Whidbey Island Critters

Fish & Invertebrate sightings and descriptions, hosted by resident NWDC ID expert Janna Nichols (nwscubamom).
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:36 pm

Vjw, I am glad you enjoy Whidbey Critters.

After a month long absence, I revisited Langley Harbor. On my last visit I found widespread sea star wasting and so I was quite apprehensive about what I might find this time. Well, it was not as bad as I expected. I did find some sick stars, but majority of them is healthy and I did find some baby stars too. What was really strange, that I found only two Pink short-spined stars. They used to be dominating the area around and on the tire reef. They were not as badly hit by the major outbreak of the disease during the peak period, but I could not see any this time. I hope I will find them on my next dive there. The sea star activity on one of the mooring H-beam anchors is also interesting. I try to make a point to visit it on every dive.
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Vjw
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Vjw » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:20 pm

Interesting that sea anemones ‘fight’ and create such a beautiful site. Your pictures and descriptions are amazing. Thank you!

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:10 am

The "bushes" which this summer invaded some of Whidbey dive locales are not what I thought Filamentous alga. They are Obelia hydroids. Few Skeleton shrimp found home on them, not much else.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:14 am

Some sea anemones can be so mean to each other ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:16 pm

Birds do it, bees do it. Northern Kelp crabs caught in the act at Keystone Jetty. ;)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:48 pm

As I scrape ice from the windshield in the morning, memories of tropical climate rush in. Here is the last series from our November fling in Mexico. Since no scuba diving the day before our scheduled flight was in the plan, we visited a water oriented Xel-Ha park where snorkeling is the main attraction. Unfortunately, our ear infection was getting the best of both of us, my snorkeling venture into the lagoon was short and not too productive. Now I am trying to heal so I can return to the Whidbey Island diving...

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Vjw
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Vjw » Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:48 pm

These pictures are amazing!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

It’s like Carlsbad caverns but filled with water you get to dive in! Nature has such beauty.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:18 am

The Pit, the only cenote which where we descended deep, hundred feet depth was the exception in our week long journey. The Pit was different in many ways, there was no line, no tight spots to sneak through. But it was awesome experience. And this concludes the cenote diving expedition of 2017. The dives exceeded our expectation, it only whetted my interest in seeing more, for Yucatan Peninsula is one big underground wonderland with so much more to offer. Who knows, maybe I will return ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:16 am

Calavera aka Temple of Doom. Another cenote on our Yucatan underworld journey.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:38 pm

More from our favorite Dreamgate cenote. This time the Downstream section.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:15 pm

Curt, I sure enjoyed this birthday gift :)

Aktun Ha, better known by its not so flattering name Carwash. I found the shallows frequented by snorkelers very interesting, because of the turtles, fish and water lilies, all so different from the underground world of caves and caverns.
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oldsalt
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby oldsalt » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:58 pm

Jan: While a long way from Whidbey Island, and not many critters, this is a wonderful series. Your photography skills didn't abandon you on the trip south. What a marvelous birthday gift. In my mind, the best part was having Maya go along. Happy birthday.
-Curt :rawlings:
Happy to be alive.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:38 am

El Eden aka Ponderosa was my least favorite cenote. Although many reports are describing swimming in the haloclines there as fun, I did not particularly care for almost zero visibility while I lug along my camera gear. Also almost no stalactite decoration and not the best visibility here put El Eden on the bottom of my list .
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:31 pm

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:29 pm

Dreamgate cenote - our most favorite. Of course, the photos are not even close able to capture the surrounding beauty.
Unveiling only fraction of the scene as we swim by, pointing our puny lights at the cathedral full of natures marvel.
Even words are failing me ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:54 am

Another day with only little bit of sun, so no views of Points of Light inside that cenote, but now and then, view of what could be did appear during our 1,150 feet long excursion through the Tajma Ha.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:43 am

Another day in the jungle of Yucatan. Chikin Ha cenote did not offer much of the decorative beauty of yesterday dives, but it gave us taste of navigating through halocline where the visibility goes to almost zero as the mixing of salt and fresh water creates a layer of strange visual effect of a jello-like quality. I am use to some of it from our waters, but in Whidbey waters it is not as thick. I don't like it because it makes photography impossible.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:52 pm

Thank you guys, yes, cenotes are sure a great place to dive.

The second dive at Dos Ojos cenote. Snorkelers here have a chance to swim all the way to the Bat Room, it was interesting to see all sudden feet hanging from the surface and disco-like light display as the snorkelers wildly scan their surroundings in otherwise very dark place. In the Bat Room itself, there is a small opening in the center of the dome ceiling, providing access to the topside world for the small animals. Because of the overcast, no sun rays were coming down through it during our dive there.
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Gdog
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Gdog » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:05 pm

Fantastic shots Jan!!!

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Scubie Doo » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:54 pm

Awesome stuff Jan! love diving the cenotes:)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:41 pm

Our first dive was in Cenote Dos Ojos, which is one of the more popular one with the worst road leading to it. Once there, it offers more amenities than the others we visited. It also means larger crowds.But it has lot to offer, here are just few snapshots taken along the Barbie Line.
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fmerkel
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby fmerkel » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:28 am

That's certainly a different set of pix from you. Pretty cool. I've only done one day of cenote diving.
Outer ear infection is a bummer. Multiple dives in warm water can do that if you don't take precautions.
To Air is Human,
To Respire, Divine.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:41 am

Just in case you wondered what happened to Whidbey diving posts in last week. My daughter as a 70th Birthday present bought me a ticket to the tropics and we spent great week diving the cenotes of Mexico. It was as close to cave diving as I could without the rigorous training that cave diving requires. Called cavern diving, it present many of the benefits of witnessing the incredible beauty hidden underground, beneath the dense jungle above. From the photography standpoint, it was very challenging for me, since I am used to take my sweet time to stop and linger around my point of interest and wait for the right moment. Not here. The name of the game is follow the leader, stay close to the line and your buddy ahead of you. So pictures of fins and bottom of tanks is the norm. Lighting in total darkness, no chance to stage the shots, etc. etc. But it is magical, nevertheless. Swimming through the big caverns, through narrow passages and beauty all around you. I highly recommend it, if you are at least Advanced diver certified. I did bring back a nasty External Ear Infection ( also known :swimmer's ear"). So I am nursing it while it rains outside...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:14 pm

Cleaning up the Keystone dives folder, some fish, some slugs and marine life waiting for you to enjoy when you visit :)
Have a nice weekend !
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:45 pm

I don't even like to post this, the populations of sea stars are still under attack from the Sea Star Wasting Disease, and the death is winning here. .
It is a sad sight in an otherwise relaxing place with schools of fish for company :(
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