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Santa Cruz Island is a boat accessible salt water dive site, located in Santa Cruz Island, CA. This dive site has an average rating of 3.62 out of 5 from 32 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 41-50ft/12-15m.

Accessible from the dive boats in Ventura Harbor.

Truth in Painted Cave

Santa Cruz is the largest island off the coast of
California. Located between Anacapa and Santa Rosa Islands, it lies from 19-25
miles off the adjacent mainland coast between Ventura and Santa Barbara.
Unknown to many, this island is home to a very extensive
system of underwater caves and caverns.
Diablo Anchorage offers one such example at the Diablo Point Cave which
is a good beginning penetration cave dive and is ideal for introductory cavern
diving classes. Scorpion Anchorage
is also home to the wreck of the USS Peacock, a 100’ long wood hulled WW-II
minesweeper (just like the Calypso) which is in great shape resting upright on
a sheltered 60’ sandy bottom. And located within a few fin kicks is one of the
best rock scallop sites on the coast.
The scenic beauty of Santa Cruz is reflected in its many
landforms-two rugged mountain ranges, the highest peaks on the Channel Islands,
deep canyons, a central valley, year-round springs and streams, plus 77 miles
of craggy coastline cliffs, giant sea caves, pristine tidepools and expansive
beaches. Lying directly on the boundary between cold northern and warm southern
waters, this island hosts unique plant, animal, and marine communities
representing nearly 1000 miles of coastline.

Dive Site Map

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wuzaracer - 5/31/2017 1:38 PM
Has anyone done a dive here in December or January? I am wondering if a 5.4mm with hood is sufficient. I live in Texas, but may be in the area around Christmas and I am always looking for a chance to dive.
barbiezken - 5/31/2017 1:45 PM
We always dive in a 7mm temps are usually in the low 50’s.
joe_bird - 1/29/2018 1:12 PM
Just got back from a two day trip on the Truth to Santa Cruz. Water temps were between 56-58, definitely go 7mm if you get the chance to dive it.
Micah - 2/03/2015 8:15 PM
Rating Added: 3
Good dive, but it can be cold. Visibility was around 40-50 and water temp was between 59 and 62 (May). I would recommend this dive if you happen to be in the area and are looking to get wet, but probably not a destination dive for me. Being from the East Coast, I am use to the warmer waters of North and South Carolina and even find myself shying away from the colder waters of Maryland and Norther Virginia.
WILLO - 10/04/2014 2:11 AM
I went scuba diving here on 9/30/2014. Average viz: 21-25ft/6-8m. Water temp: 61-65°F/16-18°C.
We pulled anchor and headed for La Roca (my description). The rocks along Cruz near Point San Pedro. The North Westerly Winds stopped just after mid-night. This morning the ocean and conditions are second to none. The sunrise out of the east over Anacapa Island is fantastic. The Big Orange Globe making it’s way into the still blue sky, the ocean flat like a mirror, a diver could not ask for better diving conditions. After a quick breakfast we once again plaster ourselves with Neoprene, Aluminum, Rubber, Lead, Nylon, various items of steel, a little glass and off the swim step we go in search of the California Spiny Lobster. We work the ledges, holes, cracks and overhangs that are common along the islands topography. Using lights, a good pair of gloves(leather) we find a couple of the tasty crustaceans and hand haul them into our catch bags. Once back on the Buganeer we remove all the bulk from our frames, organize our gear, set the GPS for Channel Islands, start the engine, hoist the anchor and cruise back to shore. We pick up a slight westerly swell down the slot, however, no wind at all we are in port in just under an hour.
WILLO - 10/04/2014 1:44 AM
I went scuba diving here on 9/29/2014. Average viz: 21-25ft/6-8m. Water temp: 61-65°F/16-18°C.
We anchored along the island in 40 feet. There was a little wind with no swell, flat as can be. After dinner we suited up around 8:30PM and made our ascent at 9:00PM following the rocky bottom along the cliffs we hunted the shallows for Bugs. I bagged my first two free diving in 6’ & 4’ of water. With SCUBA we worked the kelp along the island at 8’ to 12’ and found Lobster feeding in the shallow kelp beds along the shoreline. The slight surge or swell would expose the Bugs under the kelp and that was our chance to make a catch. With the warm water temps and good vis this dive was a fun dive. We hauled out just after 10PM.
barbiezken - 6/04/2014 1:58 PM
I went scuba diving here on 10/12/2013. Average viz: 36-40ft/11-12m. Water temp: 50-55°F/10-13°C.
barbiezken - 6/04/2014 1:43 PM
I went scuba diving here on 4/13/2014. Average viz: 26-30ft/8-9m. Water temp: 50-55°F/10-13°C.
Shot a couple Sheephead, A very curious and playful Harbor seal swam with us.
egunnison - 1/26/2014 1:59 PM
Rating Added: 4
Decent rock formations, dove on SPECTRE out of Ventura.
Songbird - 7/01/2013 10:39 AM
I went scuba diving here on 6/29/2013. Average viz: 26-30ft/8-9m. Water temp: 56-60°F/13-16°C.
Rich-D-Fish - 7/01/2013 9:26 AM
I went scuba diving here on 6/29/2013. Average viz: 26-30ft/8-9m. Water temp: 56-60°F/13-16°C.
First dive Cavern Point. Second dive Catacombs. Cavern Point lush kelp forest, great topography, more spanish shawl nudi than I have ever seen. Catacombs many swim throughs and caves.
priest - 6/19/2013 5:39 PM
I went scuba diving here on 6/9/2013. Average viz: 11-15ft/3-5m. Water temp: 56-60°F/13-16°C.
LatitudeAdjustment - 6/02/2009 6:07 PM
From my log; Site was aptly named Heart Attack Rock at Santa Cruz. Bottom is lines of ridges running parallel to shore. Lots of Garabaldi, gobys, slugs and sea hares. Thank god for trail lines, I pull myself back to the boat.