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Had to do a quick trip to Lubec to check on the summer home as the contractors had finished putting on new siding. House looks great. Nice white vinyl siding for this guy who never wants to paint another house.
After driving the 420 plus miles and inspecting the house I went over to Eastport and stayed at the Motel East (house in Lubec is winterized with no water right now). Ate at the Sardina Loca and then got a good nights sleep. In the morning I just suited up walked out the door and down in to the water. The air temperture was 18f but the water was 35f. Not too bad but a quick shock to the system. Visibility was 20 feet or more and there was a slight current about 45 minutes before low tide. I stayed down for just over 44 minutes and went to a depth of 41 feet. My hands got a bit chilled and with a long drive back to Connecticut I wasn't going to push for a second dive.
Found a number of nudibranchs including E. tricolor, F. verrucosa, F. pellucida and a Doto sp. The good news is that the large starfish have returned now that the aquariums have been banned from collecting at the old steamship pier. In the past few years there has been an unsettling absence of the large northern and smooth sunstars that used to be abundant and kept the urchins off the wall. The starfish will hopefully make slow but steady progress against the urchin hoard and thus allow the anemones, hydroids and others to regain their foothold. There was one huge northern sea star that stretched over two feet across and a purple smooth sun star nearly as large with many smaller brethren of both species.
There were also tons of basket stars both large and small and the field of soft coral was larger than ever.
Maybe best of all were the numerous small anemones both metridiums and northern reds that were on the wall and will hopefully fill in the areas raped by the New England and Mystic Aquariums. Can you tell how much I despise them for their over-collecting?
Jerry Shine showed some pics from Eastport, including one of a bottle you found, that were AWESOME I haven't been up that way since before I was an undergrad but I am planning an expedition for this summer. I'd LOVE to see basket stars.