Sunlight filtered by the canopy becomes an array of thin green-yellow splinters illuminating kelp fronds and fish immediately below. Juvenile calico bass and small kelpfish are well-camouflaged between brown kelp stipes and tangled blades. Small groups of sardines, almost invisible against the blue sky above, dart inches beneath the surface where the canopy clears. Slight surge rocks the entire forest gently back and forth. Dominating the scene are columns of giant kelp and rocky reefs and walls carpeted in short palm frond kelp and clusters of red algae and speckled with sponges, anemones, gorgonian and deep-water hydrocoral. Dropping down only halfway to the reefy bottom below we navigate to shore, suspended quietly among the towering plants. Bright individual garibaldi and scattered schools of blacksmith, perch and bass swim busily over the reefs while a few nocturnal lobster and horn sharks are still seeking shelter for the day in the form of holes and ledges. Occasional open sand areas within the kelp bed, accompanied by clearings in the canopy above, seem like huge well-lit rooms in an immense shadowy building and attract large swirling schools of jackmackerel, sunbathing sea lions and the occasional Pacific barracuda. Sound good? This describes some of the finest diving in the world! The California kelp beds, vibrant with life, offer a multitude of diving opportunities.
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