Langley Harbor dive shows off its Sunflower star juveniles, I counted 31 healthy individuals. Interestingly, they all prefer one area on the south side of the tire reef. And one of the mooring H-beam anchors is very popular with Ochre, Mottled and now, also the juvenile Sunflower stars. When the anchors were installed back in 2013, then the dominant specie - Sunflower stars (Pycnopodia) occupied it in impressive numbers.
May 8. The third day of Deception Pass dives proved to be the most exciting. Not only the slack currents lasted over one hour, but the underwater world in the Pass exploded into a truly spawning extravaganza. The Painted anemone is a very common in most dive sites around Whidbey Island. I see few on almost every dive, but in thousands of dives, I have never witnessed them spawning. While I saw few spawning on the yesterday's dive, this time there were hundreds releasing gametes into the water which turned the visibility into a almost fog-like scene. Some call photographing this spawning porn or X-rated activity, but to me it is chance to witness how nature makes all this underwater beauty possible. Enjoy this for what it is - future fields of colorful anemones.
Second day Deception Pass tidal cycle attracted only two divers. So we had the beauty of underwater garden to ourselves. The visibility is down to the fact, that many of the marine critters decided to spawn. Red sea cucumbers doing their thing ....
It was an early morning start on Sunday when a group of divers assembled at the Little North Beach parking lot, Deception Pass State Park. Gray overcast above, colors down below. Jess is smiling even as her drysuit was flooding due to a leaky valve. Us divers are like this, just a little crazy, but happy, (most of the time).
May 1st. Little bit of good news from Langley Harbor. I came across 29 juvenile Sunflower stars, all of them look healthy ! Still only 6 to 8 inches across, but hopefully they will survive to become the large predators thy once ruled at Langley tire reef area. The wasting disease is still present, although not affecting other sea stars in any significant numbers. Fingers crossed ...
Keeping track of nomenclature will keep you occupied for the rest of your life. It will never be settled and always disputed. I applaud your efforts. Metridium senile is one of the first I learned a half century ago. In that interval I have become Curt senile.
There seems to be a never ending stream of corrections, attempts to correct and downright "fake news" concerning classification of marine life as I try to keep up. I am beginning to feel like sticking to common name creates less headaches even if it is a poor way to describe the critters we encounter.