Keystone 4-8-18

Tell us your tale of coming nose-to-nose with a 6 gill [--this big--], or about your vacation to turquoise warm waters. Share your adventures here!
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Sharkb8
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Keystone 4-8-18

Post by Sharkb8 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:42 pm

While everyone else was at Deception Pass or enjoying the great vis farther south, last Sunday my buddy Matt and I had a keystone itch that required scratching. We figured the vis wouldn't be great due to the overnight windstorm and were just hoping that the waves were small enough to not cause any entry/exit humiliation. Luckily the waves were diminishing when we splashed and there was no driftwood to get smacked by. The first dive was at the pilings (I think). The vis was about equal to putting your face in a bowl of milk and then flowing bubbles. We followed our compasses until I ran into one of the piles. We looked around and didn't see any others so we kept heading south. According to my computer I think I made it through to the deep side, and then we drifted over to the pipe outside the SW corner. We figured that poking around longer was pretty much a waste of time and proceeded to follow the rope towards the jetty. Luckily the vis opened up to a creamy 15 ft or so. We took the spur line and stopped to check out a big rock with a random tentacle around it. Turned out it wasn't a rock....! so after a few pictures we kept going to look for wolfies. We found one poking his head out but I got too distracted by all the 3 lined aeolids munching on hydroids to look for more. We then headed to the jetty and back up into the cereal bowI to look for cookies in my truck. I had a tank due for vis that still was half full of 32% so we decided to do a second splash at the jetty so that the fancy gas wouldn't go to waste. The shallows were full of kelp and sargassum and still terribly bad vis. Once we made it down the slope to depth the vis opened up to a glorious 5 ft or so! We did find a couple fat cockerel's dorids near the rope rock which I hadn't seen in awhile, and then watched a gunnel wrapped up by a worm or buried anemone tentacle (not sure which) fighting for it's life. We didn't see a single lingcod on either dive which was a first! We then swam around in circles in the seaweed jungle for awhile until my spg read nice and low, and headed back home. Even though the conditions were average to poor, we still had a good time. I just got my first bp/w, and my buddy very recently bought his first drysuit so our last few dives have been more about figuring out gear than anything. This time everything was pretty dialed, and since neither of us had seen an adult gpo out of it's den we decided the day was very very successful.

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YellowEye
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Re: Keystone 4-8-18

Post by YellowEye » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:36 pm

Very cool encounters! Thanks for sharing the story and pics!

I wonder what was wrapping the gunnel, did you get a pic?

Re: Lingcod. I'd be interested if other people are observing less lingcod there? A friend of mine also noted very few lingcod recently at Edmonds and wondered if it was a fluke.
Kind request: Always keep your reg at the ready when entering/leaving the water (I suggest you keep it in your mouth to and from the shore)! There's always a chance of a slip or a rogue wave, and several locals have perished from not having their regs at the ready over the years.

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ScubaJess
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Re: Keystone 4-8-18

Post by ScubaJess » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:39 am

Awesome report! Any time you get to dive keystone is the best and to see a gpo out is always epic! Glad you guys had fun!! :)

Cool snaps!!!
Live Long And Prosper!!!

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:

Sharkb8
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Re: Keystone 4-8-18

Post by Sharkb8 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:17 pm

YellowEye wrote:Very cool encounters! Thanks for sharing the story and pics!

I wonder what was wrapping the gunnel, did you get a pic?

Re: Lingcod. I'd be interested if other people are observing less lingcod there? A friend of mine also noted very few lingcod recently at Edmonds and wondered if it was a fluke.


Didn't bring my camera on the second dive, so the gunnel eater will remain a mystery.

Last time I was at Keystone in January there were definitely the usual number of lings. I'm assuming that they were just more sheltered this time due to the winds, and we weren't looking for them.

Edmonds does seem to be lacking in lings lately the more I think about it. The cabezon population (to me) is more robust than usual though, and there were lots of rockfish out and about last time. These are all based on my completely un-trained and un-scientific observations. Take with a grain of salt please! I know that there are usually ling cod nest surveys done at Edmonds. Maybe someone on this board has seen or participated in the recent counts.
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