Mains'l Haul - Diving in San Diego - A Concise History Encompassing the World

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Vol. 52: 1 & 2
Spring/Winter 2016

Diving in San Diego - A Concise History Encompassing the World (Winter/Spring 2016) takes a close look at the beginnings of diving in San Diego ‒ the focus for much of diving's evolution in the U.S..

Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the U.S. Navy played a key role in the development of diving in the U.S.: from scientific research diving, to the evolution of diving equipment and photographic equipment, to underwater habitats; San Diego was undoubtedly a hub.

The first official dive club in North America, the Bottom Scratchers, became legendary, with breath-hold divers making record-breaking feats of endurance to attain their catch. Many of these divers were also marine scientists and researchers with SIO.

Diving on shipwrecks remains a popular aspect of scuba diving and San Diego does lack for wrecks on the sea floor. The wrecks, in turn, become home to a plethora of sea life whose stunning beauty makes the adventure below even more alluring.

This issue of Mains'l Haul gives the reader a rare glimpse into the underwater world through the colorful lens of history: How did we get there and why. Thanks to the skill and fortitude of early San Diego divers, we have a few answers.