Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed. ~Hunter S. Thompson, an American author and journalist.
Review of California's Rig to Reef Law
Comparisons Among Platforms and Natural Reefs
How do Platforms get named?
Overnight on an Oil Platform
As divers, oil rigs provide an artificial reef for marine life that can provide for a spectacular adventure. There can be surprise visits from large to small swimming pelagic fish from moola mola, sharks, rays, sardine, mackerel and barracuda. Sea lions are common residents as well. You may also see dolphin, jellyfish and the local cormorant bird dive bombing for a treat. The platforms are full of marine life from the typical southern California starfish, Garibaldi, rock fish, sheep head, opal eye, blacksmith and cabezon fish. The more mind-blowing awe inspiring moments are the marine life that clings and has become part of the structure from the encrusted huge sick amounts of colorful anemones, brittle stars, mussels and barnacles to huge white medridiums and plentiful scallops. Macro photographers are in for a test of what not to shoot. For the wide angle shots the cross beams, and legs create endless opportunities for framing.
Diving oil platforms requires the mastery of good diving skills from a diver and has experience in variety of local ocean conditions. You may encounter on the surface and/or at depths a variety of mild to strong surge, currents, dramatic thermoclines, algae blooms and limited visibility. It is best to stay within the area of the rig structure; it is important if you lose sight of the structure, you need to come up and do not drift away. Platforms are in the open sea and neutral buoyancy, watching your depth and time are absolutely critical. Get a guided dive from an experience dive professional on your first dive and call the dive if conditions change suddenly. All divers should carry a surface marker buoy with reel that can be deployed from depth, in case they become separated from the rig and must make a safety or decompression stop in open water. A primary and backup light are recommended as well.
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Cost varies based on: (from $150pp and up +)
- type of dive boat charter (six-pack vs larger)
- number of dives (2 or 3)
- amenities offered - tanks provided, lunch, etc.
- guided dives or non-guided dives or training
- private vs public charter
Minimum Age for this Course: 15 years old
Minimum pre-requisite certification level: Adventure Diver (with Deep or Wreck) or equivalent. Proof of deep training dive from ADV/AOW required if getting Deep Specialty.
Experience: proof of recent, familiarity and comfort in our local ocean waters.
Recommended equipment for students: light, slate, reel and SMB (surface marker buoy) available at Malibu Divers. We also highly recommend using your drysuit if you are certified and comfortable diving in it.
Planned departure: varies 7:30 am
Planned Return: varies 3:30 pm (depending on # of dives)
Platforms: Elly and Ellen, and Eureka (located southwest of Huntington Beach, 8 miles)