Underwater Pavilions | Avalon, Catalina

There are three gigantic orbs underwater, just offshore from Avalon's Catalina Casino. On a sunny day, all you can see of them from the shore is a faint spot of lighter blue water. On a cloudy day, nothing. 


It's a short swim out, through clouds of small fish and first-time scuba divers. Peering into the depths looking for something large but unknown is a strain on the eyes...when you spot them, it comes as a relief.


There's three of them - two are deep-end-of-the-pool deep, the other is reported to be 50 feet down. The shallowest is mirrored on the outside, the other two are mirrored inside. All three are about 12 feet wide, plenty of space to swim around inside. They're also all host to a healthy growth of algae on their non-mirrored surfaces, which gives the effect of a soft shag rug.

Artist Doug Aitken, in partnership with Parley for the Oceans and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), installed the Underwater Pavilions on December 4, 2016, as temporary, interactive, underwater sculptures. Last I checked, on New Year's Day, 2017, they were still there, although it's not clear know how much longer that will be the case.

All you need to see them is a mask, wetsuit, fins, and a ferry ticket to Avalon. All these photos were taken with my Nikonos iii + 15mm UW lens combo on Ilford HP5.

Source: underwaterpavilions