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Back  |  USA: California Coast  |  Channel Islands (North)

Cathedral Cove  |  USA: Pacific Northwest

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Anacapa Island
Channel Islands National Park

Type: Saltwater-OpenOcean
Snorkling, Beginner, Intermediate

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Horned Nudibranch



Small Caves and Swim-Throughs , Large Rock Formation / Pinnacle, Boulder Pile / Shelves, Kelp Forest


Cathedral Cove is a wonderful (and reliable) cove that offers excellent sightseeing and a variety of life to both snorkelers and divers. Hop in near the large rock that stands out of the water near the west entrance of the cove a and explore the rocky reefs, kelp, caves and archways to depths ranging from 10í to about 50í and search for large calico bass, lobster, and abalone (but donítí take them, it is a marine preserve!). Common fish encountered include the ever present garibaldi, senorita wrass, sheephead, opaleye and perch. You may even be visited by harbor seals or sea lions. Open Water SCUBA classes occasionally finalize their training dives at this location.

Special Restrictions:

The cove is typically protected from weather and conditions tend to be mild, although there may be some surge in the shallows. Please be cautious entering swim-throughs.

How to get there:

Cathedral Cove is located on the Northern side of East Anacapa Island, in about the middle of the island. It is a protected cove with some large rock formations protruding from the water on the western entrance of the cove. Many more rocks can be seen in shallow water near the shore on the eastern side of the cove. If Cathedral Cove is occupied by other divers then you can dive nearby Landing Cove, the next cove to the east (left if looking at the shore from the water).

As with all dive sites at Anacapa Island, you will need a boat to access them. It is recommended that you select a local charter from Santa Barbara, Ventura, or other local charter that offers service to Anacapa Island. Anacapa Island is more protected from storms and thus tends to offer clearer, warmer water than the other islands in the northern Channel Islands, making it an ideal, and reliable, charter destination especially for visitors, less experienced divers and snorkelers.

Thanks to ChevaYEA for submitting this site!
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