1 310-578-9391

Magician Dive Boat to Farnsworth Bank: Advanced Divers only!
May 13th

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Magician Dive Boat to Farnsworth Bank: Advanced Divers only!
May 13th

May 13 @ 6:00 am - 7:00 pm



Ask any experienced Southern California diver what they consider the most spectacular dive in all the Channel Islands and it’s likely you’ll hear Farnsworth Bank mentioned. A lot. Farnsworth is series of tall underwater mountains and sharp pinnacles approximately 1.6 miles off the backside of Catalina Island. Surrounding waters are deep and the area is constantly bathed in clear oceanic currents. It is the main mountain at a depth of about 55 feet that is the most often dived. There are several other nearby pinnacles but most push the limits of safe recreational diving depths.

Among the main attractions here are huge expanses of California purple hydrocoral (Stylaster californicus). In places on the deeper, less frequently dived pinnacles, it seemingly covers nearly every square inch of the reef. While the shallowest portion has less coral it is still very prevalent. Purple coral is actually not a true reef building coral as you would find on tropical reefs but rather a hydroid in the Phylum Cnidaria, which also includes anemones and jellies. Although it is not a hazard to humans, it is closely related to painful fire coral found in tropical waters. On the few walls, valleys, and crevices where the coral is lacking, often there are vertical tapestries of pink, purple, and red corynactis anemones (Corynactis californica). In other locations bright yellow-orange zoanthid anemones (Epinzoanthus giveni) also carpet walls. In short, marine life here is insanely abundant.
This is a very fishy dive. Scorpionfish, both rainbow (Scorpaenodes xyris) and California (Scorpaenodes guttata), are found in nearly every pocket and perched on many of the reef tops and coral stands. They can be easily approached but stay clear of their venomous dorsal spines. Their interesting textured and colored faces make for great photos against the purple coral backgrounds or blue water. Often scorpionfish will take on skin tones to match their surroundings. Such was the case with most of these fish‚– mottled lavender. I’ve noticed that painted greenlings (Oxyleius pictus) here may also adapt hues of their reef home. They sometimes take on muted colors in stripe form on their bodies. Lingcod can also be seen balanced on the ledges or just cruising a foot or so over the reef. Keep your head on a swivel. Large aggressive electric torpedo rays are seen on nearly every dive. Often they will even rise far from the reef to circle you while at your safety stop.
Shrimp, small crabs, big moray eels and nudibranchs round out the cast for macro photographers. But shutterbugs will find it hard to choose between macro and wide angle, as opportunities abound for both formats. With the way the fish perch on the sharp rocks and purple coral you may want to try your hand at close-focus wide-angle. Remember, get low and shoot up. It is not unusual to be able to clearly see the boat from the top of the pinnacle.
To put it simply, in spite of its challenges, Farnsworth is a “must-do” dive for any serious experienced West Coast diver.

Source: californiadivingnews.com


The Magician is a 65’ USCG rated vessel that is certified to carry up to 44 passengers or 28 divers and has bunks to accommodate up to 22 passengers. The have a full galley, serving great meals, snacks and drinks.

  • Depart from: 22nd Street Landing, San Pedro
  • Time: Board at 5am Sunday or after 8pm Saturday and depart at 6am. We are typically back to San Pedro around 6pm

This is a special trip to Farnsworth Banks and all divers must be experienced. This trip is best suited for Advanced divers that have experience in cold water conditions including; current, swell, possible limited visibility and deep water. Most importantly, good buoyancy control is needed and surface signal tubes are always recommended. All divers must be able to show certification so bring your card. Bring all dive gear including tank and weights. Air fills are provided but not tanks. Nitrox is available for $10/fill. Food and drinks are provided including vegetarian choices. Bring a towel, sunscreen, toiletries and any other personal items you might need.

Trip cost is $145 including airfills, food & drinks. Call OADC to book your spot: 310.578.9391


May 13
6:00 am - 7:00 pm
Event Categories:
Event Tags:
, , ,


Erika Ladd