bluewater Photo & Bluewater Travel

Brent Durand will be back with the Pacific Explorers, this time discussing photographing marine life around the world, as well as some unique dive adventures you can join around the globe. Brent is editor of the Underwater Photography Guide and works closely with Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel. He leads several group dive trips per year and will be sharing photos of fascinating marine life, dive destinations and some insane dive travel discounts for the Explorers.

General Meeting – Wednesday, 02/08/2017

Speaker: Dr. Hans Bertsch

from University Autónoma de Baja California

Dr. Hans Bertsch studies the natural and cultural history of Baja California. He is an associate researcher at the University Autónoma de Baja California who has published numerous articles and several books about the region. His most recent book Marine Invertebrates of Northwest Mexico, a bilingual work that he coauthored with Dr. Luis Aguilar Rosas. This book is the most comprehensive photo guide for the invertebrate biodiversity from Baja California and Baja Sur. Hans will be speaking about this book, his years exploring Baja, and about the integrity and mutual respect that is shared between people here in the USA and in Mexico.

General Meeting – Wednesday, 01/11/2017

Dr. Raymond Wells

Dr. Wells is the creator of Pierce College Marine Science USA, a community college program that introduces students to marine biology in Southern California and Mexico. The program has lecture and field components. The first field course is an introduction to marine species identification while snorkeling or free diving at Catalina Island. The second and third field courses examine the bay and rocky intertidal species of the northwestern Baja California peninsula near Ensenada. The program culminates with a two week visit to Bahia de Los Angeles in the Gulf of California. Dr. Wells is an excellent teacher who merges science, history and culture.

Holiday Party & Photo Contest, 12/04/16

Congratulations to all of the Photo & Video Contest Winners!

The Holiday part was well attended. We had a record number of submissions for the photo and video contest and new winners across the board.

General Meeting from Wednesday, 11/09/16

Kevin Sullivan from Pacific Explorers

The Revillagigedos

Our very own Kevin Sullivan will be giving a presentation about his recent trip to the Revillagigedo Archipelago, better known as Socorro. The Revillagigedo’s are a group of four islands about 240 miles southwest of Cabo San Lucas, at the tip of Baja, Mexico. Socorro is the only island with any population, a small Mexican naval base, and is the source of the more common name for the group of islands. This destination is only accessible by live- aboard dive boat, and is most famous for its extremely friendly giant manta rays. Other large pelagic species such as sharks, dolphins, and whales can also be seen there. Kevin will be sharing photos and video taken by he and his wife Liz during their 10-day excursion to the islands earlier this year.

General Meeting from Wednesday, 07/13/16

Ryan Logan on Recovery of White Shark Populations

Recovery of apex predator populations is indicative of recovery of ecosystem function and coastal food webs. It is interesting to note that while legislation and regulations are put in place to improve air and water quality, they have also reduced overfishing and by-catch mortality which were not necessarily intended to protect or restore white shark populations. These combined actions have likely been essential in driving the white shark population trends currently seen in US waters.

Ryan Logan is a graduate student at CSULB in the lab of Dr. Chris Lowe. His research investigates site fidelity and movements patterns of kelp bass, barred sand bass, and California sheep-head on the Wheeler North Artificial Reef by planting radio frequency emitters in fish and recording how often they are present near a variety of receivers.


General Meeting from Wednesday, 06/08/16

Craig Hoover from Pacific Explorers


Yackpacking Catalina Island

Catalina Island is a paradise both above and below the waterline. Attend this month’s general meeting to hear Craig talk about exploring Catalina by yackpacking; a sport that combines kayaking, backpacking and scuba diving.

Craig Hoover is a marine biologist and underwater photographer whose research focuses on marine biodiversity and the environmental conditions that shape it. He specializes in the ecology and evolution of nudibranch mollusks (sea slugs).


General Meeting from Wednesday, 05/11/16

Jodi from Diveheart

Diveheart works with individuals who have a variety of disabilities, including physical and developmental disabilities, vision and hearing impairments, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, post traumatic stress disorder and more. Diveheart seeks to help its participants “Imagine the Possibilities” in their lives. Learn how you can become a Diveheart Adaptive Buddy, and help adults, children and veterans Imagine the Possibilities in their lives.