So beautiful.... Makes my travel trigger finger itch!
Thanks for sharing this and so many other journeys with us Jan! Blessings on you and your daughter!
More Pics Than You Have Time To Look AT "Anyone who thinks this place is over moderated is bat-crazy anarchist." -Ben, Airsix "Warning: No dive masters are going to be there, Just a bunch of old fat guys taking pictures of fish." -Bassman
First dive in truly tropical waters in 17 years. The Cabo Pulmo two years ago was not a truly tropics, since the coral was very scarce and a wetsuit was part of the diving attire. Fiji on the other hand, was a riot of colors served in 82 degree water. Dream Maker reef was our introduction to the Bligh Water currents and because of the rainy season, I guess, not so stellar visibility which ranged from only 30 feet in the upper first thirty or so feet and varied from then up to 50 in places. But the variety and number of coral, soft and hard, was a feast for the eyes. Identification of many of the inverts and marine life is difficult for my lack of knowledge of the local fauna and flora, I will try my best. I hope you enjoy the sights as much as I did. Let the show begin. Dive one: The Dream Maker.
Taking short break from Whidbey Island Critters Once a year, Maya and I try to trade the cold waters of Pacific Northwest for waters warm and clear. Since her vacation time was limited, we choose Fiji. Our winter is their summer and although the forecast was showing rain and thunder for every day of our planned stay, we traveled there anyway. Flight from Seattle to Los Angeles on the night of the moon eclipse, then boarded Fiji Airways for a long 10 hour flight to Nadi on the island of Viti Levu. Somewhere during the night we lost Monday and landed in Fiji Tuesday morning. Van ride along the northern coast to Wananavu Resort. Our worries about weather were unfounded, the few rain showers passed quickly in the afternoon and mostly sunny weather prevailed during our entire stay. The diving begun the next morning ...
The currents were not the friendliest, visibility only about 12 silty feet, but Deception Pass is always a treat. Frost on the ground and only visitors on the beach were two seagulls looking for a handout. No wasting observed in any of the sea stars, so another survey with welcome results.
I don't know the history, I think the parking area is fine, but the tailings from dredging were just deposited there and as I recall not much of compacting went into the effort. I am not engineer, but remember Pete shoveling access path on the new deposited rim, it was very loose, so I am not surprised that every really high tide took some of the material back to sea. Visibility since that dredging never returned to the good old days before dredging. Even Lingcod were covered with silt.
Is the parking area at Keystone man made? As we all know, mother nature usually doesn't take much pity on things that aren't supposed to be there! As long as the water keeps following the erosion back towards the road and they relocate the bathroom, I'm ok with it! More of the jetty underwater would be an ok tradeoff for less parking.
A common cycle for beaches consists of erosion of during winter storms followed by deposition from river sediments during spring runoffs. Whidbey Island suffers from having no rivers to recharge the sediment, so you have only half of the cycle. Some of your beaches are sustained from erosion of adjacent bluffs. -Curt
Keystone Jetty mix. Some above and some under. If the beach erosion continues, we will be soon parking on the highway :( Although the scene above looks bleak, there is still color to be found underwater.
Keystone is hosting gathering of Wrinkled dogwinkle snails as it does every winter. This year it seems that there are attending the reproductive convention in larger numbers than year ago. Is this happening in such numbers elsewhere in Puget Sound also ?
It has been a while since I visited Keystone's old wharf, better known as The Pilings. It used to be a home to clouds of fish, many octopus and juvenile Wolf eels and Plumose and Painted anemones were presented in much more numbers. But as the time passes, there is less and less of variety, so I now visit the cathedral of pilings only occasionally. I could see right away that lot of the decking is gone, victim to the December 20, 2018 storm, ropes now hang between some of the pilings, remnants of lost crab traps, and the only fish in any numbers were the Tubesnout. Young Cabezon was the only "prize"...
Another place which was hit hard by the December wind storm, not far from Keystone, is the appropriately named Driftwood Park. Lot of the driftwood which gave the beach its name ended up in the two shallow ponds created during road construction. Some of the wood even covered the main highway and was later moved to the roadside where it now competes with the beach as Driftwood Park attraction. And some of it floats on top of the ponds, so it was only natural for me to done my dive gear and go in to see, what it looks like under the surface. The visibility was of course lousy, the fish eye lens makes it look better than it is. I was looking for critters which could possibly enter the pond along with the flotsam ocean waves brought in across the breach. But I found only Moon jellies, which were there before the calamity. The bottom is muck and chunks of what used to be grass covered shore now rest under the surface. My drysuit leaked, so getting soaked during my excursion added to the feeling of desolation of the place. :(
Keystone Jetty Saturday dive, more views from underwater, post storm scenery. Chunk of concrete bearing the Geo marker ended up underwater, many feet away from its original position. The Wrinkled dogwinkle snails are gathering for their annual mating/ egg laying, covering many of the jetty rocks. As do Leafy hornmouths. Who named these snails ?
This winter seems to punch our region hard. The storm of December 20 completely changed the Keystone Jetty landscape above the water. My first dive there since that storm, this time on glassy calm day, provided some new features underwater as well. The Keystone Harbor Entrance Light 2 did not survive the fury of the seas and now provides home to Northern Kelp Crabs