Re: Swim through at Santa Barbara Is.

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on June 06, 2000 at 00:06:50:

In Reply to: Swim through at Santa Barbara Is. posted by Cormerant on June 05, 2000 at 20:03:14:

Sounds like you're talking about Black Caverns.

There are supposedly five or six caverns in this area but I've always dove the one to which you refer. Balck Caverns is located along the western edge of SBI, down from Sutil Island, about halfway to Arch Reef.

The cavern is easy to miss. generaly the dive boats will drop anchor along the top of the wall (about 50-60' and covered with brittle stars). Go over the wall and, if the anchor is north of the cavern, turn right. Follow the wall around at the 100' mark and you'll (hopefully) come to a place where the wall curves seaward. In that corner is the entrance to the cavern.

Head on in and you should see the light from the other end right away. However, you won't see all the way through as the cavern floor rises slightly and curves to the left. But you can head straight through (take a light). We've had as many as ten divers in there at once. It's pretty big. I'd estimate 20' wide and perhaps 75' long. When you exit thre cavern, you can come up on top of the wall and finish your dive as you head back to the boat (you should be under the boat's stern very quickly if the boat is sitting parallel to the wall).

Really cool dive. Just make sure you have plenty of air and the experience and skill level to do the dive. Most of the boat operators know where the spot is and can put you on it.

Ken Kurtis
NAUI #5936
Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, Ca.

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