Divebums was started in the summer of 1999 by John H. Moore, out of sheer frustration with the lack of readily available information about diving in San Diego. John decided to gather as much information as he could about local dive sites, Southern California marine creatures, and the local wrecks, and make that information available in one place on the Internet. From the onset, Divebums has been a non-commercial, community project which could not have succeeded without the information and photographs provided by many scores of San Diego area divers.
Since 2000, Divebums has had an associated email list, made up of local divers who want to share information about current dive conditions, unusual marine creatures being seen, and local dive- and ocean-community related news and events. For many years now, this email list has been a large list, reaching into all areas of the diving community and helping to make it a more connected and better informed community. As with the website itself, the email list would be nothing without the active participation of many hundreds of local divers.
In 2003, OC Divebums (Orange County) was begun by Debbie Karimoto under the umbrella of Divebums. In Fall 2005, this split off to become O.C. Diving.
In 2004, John had to move out of California for work, at which point he asked his friend and dive buddy, as well as peer for years on a variety of State and local marine policy issues, Steve Haynes, to join him in overseeing the day-to-day function of the Divebums email list. John returned to San Diego in 2009, and Steve and John continue to jointly manage the Divebums email list.
Also in 2004, John began a Sea of Cortez Field ID section on Divebums ("Baja Field ID"), to complement the Southern California Field ID section.
In Spring 2005, the Photos of the Week section was begun, as a way both for local underwater photographers to showcase their work and to provide a visual log of what people are seeing out there. This continued, with a few pauses, until near the end of 2010, when it was put on hold until a more automated, less time-intensive manner of doing these weekly photos can be programmed. In summer 2012, Photos of the Week was restarted, though still not in the desired automated fashion.
In 2005, Divebums did its first two products, a jellyfish t-shirt and an underwater photo calendar featuring the work of Southern California underwater photographers. Through 2010, Divebums continued to do the occasional t-shirt and the annual underwater tide curve calendar.
In 2012, the main Divebums website was redesigned, with future worked planned to completely revise and expand the Field ID section and to programmatically tie it to Photos of the Week.