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

Post by Jan K » Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:29 am

Possession Point Fingers - Autumn dive
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:54 am

Few more from the Possession Point Fingers. October 24.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:03 pm

Little cold, but what a beautiful weather to start November in. My last survey of Coupeville wharf was back on June 7th. Time to check on the sea stars there. There are fewer of them now, but most are healthy, only three wasting... The water data from Penn Cove Shellfish Company stopped updating, the last readings was posted on August 5th. And the closest station I found in across the Admiralty Inlet waters... :(
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:40 pm

More from Penn Cove - not only starfish. Lots of Green sea urchins, some Graceful crabs, Moon snail and one "how this ended up here ?" wreck...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:20 am

Disappointment at Driftwood Park. Visibility deplorable, marine life minimal. Only one sea star found. The tires, normally home to some critters, bare. Only the wolf eel still renting its apartment in the old toilet... :(
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:41 am

Skyline - Whitespotted greenling attack.
All the males of the greenling family are very protective of their egg nests.
Regardless of the perceived intruder, they will charge, be it fish or diver ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:59 am

Skyline dive, part 2. Sea stars and Scaled crabs ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Nov 11, 2019 7:46 am

Lagoon Point slugs. Muck diving brings sometimes nice surprises :)
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oldsalt
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by oldsalt » Mon Nov 11, 2019 9:37 am

Jan: I love that your posts include some of my favorite dives (Keystone, Deception, Possession) and places I have never dived (Lagoon, Coupeville, Holmes Harbor). You prove even the most uninviting spots provide fascinating critters. And your cartoon of the indecent sapsucker is hilarious. -Curt :rawlings:
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:09 am

Thank you Curt, I learned early that every place on the earth contains a potential for discovery of something new and exiting ...
So I keep on searching. Even in the muck of Lagoon Point canal. :)

There are areas in the Lagoon Point canal where the visibility turns to almost zero, and white bacterial mat covers the mud bottom. I call it the "Dead zone". I was just skirting that zone when I spotted what looked like a dead shrimp.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Nov 13, 2019 8:16 am

Lagoon Point - friend's boat dock. Replacing the old floating dock with a new one sparked my interest in documenting how long it will take for marine life to return to colonize it again. Sometimes described as "Marine fouling occurs when organisms attach themselves to underwater objects like boats, rope, pipes and building structures", it provided me for years with critters I don't find anywhere else on the island.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:59 am

More from the Lagoon Point canal, the unlikely home for colorful underwater encounters.
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oldsalt
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by oldsalt » Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:52 am

Jan: While I continue to delight in photos of the favorites (octos, lumpies, grunts, etc.), you have sure shown us some things not normally photographed. These organisms are probably not uncommon, just not sought out. Good work. - Curt
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:20 am

Curt, as you know so well, most of the stuff growing on docks and ship bottoms is not liked by the marine industry. Marine fouling does create its host of problems. But for a diver with a camera, they do offer food for the camera s memory card :nutty:

Langley Harbor sea stars update. Some sea star wasting still observed, but it seems to be slowing down...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:06 am

Not everything in Langley Harbor is about sea stars. Three male Whitespotted greenlings guarding their multicolored clusters of eggs. I am still trying to find out how different females manage to color their cluster so differently from the others, already laid in place. It is truly amazing feat, not performed only by greenlings, but also by some sculpins. Any real explanation would be appreciated.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:30 am

Wrapping up the Langley Harbor diving with a sleeping seal and clouds of fishies.
Seventy minutes well spent. :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:29 am

The old dock hauled off, some of the inhabitants refused to leave until their home left the water on trailer. Fortunately, gunnels and clingfish are accustomed to be exposed for little bit to air on low tides. We picked them up from the puddles in parking lot and returned them to the sea. Lion's mane jellyfish are coming to the end of their life cycle, one year seem like a short life span, sad seeing just a blob of gelatin rolling in the surf now...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:50 am

Possession Point Fingers. Good visibility, over 40 feet ! Chance to see what the most southerly tip of Whidbey Island looks like beneath the waves.
What it lacks in color, it makes up in shapes and texture .
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:31 am

Returned to Possession Point to enjoy the great visibility, here are some of the critters dotting the grand seascape.
No pushing the cart this time. :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Nov 23, 2019 7:09 am

And third series of Possession Finger dives. Kelp crabs gathered on top of a rock wondering where all the kelp disappeared. Couple Red Irish Lords failed to dress into appropriate camouflage dress unlike the Great sculpin, who knew better. :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:03 am

Keystone Jetty. I noticed that the Feather Boa kelp still hangs on in the shallows, in the past only a stranded specimen used to occasionally appeared on the jetty rocks, victim of storm and current from somewhere afar from Keystone. It would be interesting to see if they get foothold now. School of Stripped perch now seem to be more numerous too. The messy table manners of GPO makes it little easier to find them. Unfortunately, during the day, the octopus is hiding deep inside its lair.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Nov 27, 2019 7:30 am

Skyline. Seasonal changes, the sea cucumbers don't feed, so much of the color is now missing from the underwater scene.
But there is still marina life to enjoy. Some fish, some slugs.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:54 pm

Ever wondered how fast marine life takes hold on newly installed man-made structure? Inside the Lagoon Point canal, these floats, part of the new dock, were put in place on August 16, 2019. Three months later, they are completely covered with tunicates...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Vjw » Sun Dec 01, 2019 10:36 pm

How amazing to see this speedy growth! I appreciate your pictures and entertaining, educational documentation so much! Thanks Jan - keep sharing! :joshsmith:

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:48 am

Lagoon Point. The intricate beauty of compound ascidians.
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