A few little things ...

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

  1. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

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    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]

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    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
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  2. Mustang29

    Mustang29 Angel Fish

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    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

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    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.

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    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!
     
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  5. Pedro Burrito

    Pedro Burrito Administrator

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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.

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    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.
     
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  7. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

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    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) ...

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    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)
     
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  8. asha

    asha Divemaster

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    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

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    Shrimp ...

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

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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

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    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 Nassau Grouper

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    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
  11. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

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    I'd love to see some of your pictures, Curt ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  12. RockyHeap

    RockyHeap Scuba Instructor

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    Bob,


    It was great seeing you and representing SCUBABOARDS at the Northwest Dive and Travel show.


    One thing that my Zen Dive Yoda-san taught me in Roatan, is carry a 3-4" magnifying glass, you can find them cheap $4-5 at hardware stores, drill a hole in the handle, put a lanyard through it so it can dangle on your wrist, or they tuck into a BCD pocket pretty easy.

    I've passed off my Magnifying glass to dive mastera whose eyes bug out when the experience a magnifying glass underwater the first time..............cheap to give to the dive master too in a tropical location as a tip and trinket.


    I have more fun looking at the odd micro macro odd critters, as everyone else is going ga-ga about "another" sea turtle.
     
  13. girldiverllc

    girldiverllc Scuba Instructor

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    Bob...

    Can I once again say..."wow". I absolutely LOVE your shots of the Lumpsuckers. I've only been blessed a few times to spot one...but they definitely feel like a treasure when you do.
     
  14. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Hi Cindy ...

    Hit me up in October, when they come back to the eel grass beds, and I'll happily show you where and how to see them regularly for the few months they invade that area ...

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  15. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Here's a few I took last night. Well, first one I took several months ago ...

    This is a juvenile wolfie I've been watching since about last October. My initial shot of her back then ... when her head was only about as big around as my thumb ... a cute little toddler ...

    [​IMG]

    Now she's the wolf eel equivalent of a teen-ager ... this was from last evening's dive ... the same wolfie ... now her head's about as big around as my wrist ...

    [​IMG]

    And speaking of little things ... check out this little flounder. I spotted something behind his eye, but couldn't make out what it was ...

    [​IMG]

    ... so when I downloaded the picture, I zoomed in and cropped ... never seen these before. Looks like some sort of flounder-shaped parasite ...

    [​IMG]

    ... and finally ... playing around at safety stop taking pictures of jellies ...

    [​IMG]

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  16. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Here's an exquisite little thing I found at Edmonds the other day ... a skeleton shrimp. They're common, and relatively easy to see ... but not with this much detail ...

    [​IMG]

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
  17. RockyHeap

    RockyHeap Scuba Instructor

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    EXCELLENT shots, keep up the great work and thanks for sharing..........
     
  18. Gdog

    Gdog Manta Ray

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    awesome pics Bob! Thanks for sharing! I have yet to find a lumpsucker, will be looking in October!
     
  19. Karibelle

    Karibelle Scuba Instructor

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    Great shots, Bob! And thanks for starting the thread; I look forward to more photos from the area.

    kari
     
  20. NWGratefulDiver

    NWGratefulDiver Mental toss flycoon ScubaBoard Supporter

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    This is a little thing only in a relative sense ... it's about four feet long, which is very little for a sixgill shark. But it's the first one I've seen in about six years. Took this pic last night ...

    [​IMG]

    ... Bob (Grateful Diver)
     
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