Whidbey Island Critters

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

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Possession Point Fingers. October 27, 2023 dive.
The cold and sunny weather streak continues, Mount Baker now wears white coat again.
The price of finding Golden Dirona was a paid by getting soaked through a leaky neck seal...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Keystone Jetty. October 28, 2023 dive.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Hot off the press: Starfish Are Basically Bodiless Heads Crawling Around The Ocean.
From the magazine Nature. November 2, 2023
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Skyline, November 1, 2023 dive.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Holmes Harbor, November 5, 2023 dive.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Langley Harbor, November 7, 2023 dive.
It started with good visibility, but as the wind increased above, the visibility decreased below. The food fight for mussels along the tire reef did not help neither. Crabs and fish stirred the sand while some mussels fell from the floating dock above... Not far away, discarded fish heads provided additional source of free food 🙂
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Langley Harbor, November 7, 2023 dive.
The rest of the pixels.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Driftwood Pond #1. November 8, 2023 dive.
Moon jellies, still going strong. Thousands in some deeper locations, but only few jellies in the shallows...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Driftwood Pond #1. November 8, 2023 dive.
The winter scene in the pond is subdued, not much action as even the invasive Japanese wireweed. is on a hold mode. The Japan mussels cover large area along the eastern slope. They too are invasive species, except their impact in this isolated pond is minimal. Surely, they don't seem to bother the Moon jellies...🤣
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Driftwood Pond #2. November 10,2023 dive.
The two ponds, so close together, and yet so different always puzzled me. So it was just natural, after diving with so many Moon jellies in #1 to see if what I can find in # 2. And as expected, not single Moon jelly.... But I found small anemone which I only seen one time, years ago at Holmes Harbor.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Driftwood Pond #2, November 10, 2023 dive.
The Glassy Bubble Shell slugs took residence in this pond. None are found in Pond #1. Not laying eggs yet. They seem to feed in the shallows on Japanese fireweed, on green Hair algae and Sea lettuce as well in the deeper parts of pond on stuff associated with rotting wood and bottom muck.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Keystone Jetty, November 14, 2023 dive.
Barnacles already growing on juvenile Puget Sound King crab.
They will be gone after next molding ...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Possession Point Fingers, November 16, 2023 dive.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Langley Harbor, November 17, 2023.
Clouds of forage fish. Pacific herring in the shallower water, Shiner perch below it.
Dead Spotted Ratfish in the floating dock mooring mess. Very interesting dive in good visibility.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Langley Harbor, November 17, 2023 dive.
The rest of the pixels. And Happy Thanksgiving ! :)
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Langley Harbor, November 18, 2023 dive.
The visibility was so good on Friday that I returned on Saturday to enjoy more of it. Well, although there was no rain, no wind, same high tide cycle, the great visibility did not survive 24 hours. Saturday provided almost 20 feet visibility, instead of 30. Well, still not bad. My friend Ken installed water temperature logger at the seawall, so now can hopefully monitor the temperature which affects the sea star wasting, ( at least that is what seems to be part of the problem).
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Langley Harbor, November 18, 2023 dive.
The rest of pixels. How the second Whitespotted greenling male convinced females to deposit their eggs in such confined spot is amazing. But looking at the number of unfertilized eggs in that bunch tells me that it was not a best place to start new family.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Deception Pass, November 21, 2023 dive.
Leaky neck seal shortened my dive by adding lots of cold water inside my suit, making my dive rather unpleasant.
The Kelp greenlings are in mating mode, overall, this time, there was very little color at the Pass..
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Langley Harbor, December 2, 2023.
Neck seal got replaced, back to dry diving (for the time being as they stay dry only so long) 🙂 .
While I was waiting for the drysuit fix, all the Whitespotted greenling eggs hatched, no sign of them or the male guardian.
And the Nanaimo dorids laid their eggs on featherduster worm's tube.

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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Langley Harbor, December 2, 2023 dive.
The rest of pixels
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Holmes Harbor, December 3, 2023 dive.
The Pineapple Express continues to keep the rains coming and the rivers flooding. Silt was the menace on this dive...
I wonder how it feels to be a Hooded nudibranch and scooping up some of that silt looking for food...
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Holmes Harbor, December 3, 2023.
In addition to the silt making visibility bad, there are also tiny organism called plankton. Of course, they are floating, swimming around most of the time and are part of the life underwater, but this time I could actually see some of it once I put the picture on large computer screen. The little point and shoot captured few of phytoplankton "sticks" so I can see them without a microscope with my old eyes. After the dive, of course. While diving, all I do is complain about bad visibility... 🤣
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Possession Point Fingers, December 6, 2023 dive.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Keystone Pilings, December 8, 2023. I don't visit the Pilings often, what used to be a wonderful shallow dive became sort of a wasteland, void of diversity. Gone are the multitudes of rockfish, crabs of so many kind, tunicates, sponges, sea stars, nudibranchs....
Even the anemones are fewer and tubesnouts and barnacles are not as photogenic as the large rockfish were. Now the current rushes across bare seafloor, dead Bull kelp stipes tangled around pilings, not exactly thing of beauty. After while I let the current carry me to much more interesting part of the underwater park - the Jetty.
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Re: Whidbey Island Critters

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Keystone Jetty, December 8, 2023.
After leaving the Piling, current took me to more picturesque Jetty where I finished my dive. The Japanese wireweed is starting up to occupy the area along the jetty, beating the Bull kelp in the completion for space in the shallows.
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