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 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:36 am

Dodging tropical downpour, we endure the short drive from The Pit to cenote Nicte Ha in the back of a pickup truck. As is usual in the tropics, by the time we make it to the next cenote, the rain is gone and we prepare for the next dive, my last one of this week long trip.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:09 am

This was my second time diving The Pit. Unlike in November, this time without Maya, and sunbeams and with misbehaving strobes.
But I was in a good company of Dirk, Peppe and fellow Washingtonians, Carl and Nanci.
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oldsalt
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby oldsalt » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:08 am

Jan: You are getting spoiled. You are doing a new dive, in warm clear water, with your daughter. I would not dismiss any of the adventures I had with my sons. Is that Maya using the side mounts ?
-Curt :rawlings:
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Tangfish » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:49 am

Still looks pretty in there on my end, Jan, but yes compared to the rest this one is skippable.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:55 pm

Second dive of the day, from a deep dive to a very shallow one, with the strobes acting up, not much to show for it.
As cavern dives go, keep it off your bucket list.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:37 pm

Cenote Angelita. It is famous, but I think it is a little bit overrated. Yes, the Hydrogen sulfide layer is quite impressive, but there isn't much else there. And again, if you carry camera, regardless how small, if it is in a housing, you are categorized as professional and it will cost you 500 pesos for the permit. I don't think my photos are worth 500 of anything... But as Dirk said, dive here once and that is enough to last you for the rest of your life. :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:09 pm

Well, it had to happen on trip thousands miles away. At least did not quit on me down at the Hells Bells...

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fmerkel
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby fmerkel » Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:29 pm

Known problem with the D2. Doesn't happen to them all, but does happen. The company should be good for it but you'll be out your strobes for awhile.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Gdog » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:20 pm

Ive heard about the issue with those strobes. Unfortunately, I have the same ones. Fortunately, at least so far, I havent burnt them out yet .

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Scubie Doo » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:27 pm

Super odd about the strobes. Never seen that. The coin is awesome, did you get to keep it?


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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Mar 24, 2018 9:37 am

Another day, another cenote. On this dive I noticed that my pictures are way underexposed. The strobes were firing OK, but after I scanned the picture on the small camera screen, the were almost black. So I had to to start fiddling with the controls, instead of TTL setting, going full power and on many occasions, settling for light provided by handheld lights. Not until I arrived at home, after the trip, when I took off the diffusers, I found that the flash tubes were burned. On relatively new strobes. :(
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:09 am

Second dive of the day. So different from the morning one. All these cenote pictures are surely boring by now for the casual observer, "You've seen one cenote, you've seen them all". One reason I post them is to help others to choose, if this is what they would like to see and what all the different holes in the ground have to offer. They are different from each other, even if, sometimes, in just small details. La Gloria has broken columns and many tree roots hanging down from the overhead. Guided by Roman, the lineup today - Carl M. Kadie and Nanci Vaeth, followed by Maya and I closing the procession, taking more pictures of the fins in front of me :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Mar 20, 2018 11:10 am

And the show goes on :)

Casa Cenote. We visited it back on July 17, 2002 when our family toured the Yucatan peninsula Mayan ruins. We traveled light with only fins, masks and snorkels. No facilities of any kind, no signs, no fee to pay. We just jumped in and swim all over the place. I was so impressed that I vowed that I will come back some day. It took 16 years. This time we found it busy with hordes of divers and snorkelers and I had to fork out 500 pesos for my camera. Now I was planning to give Maya my point and shoot little Olympus TG-5 to take pictures of fish for which my 8mm lens is almost useless. But that required another 500 pesos, which I felt to be a ripoff and so we left it in the car. I was told, that every camera in a housing, regardless of size make you a professional photographer and so you must pay up. GoPro's are excluded, but I did not have one. We are joined for this dive by fellow Washingtonians, Carl & Nanci from Bellevue, Roman being our guide. I enjoyed the dive, for it was so different from the previous dives, no stalactites here, and plenty of sunshine not far away from us...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby ScubaJess » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:23 pm

WOW That Catfish is awesome!!!!!!!!!! Man viz looks great :-)
You guys are so cool!!
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Stay Warm underwater with the Weezle Extreme Plus undergarment! Please let me know if you would like to order one or have any questions. :luv: :partydance: :eric: :taco:

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Sharkb8 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:03 pm

Amazing report on Hell's Bells! Actually amazing reports on all of them, but that cenote is by far my favorite one that you've shared. Those speleothems are incredible! Hopefully I will get to see them in person someday.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:15 am

Another great dive guided by Dirk Penzel and assisted by Giosino Peppe Pasquariello.
The Maravillas Hells Bells, rest in the fog like layer of hydrogen sulfide, giving the whole scene a mysterious tone. That made this time photography much more challenging. With limited visibility, I was not able to capture as much of the Hells Bells beauty as I was hoping for.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Mar 18, 2018 9:44 am

Thanks Jesse, more coming :)
Juggling between Whidbey dives and Yucatan cenote dives, the differences could not be greater. The clear, mostly freshwater in Mexico and the cold, silty saltwater of Whidbey Island. Sifting through hundreds of pictures ...In the case of cenotes, there is a connection between the underworld of darkness and the lush, sun drenched jungle above, represented via tree roots, which descent from the overhead down to the fresh water of the cenotes...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Scubie Doo » Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:22 pm

Cenotes shots are spectacular!!!! Thanks Jan.


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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Mar 17, 2018 8:15 am

Alaska Airline brought me back from the warm and clear tropical waters on Saturday night, and Sunday morning I found myself on the shores of Deception Pass. The tides were just too not to revisit my favorite Whidbey dive site. I found the visibility bad, about 8 murky feet, and what was even worse, the Finger sponges continue dying in alarming numbers. It was not a sight I was looking forward after diving in the cenotes, which in general, do not harbor almost zero living critters, save for few vertebrates in some of them. At this time, no other sponges seem to be affected.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:06 pm

This is what happens when you let me loose in a cave with a digital camera loaded with lots of memory in the card :)
And this is just from one dive ! Dreamgate Upstream :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:48 am

Hell Bells of El Zapote cenote was the main reason I returned to Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. Somehow we missed it on our trip back in November, so when Maya told me that she will be attending the World Ocean Summit in Cancun, the Alaska Airlines voucher we got on last trip to Mexico became yet another reason why I just had to see the incredible underwater formations of El Zapote. Also the University of Heidelberg in Germany just published paper of their extensive work on the unique speleothems shining some light on the mysterious structures. And it did not disappoint. With the help of very capable guide of Dirk Penzel of Cenote-Diving.com, Maya and I had a fantastic experience diving along these amazing bells.
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oldsalt
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby oldsalt » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:13 pm

This shows that field identification of so many organisms just isn't possible. In this case, it required microscopic examination by an expert. It reminds me of a time when I had been diagnosed with a tapeworm. My physician narrowed it down to a few. We were going through the books together trying to find a match. For one species it read; "This can only be identified by an autopsy." I didn't have that one. Good work Jan.
-Curt
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:08 pm

I would like to give a big THANK YOU to the people who devote their time and talents to taxonomy. I just had an interesting experience involving sponge from Deception Pass. For many years I called it erroneously Glove Sponge (Neoesperiopsis digitata). Then last year it was brought to my attention that it might be Orange Finger Sponge ( Isodictya rigida). Sponges are notoriously difficult to identify. Colors, shapes and textures are not much help to correctly ID them. So when I collected specimen in order to start seeking an answer to why so many of them are dying, I received offer to correctly identify the Finger sponge of Deception Pass. Well, it was an educational journey, from tracing the origins of the sponge in 1893 to February 2018 when the microscopic examination revealed that it is Tan Finger Sponge - Isodictya quatsinoensis. Thank you, Bruce Ott :)
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oldsalt
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby oldsalt » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:44 am

Is it plant, animal, or something else? :questionmarks:
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:52 pm

Any ideas what it is ? Never seen that before.
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