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A few little things ...

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwest' started by NWGratefulDiver, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Pugetropolis
    47,420
    28,261
    113
    In the interest of getting some life back into the Orca Bait forum, I'd like to start an ongoing thread about little things. The Pacific Northwest is blessed with an abundance of macro life ... multitudes of nudibranchs, tiny and interesting inverterbrates like crabs and shrimp, little cephalopods like red octos and stubby squids, tiny and unusual looking fish like grunt sculpins and lumpsuckers ... and a multitude more.

    Let's see some of your favorites. Tell us where you saw them ... what dive site, how deep, what time of year, what kind of conditions ... pretty much any information that would help a fellow diver who's looking to see that particular type of critter.

    I'll start with one of my favorites ... Pacific spiny lumpsuckers. These tiny fish are common throughout Puget Sound ... but are more easily found in some places than others. My best sightings have been at Redondo ... a mere few minutes from my home ... usually during the winter months ... in the eelgrass beds between 6 and 20 feet deep ... and during darkness. I've seen them at different times of year, different depths, and during daylight hours as well, but not as consistently. The eelgrass beds extend both north and south of the main dive site area, in front of the beaches north of Salty's restaurant and south of the boat ramp. Getting in at dusk between mid-October and early March typically produces multiple sightings ... the eelgrass beds seem to be alive with a multitude of little things during that time of year, and in addition to lumpsuckers it's not uncommon to also sight bay pipefish, snailfish, hooded nudibranchs, stubby squid, and quite often opalescent squid will come jetting in out of the darkness to feed on the multitudes of tiny creatures that live there.

    Here are my favorite lumpie shots taken over the past couple years from my dives in the eelgrass during the winter months ...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
    Karibelle and asha like this.
  2. Mustang29

    Mustang29 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Oregon
    50
    11
    0
    Great pics. Those are really cool fish. How big are they, they look to be only about 3/4" long.
    I'm not sure what to expect to see on my open water cert this weekend. We are diving at Sunset beach & staying at the Sunset Motel in Hoodsport.
     
  3. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Pugetropolis
    47,420
    28,261
    113
    Lumpsuckers are, at biggest, about the size of a golf ball. You're unlikely to see them this time of year ... and if you do, you're more likely to see tiny juveniles that are barely big enough to recognize unless you know exactly what you're looking at. If you see one where you're going, it'll most likely be clinging to a piece of the purplish kelp you see on the bottom.

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  4. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

    # of Dives:
    Location: Woodinville, WA
    36,350
    13,503
    0
    I have a thing about hermit crabs. I really enjoy their funny choices of homes, and I love the peculiar expressions they seem to have in photographs.

    [​IMG]

    This black-eyed hermit was hanging around the base of a bunch of metridiums in the structure at KVI towers, in about 40 feet of water or so.

    [​IMG]

    This big-hand hermit was on the jetty at Point Hudson in Port Townsend. We didn't get any deeper than about 35 feet on that dive, but I don't remember exactly where I found him.

    [​IMG]

    This is a Bering hermit crab, also from the Point Hudson jetty.

    Putting up these pictures has really brought home to me how much better my photography has become since I got the new camera!

    Great idea for a thread, Bob!
     
    asha and NWGratefulDiver like this.
  5. Pedro Burrito

    Pedro Burrito Moderator Staff Member

    1,155
    290
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    Love the photos! I find that the more that I dive, the more interested I am in the macro life instead of the big things. I'm looking forward to diving there because once I get my place sold here, I'm moving to Camano Island. An alleged elite DIR snob has promised to dive with me if I behave in a DIR like fashion. ;)
     
  6. TSandM

    TSandM Missed and loved by many.

    # of Dives:
    Location: Woodinville, WA
    36,350
    13,503
    0
    Even if you don't!

    Getting interested in little things can make the difference between getting out of the water disappointed, and having a great time. My friend airsix says, "You will never have a bad dive in Puget Sound, if you look at what's there, and not what isn't." I've done dives in sites I didn't want to go to because there "was nothing there" and had a ball looking at small stuff.
     
    Gdog likes this.
  7. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Pugetropolis
    47,420
    28,261
    113
    Nudibranchs! I love 'em. They don't move much, so they're easy to get pictures of. And they're so pretty! If the slugs in my garden were that pretty, I'd quit feeding them cheap beer.

    We've got dozens of different species of nudis here ... and even after way over 2000 dives in Puget Sound, I'm still finding some I haven't seen before.

    Here's a few of my favorite Puget Sound nudi shots ...

    Cockerell's dorid ... so tiny you have to be actively seeking it to even realise it's there ...

    [​IMG]

    Hedgespeth sapsucker ... only ever found two of 'em ... the second time I had a camera ...

    [​IMG]

    A pair of clown dorids ... making little clowns ...

    [​IMG]

    Dendronotus Iris ... one of our larger nudis ... this one's swimming ...

    [​IMG]

    A cluster of hooded nudibranchs (meliba leonina) ...

    [​IMG]

    Orange peel nudis (tochuina tetraquetra) ...

    [​IMG]

    ... and my "signature" shot, literally ... I use this one on my business card and stationary ... Janolus Fusca, wrapping himself around a kelp leaf ...

    [​IMG]

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
    Karibelle and Pedro Burrito like this.
  8. asha

    asha Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: San Diego, CA
    307
    126
    43
    As a Californian nudibranch lover, I'm very much looking forward to someday diving the northwest to see some of these cool critters!
     
  9. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Pugetropolis
    47,420
    28,261
    113
    Shrimp ...

    Skeleton shrimp invade the Sound during the summer months, when food is abundant ...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Blade shrimp ... don't see these very often ...

    [​IMG]

    Horned shrimp ... they are almost invisible till you shine a light on 'em ...

    [​IMG]


    My favorite local shrimp ... candystripe ... looks like a Christmas ornament ...

    [​IMG]

    ... and sometimes I feel like getting really close ... the eye of a spot prawn ...

    [​IMG]

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  10. oldsalt

    oldsalt Captain

    # of Dives:
    Location: Tulalip, Washington
    95
    10
    0
    Sure Bob. Like I'm going to post some of my pictures after seeing yours.
    -Curt
    O.K. These are so beautiful, even I find it difficult to screw it up.
     

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    Last edited: May 1, 2012

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