Kyle Wakeboarding with Dolphins

We have quite a treat today! This Friday we want to share a short video Kyle captured while wakeboarding with a pod of dolphins in San Diego.

Shot from a head-mounted GoPro, Kyle is seen skurfing on the ocean with dolphins playing in the wake of the boat.

Vote for us!

We are nominated for BEST Water Activities for the 2014 San Diego A-List. Hooray!

It would mean a lot of you could show your support and vote for us!

Click here to cast your vote.

Sevengill Shark Sighting in… June?

We haven’t seen the sevengills at the La Jolla Cove in 5 weeks and assumed they had continued on their normal routine and left  as the water warmed. So you can imagine our surprise when we spotted this male sevengill with a damaged dorsal fin! We are left wondering what caused the severe fin damage and why we are seeing them so late into the season?

The World’s Largest Bony Fish

A unique open ocean traveler, Mola molas really are Something Different.

We are proud to have our boat share the name and are excited to announce it is officially Mola season. As the amount of jellies and sea nettles have increased, we have been seeing these cow-faced fish regularly out on the open ocean.

Swimming with these shy ocean sunfish is always an experience – their unique swimming behavior, goofy demeanor, and large weight of up to 5,000 lbs make molas a very special animal to share the water with.

SD Expedition’s New Aerial Drone

As some of you have heard… SD Expeditions has recently acquired a DJI Phantom II aerial drone.

We are currently mastering the art of filming while flying, but stay tuned for some aerial footage of dolphins, whales, and sharks.

Published in Nat Geo

Congrats to our very own Kyle McBurnie for his first publication in National Geographic!



Check out the double page spread of his harbor seal in the May issue of National Geographic, or view it online here.

The Start of Sevengill Season

It is officially sevengill shark season! We’ve spotted them consistently on previous dives at the cove, and our very own Nick LeBeouf has even been interviewed by CBS 8 and FOX 5 about the recent sightings. Almost all of the sharks we have spotted have been males, so we believe the males are waiting for the females to start mating. We have also noticed that when we spot one, we usually see more nearby.

Some video clips of our sightings so these past two weeks:

A compilation video of an epic dive on April 10th. We felt like every way we turned there was a sevengill around. We also saw a couple tope sharks and even a giant black seabass!

A nice pass by a male sevengill on April 8th:

An interested sevengill during a night dive on March 25th. He seemed genuinely interested in us and was doing tight circles, but didn’t stick around for long and it was difficult to spot other sevengills in the dark.

A sevengill that let me follow it for a couple minutes before it flees quickly and darts away between divers:

A sevengill that passed by with a fishing lure hooked in his mouth :( If only he would let me get close enough to take it out.

I was watching a sevengill cruising leisurely along mid column when all of a sudden I see one quickly heading straight at me. I got out of the way in time, but I wonder if he would have bumped into me if I had not moved.

Hopefully they stick around for a while, the water has been very cold (54 degrees) this week and we’ve still spotted several of them. Get out there and dive!

Weekend Catalina Exploratory Trip

Looking to do something different, we decided to take the Mola up to Catalina for a fun overnight trip this past weekend. Pulling her behind us on the trailer up to San Pedro (it was difficult finding a gas station that could fit her in!), we launched her out of the Port of Los Angeles Saturday morning.

Catalina trailer
We were in a great mood as we set off for Catalina – beautiful weather and an incredibly flat ocean during the crossing. About halfway there, we had a brief encounter with two fin whales which came within 50 feet of the boat! And then 20 minutes later, we passed by a pod of Rizzo’s dolphins, a real treat. One of the larger members of the dolphin family, Rizzo’s average about 10 feet in length and are a grey color with distinct white scratches. They were very shy, perhaps because they were feeling protective of the younger dolphins we spotted within the pod.
Rizzo's dolphins
As we headed for Catalina, it was easy to head straight for Ship Rock, located in front of the isthmus of the island. We had a great view for lunch over a calm ocean as we neared the island.
Catalina crossing

Once we reached Ship Rock, we anchored and suited up for our first dive of the weekend. The currents were a little strong here, but the visibility was still a solid 60′, a refreshing change from diving in La Jolla!
Ship rock 1
The bright orange Garibaldis really popped against the lush kelp forest scenery, and they were great, cooperative models today.
Catalina Ship Rock 2
Catalina Ship Rock Garibaldi

 The sun and the kelp at this shallow spot formed a very picturesque amphitheater that perfectly framed Alice.
Catalina Ship Rock 3

After our dive, we headed over to Little Geiger cove to do some spearfishing and freediving till sunset, and Kyle speared a nice calico for dinner. As darkness set in and the bright stars came out, we headed over to the and picked a spot near shore at 4th of July Cove. We then cleaned, seasoned, and cooked our fresh fish with a side of mashed potatoes and hearty soup. Not a bad way to end a Catalina day! For mid February, the temperatures were surprisingly comfortable, and we were treated to a swollen yellow moon rising over the island. We decided to pitch a tent right on the deck, and it was actually a really comfortable night.
Catalina Night Tent

The next morning we woke early to catch the sunrise and cooked up some eggs and bacon on our new marine BBQ.
Catalina Sunrise
After packing up, we headed back out of the coves to do one more dive at Ship Rock. It was a little windier and colder today, but Kyle still managed to get this amazing shot of Nick hidden in the kelp.

Catalina Ship Rock Nick

We decided to dive Eagle Reef next, which was further off shore than some of the other sites, but easy to find since it was marked by a large red buoy. The strong currents here provide much of the nutrients to support the abundance of marine life. We saw numerous bright blue-banded gobies, tons of blacksmith, lobsters, a wall of red gorgonians and some large lingcod.

Eagle reef buoy

Eagle reef gorgonian

Following the dive, we headed back to shore to enjoy the shallows at Big Geiger Cove one last time before leaving. Nick donned his freediving fins, and even though the swell was picking up, the shallows were still beautiful to photograph.

Catalina Freediving
Catalina Big Geiger Cove
It was finally time to head back home. As the island got smaller and smaller on our way out, we couldn’t help but look forward to our next Catalina trip already. We rode some large swells all the way back, but the highlight was the megapod of common dolphins that passed us. You could see dolphins leaping out of the water for as far as you could see, and some even came over to playfully bow ride the boat. It was a pleasant way to end an amazing weekend at Catalina. You can be sure we will be back soon!

First Sevengill Sighting at La Jolla Cove

Oh boy oh boy!! Look who we found on our dive at La Jolla Cove today… is this the beginning of something beautiful?

Let’s hope he was an early arrival and we continue to see sevengill sharks in La Jolla. He made one pass and I got so excited I think I scared him off, but he returned later to check us out one more time and allowed me to snap this photo – we love sevengills!

Keep your eyes peeled!

Sevengill 2_15

February Newsletter

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Upcoming Boat Trips

Mola is finally ready for some action!

She’s looking beautiful, and we can’t wait for you to see her. Our schedule is filling up with lots of different trips including blue & mako shark trips, whale watching, Pt. Loma kelp dives, private charters, and more.

Upcoming trips:
2/15 - Pt. Loma Kelp Scuba Dive
2/22 - Blue & Mako Shark Diving
3/2 - Gray Whale Watching Excursion
3/15 - Pt. Loma Kelp Scuba Dive
3/29 - Blue & Mako Shark Diving
4/19 - Sevengill Shark Dive
4/25 - 4/27 - 3 Day Shark Extravaganza

For more details on any of these trips, click here.

If you are interested in other boat charters, please click here.

Filming with 60 Minutes & Stig Severinsen

Earlier this month, we had the honor of taking out 60 Minutes Australia to film a segment on Stig Severinsen, world champion freediver. We took out the Mola for two days of filming, and our own Kyle McBurnie filmed the underwater segments.

We spent one day filming blue sharks off the coast and one in the beautiful kelp forests of San Diego where Kyle captured some beautiful sequences of Stig diving below the golden kelp in his signature blue freediving suit.

For more pictures and our blog post, click here.

New SD Expeditions T-shirts

Our new SD Expedition active shirts are made with a special fabric that is designed to keep you cool and dry all day.

  • Tagless for comfort
  • Specific fits for men and women
  • Rapid dry interlocking fabric
  • Wicks moisture away from the body
  • 100% polyester
  • Available in women’s and men’s fits

We just can’t stop wearing them.


Discount – $100 Off a Scuba Class

Ever wanted to scuba dive, or thinking about continuing your dive education? Now’s your chance!

Mention coupon code ‘MOLAMOOLAH’ when booking an Open Water Scuba Class or an Advanced Scuba Class over the phone, and receive $100 off the full price. Coupon code valid until 3/15/2014.

For more information on our classes, please click here.