Archive for December, 2013


Last Dive of the Year, at The Cut.

Puget Sound King Crab

A Small Puget Sound King Crab

After a thwarted dive at Britannia Beach in the morning, I made my way down to Whytecliff Park where Paul and Steve were waiting for me to join them on a dive.

We hopped into the cut for a nice dive. Although it was a bit chilly on the surface, it warmed up a bit once we got below the thermocline. The visibility was amazing by Vancouver standards, and I managed to spot a really good diverse number of critters. Unfortunately I didn’t get any shots I love this time out, but I got some good shots of the different critters I saw.

I’m begining to think my perceived decrease in good photos is being caused by getting too close to the subject. I used to zoom in somewhat, and take photos from futher back, casting smoother lighting with my single strong. I think by getting too close it’s making the lighting too sharp. A second strobe to even things out sure would be nice..

Grunt Sculpin

A Grunt Sculpin…

One of the critters was another Grunt Sculpin, which I managed to get some half-decent shots of. One of my favorite local species, and I always struggle to get decent photos. One of the reasons is that I usually see then on a bottom covered in shells, which is really hard to properly expose with the highly-reflective whites. They also don’t like to properly pose, always hopping about on the bottom when you get close…

Plenty of different crabs as well, as evidenced in the top photo, and all the photos in the gallery below.

Not too much else to say about this dive, it was a good way to end off the diving year. Now for a work-induced dry spell, and then back at it again!

The rest of the photos are below:

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Project Baseline dive at the CCGS Ready

The Stern of the Ready

A pano shot stitched together from 8 photos of the Ready.

We went for a dive to kick-off the Project Baseline for Britannia Beach / the Ready. Unfortunately our dive was cut short due to an issue with one of my team-mate’s regs, but I did manage to get a few good shot in, including the 8 photos required to stitch together the above photo.

That was my first good attempt at using Hugin to stitch together photos, and it worked amazingly well, especially considering the fact that the current was pushing me into the wreck and changing my perspective with each successive photo!

Not too much else to note from this dive, and only a few photos in the gallery below. Even though it was short, it was still a good dive and we had fun. The visibility was great, so I’m looking forward to getting back out there before the spring to take some more pano series of the wreck.

After the dive, since I had plenty of gas left in my tanks, and this will be my last chance to dive for potentially over a month, I hi-tailed it down to Whytecliff Park with my drysuit still on and equipment assembled in the back of the Jeep to join up with Paul and Steve for a dive out in the Cut.

Photos below:

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A Furry Creek Dive to Kick Off December

Sponge Residents

Many creatures find home in the deep sponges

Armed with a good tip for where to find a Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker, Josh and I drove out to Kelvin Grove for a dive. Unfortunately, the 4 “Visitor” spots were already taken. (The 10 stalls reserved for Lions Bay residents were all free, naturally. I maintain that all the locals I’ve met while diving there have been very friendly, and we respond by being courteous to the local residents. Unfortunately their town council wants to restrict non-resident access)

Hairy Spined Crab

A Hairy Spined Crab at 30m

Both armed with doubles, we first swam out towards the wall, checking out the larger anemones and sponges that live along that feature, maxing out at a nice 30 meters — I fell the narc while trying to manoeuvre into position for a shot of a Hairy Spined Crab — Back-kicking with a loose bootie, watching my depth gauge, keeping my buoyancy, and trying to line up for a upwards shot (since he was hiding somewhat) proved to be an interesting level of task-loading today. After snapping a few shots, we ascended to a shallower depth. A cool thing about the Sponges is just how much life lives in and around the sponge themselves, usually various crustaceans.

Sculpin

A really cool Sculpin who posed nicely for me

After the wall, we swam back into the rock field, the spot I prefer at Furry Creek. At about 10-15 meters average depth are plenty of boulders, providing ample shelter for many different species of fish and other creatures. Again, there were plenty of Irish Lords guarding egg masses, as well as a really interestingly coloured and patterned Sculpin. Also in the area is the bottle-field, which has lots of interesting old bottles — No cool finds this time around.

One cool find was what I initially thought was ¬†some sort of Tunicate, but I couldn’t match it up in my book. However, it looks pretty spot on for Stubby Squid eggs!¬†Looking up some more references, I’m fairly confident that’s what they are. I can’t wait to get back in after they hatch to try and find some baby squid, in less than 4-9 months… (Quite the long gestation)

English Sole

A rather large English Sole

We spent a large portion of the dive in the super-shallows — Where lots of overlooked little creatures tend to hide out. Although it was ridiculously cold, we ended up with a 110 minute dive time, a new personal record for both of us. The drive home treated us with some sun and nice skies, Howe Sound truly is an amazing place, we’re lucky to live here.

The full gallery is below. Again, a lot of photos here this time around. I struggled to narrow down to 4 highlight photos…

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