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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2021 8:49 am
by Jan K
Keystone Jetty end of January.
The sea star wasting continues, although in slower pace. In the space of two day, I saw one Mottled star disintegrate on one of the jetty rocks.
On the bright side. I found one tiny starfish juvenile, which I had hard time to identify. Erroneously, I thought it was a baby Ochre star, but with help of experts, it turns out to be little Rainbow star. I have never seen an adult here at Keystone. It would be nice if it survives here and enriches our decimated star population here. Keep an eye on her ! :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2021 12:34 pm
by Jan K
Possession Point Fingers, February 3rd.
Orange Sea Pen. I still cannot find nice large adults like I did here years ago, but I did find few juveniles. The Red dendronotids added some eggs to the pile since the last visit here.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:45 am
by Jan K
Update on fishies at Possession Point, February 3rd. Only two males guarding 3 egg masses. In the past, Red Irish Lord and Buffalo sculpins were already guarding their egg nests, I did not see any of them doing it yet. No wasting sea stars found, which is a good news.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:57 pm
by Jan K
Possession Pt. Fingers February 3rd and Skyline February 5th.
On last two dives I came across three fish with bad right eye. Coincidence ? 🙁
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:28 am
by Jan K
Skyline, February 5. The sea cucumbers, mostly the Creeping Pedals are opening up, adding color to the scene. For the first time I found blisters on them. I found these blisters on Red Sea cucumbers only in Deception Pass. Never found out what is causing them to appear. Experts had no answers. It is not a fatal for there were no dead cucs there, It might not be disease at all. Who knows. I did not see any Candy shrimp around the Crimson anemones on this dive, just the ever present Kincaid's. The youngster anemone was kind of cute. :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 9:19 am
by Jan K
Wrap up the Skyline dive with sea stars and Zoanthids.
The Six-rayed stars are not so common elsewhere around Whidbey Island, but Skyline is sure full of them :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 9:19 am
by Jan K
Holmes Harbor, February 8.
Why is it that I find visibility at the sailboat wreck always bad ?
Not so bad visibility in deeper water, but nothing to get excited about there. Only one fish ! Not even the Shiners.
Not much to show for the one hour long dive and very long swim out.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:41 pm
by Jan K
Keystone Jetty, February 9th.
Before the winter came for visit.
Lewis' moonsnail cruising the shallows ... :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Tue Feb 16, 2021 12:30 pm
by Jan K
Keystone February 9th.
The Stalked kelp is beginning to grow their blades again.
Spring is coming! (Maybe). :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:50 pm
by Jan K
February 16th. Keystone Jetty.
I went by the Windy.com forecast, it was closer to the actual situation at the jetty.
Seagull getting the sea star survey all wrong. You should count the starfish, not eat them ! Plus you will not loose weight on this diet 🙂
Fibre-optic hydroid. Pretty...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Thu Feb 18, 2021 4:30 pm
by ScubaJess
Crazy bird lol lovely post again. Thanks Jan ❤🖖⭐🦆😋

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2021 8:40 am
by Jan K
Keystone Jetty February 16.
Slowly catching up on the backlog of photos from the dive.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:40 am
by Jan K
Keystone February 17th. 2021.
Another dive at the jetty. And with better visibility, I scout the area looking for Lingcod egg nests. And I can't find any. Which is worrisome. WHERE ARE the FEMALES? Looking at my pictures from the past, January and February already had many egg masses along the jetty rocks. This year, I can't even find the two I did see back in January 28th. Obviously, they did not survive till maturity. This dive I found plenty of males which are smaller than the males. None of them displayed aggression towards divers and fish which they do when guarding eggs. I attached couple panels from the past years (January 2015 and 2017) - the big gravid females were hard to miss. :(
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Sun Feb 21, 2021 12:11 pm
by Jan K
Keystone Jetty February 17th. Continued.
Give me a camera with memory card holding more than 36 exposures, and I go wild ! :)
I don't miss the old Nikonos... I do miss my younger eyesight.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:27 am
by Jan K
And the Keystone Jetty February saga continues.
Scalyhead sculpin male surrounded by three gravid females, Wrinkled dogwinkle snails wrapping up their annual reproduction party, leaving behind some of the rocks covered with their yellow eggs.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:40 am
by Jan K
Skyline, February 20th.
Like meeting with friends which doesn't happen often enough, finding Cabezon these days is not a frequent occurrence neither...( Unless you travel to Edmonds) .
It was great to find both on this blistery Saturday morning. :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 7:59 am
by Jan K
Deception Pass, February 22. The winter storms
caused lot of damage here, over 100 trees fell in the state park area, the North Beach parking was not spared neither. The rangers did a great job clearing the access, there is still lot of work left to be done. The restrooms had a close call too, the dumpster enclosure was not so lucky. The currents were very favorable this moon cycle, the weather harder to predict. Westerly winds were predicted for Monday, with gale force winds possible later in the day. This time, the Ventusky website with their 9 mph was closer to the reality than the Windy.com with its 11 knots (12.6 mph). Regardless, there was no problem and I got into calm waters. Underwater was yet another pleasant surprise. I did not experience hardly any current during the entire 65 minute dive ! Visibility was not too good, the heavy overcast and rain did not help. but 10 to 15 feet isn't that bad, even if the scene was rather gloomy.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:10 am
by Jan K
More from Deception Pass, February 22nd dive. The Tan Finger sponges are showing once again signs of deteriorating, changing from healthy tan color to gray and their body structure falling apart. I saw this happening few years ago, they recovered, but again, it is not a pretty sight. :(
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:00 am
by Jan K
And the last set of snapshots from Deception Pass February dive.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Sun Feb 28, 2021 8:18 am
by Jan K
Keystone Jetty, February 24th. Gorgeous weather, calm seas and plenty of sunshine. Jetty had visitors from Mercer Island Fire Rescue divers. For the record, I spent the whole one hour looking for Lingcod egg nests and did not find any. At this time of the year, it is worrisome. Keep your eyes open, maybe I missed something, but I really tried to find them. :(
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Mon Mar 01, 2021 8:55 am
by Jan K
Keystone February 24th dive presents sights from the end of jetty.
Favorable current conditions, sunshine above and decent visibility below.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Tue Mar 02, 2021 7:17 am
by Jan K
Keystone Jetty, February 27th. The weather just could not be nicer. No wind, calm seas, sunshine.
Plenty of divers found their way to our little jewel on this Saturday.
Always nice to see friends and fellow addicts to diving :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Wed Mar 03, 2021 9:23 am
by Jan K
Keystone Jetty February 28th. The weather turned on us a little, cloudy skies and more wind, but it was still a good dive.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Thu Mar 04, 2021 8:25 am
by Jan K
First day of March - at Keystone Jetty again. With calm seas and no wind.
Just my friend Pat and I enjoying the whole underwater park :)
Seagull was feasting on critters exposed by the low tide as we were gearing up. No wonder we see less and less starfish.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Posted: Fri Mar 05, 2021 9:01 am
by Jan K
Keystone Jetty. March 1 & 2.
Photo session with Northern clingfish.
This was the only second time I found them, although some claim that they are common ...
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