Whidbey Island Critters

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

Post by eh.haole » Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:53 am

Amazing, truly a small lens back in time, and into the parallel planet in which humans remained in ecological balance!
And I bet the enclosed waters were often clearer--even this clear--as well

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:42 am

Deception Pass, Monday August 10th. Because of early start,
I enjoy the Little North Beach solitude, at least for a short period. The fog provided another quality to the familiar sight.
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eh.haole
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by eh.haole » Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:57 am

What a beautiful blend of nature and civilization, on your mystical weekday morning!

I took a dip there on Tuesday, entering 20 minutes before the NOAA 18ft slack prediction.. and it was already slack by then, due to the weaker flood(?) But no dramas. I won't re-post the light-edged ribbon worm pic(s) though, because we have featured that in its own post.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:19 am

Deception Pass August 13th. This time, no fog and sunshine brightening the underwater scene.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:17 am

Deception Pass August 13th dive wrap up.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:51 am

Keystone Pilings, August 14, 2020. It seems the old wharf is loosing its battle against time and the elements. I used to enjoy exploring among the old pilings, lots of colorful anemones, schools of rockfish, plenty of marine life. This time, after a long absence, I found kelp covering almost everything in the shallows, not much color anywhere. Before, I used to spent hour searching and finding many interesting critters here. On this dive, after making rather quick swim through, let the current take me back to the much more interesting jetty...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:12 am

Lagoon Point, August 15, 2020. Spawning Red Trumpet Tubeworm and Bay Pipefish...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:48 am

August 16, 2020. The waters in the Driftwood Pond are warm enough for wetsuit. Checking out the world of algae...
Not much different from my last visit - except, more of it...
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Last edited by Jan K on Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Aug 22, 2020 7:44 am

White Bubble Shells. Hundreds, thousands of them. And seeing all their yellow egg ribbons, they were busy making sure there will be plenty of them next year too... 😃😃😃
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Aug 23, 2020 8:49 am

Langley Harbor, August 19. Wasting sea stars appearing, affecting three species at this moment Ochre, Pink and Mottled.
Other two species, the Sunflower and Leather stars showing signs of stress. 🙁
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Aug 24, 2020 7:25 am

Not all the news from Langley Harbor is gloom and doom. Red rock crabs dominate the scene, there are some Dungeness joining the food fights too.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Aug 25, 2020 6:45 am

Keystone Jetty, August 22. Raining fish is probably pretty accurate description of what we were witnessing at the end of the jetty on this Sunday. It was amazing. Stream of Shiner perch just kept passing. I did not manage to capture the spectacle, here is the feeble attempt to show the "fish rainstorm". How about the fact that these little fish are born mature enough to start mating ? 😲😀
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Aug 30, 2020 7:05 am

Keystone August 23rd. I returned to see if the Shiners still "rain" there, but they did not. So I enjoyed the usual critters instead...
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oldsalt
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by oldsalt » Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:19 am

The constant change in the marine environment shows the value of visiting the same spot over and over. Divers who say, "I did that spot," are missing a lot. -Curt :rawlings:
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Aug 31, 2020 10:25 am

Many, many years ago I dived Eagle Cove on San Juan Island. I remember it as a great dive spot, I saw my first Puget Sound King crabs there. Last week I had a chance to stop there for a quick dive. I had only my wet suit and Olympus TG-5 camera with me as the boat trip was not a diving trip. I was disappointed as the rocks were covered with kelp and so no marine life visible beneath al that cover. No fish swimming under the Bull Kelp canopy. Only ONE rockfish, few Tubesnouts and six baby rockfish, couple inches long. Above the murky waters where the Eel grass was, school of silvery baitfish, too far for identification.
Not one of the great dives by any measure, winter is probably better time to explore here ...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by oldsalt » Tue Sep 01, 2020 12:08 pm

I had the same experience with the north side of Ewing Island. My first dive there was magical, sponges, urchins, fish...I came back a couple of years later and layers of seaweed with little else. I suspect (hope?) that these are cycles. I will never know, unless somebody else dives it and reports on it.4

-Curt :rawlings:
Last edited by oldsalt on Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Tangfish » Wed Sep 02, 2020 7:59 pm

That red seaweed on the kelp is beautiful. Not sure if it’s benign to the kelp but it sure would look amazing swimming through a whole bunch of that.

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:48 am

Keystone August 30. Low tide entry is always little bit challenging thanks to seaweed and slippery rocks. I am still amazed how cant the fish change colors to match the surrounding it is trying to hide in. Although the one Buffalo sculpin choose a blue color which is not all that usual in our green waters...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:34 pm

Possession Point Fingers, September 4. Diving in a rental drysuit.
I almost forgot how pleasant it is to exit water after one hour long dive and not being soaked ! 😀
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:59 am

Skyline September 5. Also known as Candyland by some underwater photographers who seek out Candy stripe shrimp, the cute little resident found here. Seven divers under the early morning cloudy skies enjoying the colorful world underwater :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:00 am

Skyline September 5th. Time to time, Puget Sound King Crabs can be found here.
I think it is ironic that these crabs are not found in Puget Sound at all (at least from what I can tell from diver reports). They are big... 😀
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Well, few divers did report sightings of PS King crab in the Sound. I just did not see any photos from such in last years. And in my defense, as the rule on NW Dive Club states "No Picture? It Didn't Happen! " 🤣🤣🤣

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Sep 09, 2020 7:28 am

Skyline dive September 5th. Little bit of everything, large and small.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:05 am

Keystone Labor Day 2020. Some of the "critters" I came across - many with cameras. Note, the blue Buffalo sculpin stayed in the same spot for nine days! Only changed its position 180 degrees.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Sep 11, 2020 7:30 am

Skyline September 8th. Other divers posted photos of the British Columbia Doto slugs and somehow. I missed them on my previous dive here. I guess I was too preoccupied with the Puget Sound King Crabs and fail to refocus my old eyes from large critters to the minute ones. And small they are. Maybe that is why they are called Dot o. 😀
This time I managed to find some, so I feel better now ...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Sep 12, 2020 8:42 am

Skyline juvenile Wolf eels. This time, they did not venture out into the open. Perhaps following the "Stay Indoors" advise we are getting these days because of the smoke situation...
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