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Santa Barbara Island - Santa Barbara Island CA

Santa Barbara Island is a boat accessible salt water dive site, located in Santa Barbara Island, CA. This dive site has an average rating of 3.71 out of 5 from 14 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 81-90ft/25-27m. The average visibility is 41-50ft/12-15m.

This is the largest California Sea Lion roockery that LA area boats visit. It’s an amazing dive, everyone should try it. There are thick kelp forests and lots of other critters, but the Sea Lions will want all your attention.

Also known as ’The Island of the Sea Lion’, also offers clear water and incredible invertebrate life. Though small in stature, Santa Barbara boasts a large rookery of California sea lions that provide hours of endless interaction!

Young pups sun themselves on the surface while adults speed through dense kelp beds and over the rocky reefs below. Keep your eyes open and watch your back harbor seals also live here and seem to enjoy sneaking up to scare the heck out of you while diving and snorkeling. Angel sharks and bat rays are easily found throughout the island’s scattered sand flats.

Kayaking Santa Barbara is an experience as the sea lions enjoy frolicking in close proximity and you’ll quite often find dozens of pups peering at you from all sides!

Divers, if you enjoy dramatic terrain and depth youwill want to dive the outside of Sutil Island, Black Caverns and the Underwater Arch. In season, lobster diving can be excellent. While white seabass and yellowtail prowl the outer edges of the kelp forests in search of a baitfish meal.

Plus the underwater spectacle of thousands of brittlestars, arms outstretched for a detritus is hard to fathom the sheer numbers of brittlestars that carpet the bottom of many of the dive sites!

Santa Barbara Island is part of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary with 1/3 of it’s aquatic area designated a reserve, off limits for hunting.

Beginner to advanced divers will enjoy all that Santa Barbara Island offers. You will find that we visit here on 2 - 4 day dive and eco adventures.

Dive Site Map

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FastFord - 9/11/2012 9:52 PM
Rating Added: 4
Diving with hundreds of Sea Lions can be a surreal experience...just sit back and watch. If you want to get up close and personal sit on the bottom and scoop small handfuls of sand and let it run thru your fingers close to the bottom so you dont stir it up too much. They are so curious that you will have several right in your face saying "whatcha doing???"
LatitudeAdjustment - 6/02/2009 7:17 PM

From my log; The Notch is in Sutil island next to Santa Barbara island, some Garabaldi, saw one being cleaned by two Senorita wrasse, lot’s of nudi’s and seahares. Paul says a male sea lion buzzed me but I never saw it.

Another dive; Right next to the Notch (Twin Rocks?) and I took a lot of pictures of starfish, there were Batrays up in mid water.

Another dive; Between Stag Rock and Rookery Point, Rickwrecks ashes are spread here, we descend over sand and swim into the kelp, it’s a bit murky but there are lot’s of anemones, kelpfish, goby’s, some nudi’s, a large lobster, we get buzzed by a sea lion and there are more on the surface but that group is anti-social.