Scuba Diving Photos
United States of Scuba: Diving the Country We Love
Kelp at Point Lobos, California
California touts colorful kelp; this one can be found at Point Lobos.
National Marine Sanctuaries
The United States is a world leader in protecting marine habitat, with more than a dozen national marine sanctuaries, and numerous smaller marine protected areas scattered along the coasts and islands of the U.S. and its protectorates and territories. All are under the care of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and most are open to divers, offering everything from beautiful coral-reef ecosystems to noteworthy shipwrecks.
The United States has its share of strange and unusual dive sites: a flooded Atlas missile silo outside Abilene, Texas; a hot spring inside a volcano-shaped limestone dome in Midway, Utah; an underwater mausoleum and sculpture garden off Key Biscayne, Florida (yes, people really are buried here; family members commonly dive to visit their graves) — and that’s just a few of the wackiest.
Historic Dive Shops
Scuba is a young sport; our pioneers still dive among us. From Redondo Beach’s legendary Dive N’ Surf (1953) — dive shop to the stars, including Lloyd Bridges of Sea Hunt — to Wolf’s Divers’ Supply in Benton, Michigan (1956), Frank’s Underwater Sports & Travel in Edmond, Oklahoma (1955), Atlanta’s Diving World (1957), and Hialeah, Florida’s Tarpoon Diving Centers (1952) — now operated by the third generation of its founding family — historic dive shops offer a wealth of experience to new tribe members.
A hallmark of diving on the Big Island of Hawaii, where the regular night dive off Kona has become world renowned, these graceful pelagics also wave their wings like the Stars and Stripes off the other Hawaiian Islands, in the Gulf of Mexico’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, and occasionally in the waters off Florida, North Carolina, and up the Atlantic coast.
World War II Wrecks
Off the coast of North Carolina rests a sunken legacy of World War II. Ships sent to their doom by German U-boats — the Papoose, Caribsea, W.E. Hutton, Ario, Ashkhabad, Atlas, Bedfordshire and Naeco — have become underwater museums, and magnets for marine life, including the sand tiger sharks for which the region is famed. The jewel in the area’s wreck-dive crown is the U-352, arguably the best divable German U-boat in U.S. waters.