Whidbey Island Critters

Fish & Invertebrate sightings and descriptions, hosted by resident NWDC ID expert Janna Nichols (nwscubamom).
User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Jul 13, 2019 11:08 am

Some worms from my recent dives. Not everybody's favorite critters, but I am sure they have part in the bigger picture of things. :)
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:34 am

Tuesday July 9. Deception Pass. Not the best current predictions according to tables, but the weather is nice, so why not try. Visibility was not that great, about twelve feet and the slack was shorter then usual, but I really like this place. :)
As I exit the water, I find few dead Pacific Sand Lance fishies rolling in the surf...
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Sharkb8
Aquaphile
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:05 am

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Sharkb8 » Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:35 pm

Love the warbonnet almost all the way out of hiding! I had the same problem Sunday with the late slack in Anacortes, but it was still nice. Cool grunt sculpin also.
Party underwater

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Jul 11, 2019 7:36 am

Monday July 8, Skyline, Fidalgo Island. The world above - beautiful, sunny day. Underwater, little different story.
Ten feet visibility and the slack was forty minutes or so late, so current was an issue...
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:28 am

Another pushcart trip down and up the forest road. In spite of poor visibility underwater,
saying hello to my fish friends is always worth the effort. :)
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:41 pm

And from the weird critter department: Two Headed Plumose Anemone and White Crusted California Cucumber. And Painted Greenling watching me from behind a rusty shackle. He probably thinks - I am the weird one. Who else dives in red coveralls ? :) :)
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Jul 07, 2019 4:52 pm

First day of July, checking on sea stars at Langley, one of two places on Whidbey Island where they are still found in large numbers. Visibility in shallower water is still deplorable, but under the thermocline and the miso planktonic soup, I find majority of stars still healthy. It is nice to find that the juvenile Sunflower stars, all nine of them, are still OK. However, pile of goo left from wasted stars are still here and there as a reminder that not all is well in the underwater world...
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:43 am

There is some life under all that floating wood.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:35 am

The windstorm of December 2018 completely remade the scenery of Driftwood Park, affecting the two ponds especially. Technically, the wood covering parts of the surface of the ponds, which for decades rested on the shores above the beach is not log jam in the real sense of the name, since it is not restricting a flow of the river or creek. It moves from one side to other depending on the direction of the wind. But swimming beneath and along the edges does feel like being in the jam :)
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sun Jun 30, 2019 9:14 am

Wednesday dive at Deception Pass. I was surprised to see woman on paddle board floating along the shore close to the bridge where I was trying to get some pictures of Bull kelp. It shows that the beauty Pass scenery can be enjoyed in many ways. Underwater, I felt sorry for the Great sculpin, plagued by so many parasites...
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:40 am

Few more from the Tuesday dive at the Pass.
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:00 am

Tuesday June 25th. The westerly wind subsided, the sun was shining and Deception Pass calling.
Two of us answered the call and were rewarded with good visibility, gentle currents and thus great dive. Far cry from the Sunday mess.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
YellowEye
I've Got Gills
Posts: 2414
Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 8:08 am

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by YellowEye » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:47 pm

Awesome memoir. Nwdc represents!

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:08 pm

The forecast did mention westerly winds for Sunday. Nevertheless, few hardy souls did show up at the Little North Beach in Deception Pass State Park. The wind did stir up the waters pretty much and we were rewarded for our effort with bad visibility and quite a surge while down there, "Under the Shadow of the Bridge. But it was nice to see friends again, and the weather above turned nice too after the morning marine layer burned off. After the dive I hiked around to enjoy the tidal theater when the water runs opposite direction of the wind...
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:02 am

Possession Point Fingers - new gate and murky waters... :(
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:14 am

Langley Harbor, seventeen days later. Bad visibility, especially in the first 35 feet of depth hampered the sea star wasting survey. In the miso soup-like visibility on the seawall, where many stars reside, surveying was not feasible. Many of the Ochre stars are showing signs of the disease and piles of goo, remnants of stars already dead, laying all over the area beneath the floating dock. Interestingly, on sunken piece of timber, ten Sunflower stars, seemingly still healthy, resided next to large Ochre stars with first signs of wasting - the white lesion blotches. I still don't know why sea stars congregate on some structures in such numbers...
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:07 am

Thanks Alex.
I didn't dare to touch it, I have no idea how tough that windmill is. If there were more of them, I would try to collect it for you, but for now, I will leave it alone :)

Tidepool Geek
Aquaphile
Posts: 109
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:36 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Tidepool Geek » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:30 am

Hi Jan,

Great images and a terrific find! Hopefully, now that you've found your first, more of these will follow.
I'd love to have one of these at the Feiro Center but it might not be possible to collect one intact. Did you get any sense of how robust the tube and spokes were?

Enviously yours,
Alex

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:49 am

I got wet on the Possession Fingers dive, but I was rewarded by finding a new critter.
Adding to my list a Windmill Bamboo worm ! In all those years diving here, I never noticed it. Looking around, I did not find any more of them, just that one, lonely windmill and I, the thoroughly soaked Don Quixote :)
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:49 am

Saturday June 15. Possession Point Fingers, as I found walking out of the water totally soaked in my not so dry drysuit, it was last day of Lingcod season. Five divers armed with spearguns were getting ready to try their luck. On my shortened dive, I did not see one Ling. Just a Ratfish, rockfish, Painted greenlings, Blackeye gobies...
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:15 am

June 12, Keystone Jetty underwater park. Yellowtail rockfish school...
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:40 am

Few more from the last two dives in Deception Pass.
Family of Canada geese floating towards the bridge as I prepare for the Monday dive :)
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:55 am

Monday dive. Somebody went through the effort to bring the menace of plastic pollution even to the underwater world of Deception Pass. Filled half way with sand so it doesn't float and put the cap back on before tossing it into the otherwise pristine waters. I did not mind in the past recovering lost drone or GoPro camera from here in , but I was hoping that collecting trash would not be a part of my diving routine :(
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:25 pm

Few more from the Skyline Wall dive.
The Hairy Oregon Triton snails are busy laying eggs. he one juvenile Wolf-eel was not interested in being photographed at all ...
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
Jan K
I've Got Gills
Posts: 4055
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 5:02 pm

Re: Whidbey Island Critters

Post by Jan K » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:03 am

Saturday early morning Skyline survey. Happy to report, no wasting sea stars found :)
Image
Image
Image
Image

Post Reply