Whidbey Island Critters

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

Postby Jan K » Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:01 am

Deception Pass intermission. The gate to North Beach is now closed for the season, here are few more scenes from last dives before the closure.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:05 pm

Autumn is here, I find Fall colored leaves even on the seafloor now.
And the old Bull kelp is getting tangled by the storms,
yes, the winter is coming ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:06 am

Short Plumose anemones, sporting different colors, in the same location - Deception Pass. It is hard to believe, but they are all the same species.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:31 am

Keystone Pilings. I still enjoy the shallow dive among the pillars of the old wharf.
On this mostly cloudy day, I missed the sun rays coming down through the cathedral "windows", but clouds of perch made up for it...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:37 am

Peculiar behavior of Scalyhead sculpins. I came across two adult males in what looked like a fight. But only one was the aggressive one, the other one was passive, letting the "bully" grab him by its side. But there was no injury, the victim did not swim away when released, and stayed in the same position when the aggressor repeated the "attack". It all happened in the open, no obvious nesting site, such as empty barnacle shell, or female. The whole scene reminded me of encounter back in 2004, when I saw adult Scalyhead carry a juvenile in similar fashion. I have no idea if it tried to eat it or just playing with it as the sometimes do with hermit crabs ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:05 am

There were always few sickly, dying Finger sponges at Deception Pass, but during my last three dives there at the end of October, I found so many that it got my attention. In all the years I dived Deception Pass, I have never seen this many sick sponge clusters. Since I don't find Orange Finger sponges anywhere else around Whidbey Island, I don't know how common the problem really is. Hopefully, it is only temporary, local outbreak. :(
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:04 am

At all the other sites around Whidbey Island, the Shaggy Mouse nudibranchs are sporting rather drab colors. Not so in the waters of Deception Pass. Many slugs take on color of the food they eat. The pink/red color is common in the Pass, so slugs and some fish wear it even if it takes diver's light to show it off...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:26 am

Happy SlugO'ween ... :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:14 pm

When the currents run through the Deception Pass, it is difficult at times to "Stop and Smell the Roses"...
But clinging to our cameras, we keep on trying. :)
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H20doctor
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby H20doctor » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:11 pm

Thank my friend for a Great Day of diving !! And getting to share the Day Together doing what we love
NWDC Rule #2 Pictures Or it didn't Happen

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:24 pm

Saturday 28, Fourteen divers descended to Little North Beach to dive the Deception Pass before the access gate closes for the season on November 1st ... OK friends, see you around, maybe at Keystone ?
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:28 am

Deception Pass. Friday 27th. In spite of some interesting currents which refused to follow the prediction tables, the marine life there moves on. Scalyhead sculpin hides in Funnel sponge and male Kelp greenlings are guarding egg clusters.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:06 pm

Thanks Greg.
I learned some time ago, that lot of information about marine life on internet is not either updated, or wrong. (surprise). Even from reputable sources. So I appreciate when experts chime in and set the record straight. Hopefully, we can then all learn.

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Greg Jensen
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Greg Jensen » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:36 pm

Wolf eels do have bones- as do the true eels

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:41 pm

After the rather depressing post on wasting sea stars, here are few "portraits" of juvenile Wolf eels from Wednesday dive at Skyline to cheer you up. It was a breezy and rainy day, but as always, the colors beneath the waves do not disappoint. And if you see a sparkle in the eyes of your buddy, it might be Tapetum lucidum ... :) :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:24 am

Thanks Greg for explaining what the Oregon Aquarium site describing Puget Sound King Crab didn't know.

Latest sea star surveys around Whidbey Island did not bring any joy, it seems the wasting disease is gathering strength in spite of cooling weather. The Mottled stars are at this moment the ones mostly affected, right now at Langley and Coupeville. At Keystone one of the four adult Sunflower stars is now gone. I found gathering of young Sunflower stars in Langley harbor, but who knows how long they will survive ... :(
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Gdog
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Gdog » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:44 pm

Very very cool!

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Greg Jensen
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Greg Jensen » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:01 pm

The reduced last pair of legs in a king crab is a holdover from their hermit crab ancestry, and they are specialized for cleaning the gills and (in the case of the males) for transferring sperm to females when mating. It is likely that females use them to help keep their eggs clean.

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ScubaJess
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby ScubaJess » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:28 am

WOW Super Cute!!!!!!!!!! I'd love to see one that small. Great work as always Jan!!!!
Live Long And Prosper!!!

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Oct 26, 2017 8:05 am

Puget Sound King Crab. Smallest I have ever seen.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:34 pm

I am always little worried when I see changes in the underwater. This time clumps of filamentous alga resembling tumbleweed of the desert are starting to showing up on the tire reef and on the surrounding seafloor. Same seaweed appeared last year on pilings under the Coupeville wharf. It now covers the underside of the Langley floating dock completely. Something tells me this is not good ...
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