Friday, December 26, 2014

Tyee Beach and Madrona 13/12/2014

Jim Dixon invited some of the mainland GUE divers over to dive China Creek. Dennis Diamond and I were the only ones who could make it. The Island divers were Jim Dixon, Guy Shockey and Liz Tribe.

Dennis and I had a very early ferry ride in the morning to get over. On the ride up to the camp ground, we got a call from Jim. Liz had found the gate to China Creek closed, something to do with weather. So we had a change off plans, and all detoured to Tyee Beach. It was a fun dive. We found two nice big puget sound king crabs, a large grunt sculpin out in the open, a cabezon, some giant dendronotids underneath a rock overhang, and hundreds of kelp crabs. Visibility was not bad. The highlight was definitely the grunt sculpin and the puget sound king crabs.

Dennis and I had our scooters over with us so we decided to do a second dive up at Madrona. Interestingly, the visibility was worse. We scootered to the marker buoy and on our first descent we lost each other. We surfaced and tried again, surprised that it was so much worse than Tyee. We hit the main wall easily and found a very nice giant pacific octopus, along with a plethora of nudibranchs. One that we did not see very often was the striped nudibranch, just inching along the sand bottom out in the open. I didn't take any video, but here is a representative picture.

The highlight of this dive was finding big skate eggs. When we came across them in the shallows, we had no idea what they were. There were two of them. Again, I didn't get a picture, but here is something of what they looked like from an online blog.

It was pretty crazy coming across something so big and alien looking. It was a fun day of diving!

I did get some video from the Tyee Beach dive, you can see the puget sound king crabs and all of the kelp crabs.

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