Whidbey Island Critters

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

Postby Tom Nic » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:14 pm

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!
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:43 am

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. :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:33 am

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 ...
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Vjw
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Vjw » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:19 pm

I love the pink proliferating anemone on the yellow and orange background! Such beautiful colors!! Thank you so much for sharing all your pictures and experiences.

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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:08 am

Few more from the January Deception Pass dive ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:14 am

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. :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Jan 17, 2019 11:10 am

Langley Harbor survey. Only one wasted sea star, which is a good news.
What I found interesting was the large gathering on Noble dorids.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:48 am

The season of Lingcod guarding egg masses is upon us.
Be prepared for encounters with some bad tempered individuals :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:47 pm

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.

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Sharkb8 » Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:31 pm

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.
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oldsalt
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby oldsalt » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:01 am

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.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Jan 15, 2019 6:31 am

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.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:40 pm

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 ?
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:07 pm

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"...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:29 pm

Two more critters from Skyline dive...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:13 am

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. :(
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:50 am

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 ? :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Mon Jan 07, 2019 8:29 am

The wall built to protect the Keystone boat launch area was not a match for the destructive power of the storm.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Jan 06, 2019 5:52 pm

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 :)
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:32 am

Thanks Chris, the enjoyment is mutual, I like your work too... :)

Skyline, Fidalgo Island. Black sea cucumbers spawning. As they do every December ...
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H20doctor
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby H20doctor » Sun Jan 06, 2019 12:00 am

Thank you Jan for this amazing thread ... I enjoy every post
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:14 pm

Possession Point Fingers. Red Irish Lords guarding eggs and Northern Kelp Crabs congregate ...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:28 am

January 1. First dive of 2019 - Possession Point Fingers...
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:04 am

Last dive of 2018 - Skyline.
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Jan K
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Postby Jan K » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:17 am

Happy New Year.
"Beauty is everywhere - you only have to look to see it." (Bob Ross).
Even in the mouth of the Painted sea anemone...
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