Atmos

On the Sunday after the planning session six of us went for a pair of dives in the central Gulf Islands.  A report on them can be found in the Trip Reports section.  But, since I haven't tasted enough salt water in the last couple of years, we went for a shore dive last week.

Tyee Beach (Seducer's Cove) is a lovely spot on the North-east shore of the Nanoose penninsula.  There is a small parking area and a short, flatish walk down to a gravelly beach, i.e. and easy entry. The cove descends gently to a sandy bottom which progressively tightens into a V as it drops off.  It is actually two dives because the walls that extend from 20 m to 30+ m extend both left and right.

We chose right this time.  We were in at high slack, so the water was quite still.  In contrast the wall has all the life of a site where the current usually howls (Whytecliff like).  The usual assortment of suspects were present; many large rock fish, Ling cod, lots of sponges, a forrest of crinoids below 30 m, uncountable brittle stars, etc.  Then the discovery for which we had no memory: five huge cloud sponges at the 30 m mark.  They each were 1.5 m tall or more.  These guys cousins don't show up at Whytecliff until one is closer to 40 m.  They are marvelous specimens.

Even though this is the tail end of 'winter' under the water, we were stuck with how alive and healthy the wall appeared.  The crinoids were all full sized.  The Tiger and Chinese rock fish were large.  The numbers for each species were impressive.  The nudibranchs were 'getting in on'.  Around the eel grass on the way up there were hundreds of file fish.  They seemed youngish, approximately 15 cm long.  It was reassuring to see such a healthy marine environment so close to dense human habitation.              'til next time           eric