Monday, June 10, 2013

Back in California for a week, before heading back to Friday Harbor for the summer.  This week I need to calibrate and map the magnetic fields of the magnets we used in the field, and quantify exactly how strong their fields are.

I'll post some of the other photos we took while in Tofino too.

Using an inclination compass to determine polarity of our cylindrical neodymium magnets that were hot glued to a steel tent peg.

View of Meares Island from our field site near Vargas Is.

This is how the computer displays the six underwater cameras.  Light blotches are sea pens, dark blotches are drift algae, and unfortunately the slugs are hard to see because they are about the same brightness as the mud/sand.

Hermissenda crassicornis, the Opalescent Nudibranch,

Pycnopodia helianthoides or Sunflower Star can get a meter wide and will eat anything it can catch, including Tritonia, but it can't catch them!

Cancer crab buried.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

finished up

We finished up data collection June 3 and Dr Wyeth is back in Victoria BC, before returning to Antigonish, and Dr. Murray is in Friday Harbor WA on the way back home to East Bay Area around San Francisco.  Everything went great, now time to analyze thousands of hours of video.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Tritonia eating the soft coral sea pen Ptilosarcus

This is a sequence showing how Tritonia sneaks up on the sea pen from downstream, bites a piece off, and eventually sea pens are eaten down to their calcareous style.

the final push

We are getting near the end of data collection and things have been going well.  We have been diving 3 times a day since May 17.  Fortunately, we have had no major malfunctions of equipment or divers.  I've had a little free flow trouble with one regulator, but I brought a spare.  We once got a line wrapped around the prop, but Russell got that sorted on snorkel.  The waterproof cameras and Russell's (now vintage) Novex security video software have worked perfectly. 

We've seen a porpoise, otters, eagles, osprey, and a wolf, in addition to the usual crabs, corals, slugs, and worms underwater.  I plan to post some video clips next month when I have faster internet. 

We are in town now on our 3-day schedule, and the co-op store opens at 830a.  Then we load up and head back to the site. 

Russell taking notes floating above the video arena.

Monday, May 27, 2013

it's not only the tropics that has colorful sea critters

a polychaete tubeworm

a cup coral (hard coral)

the opalescent nudibranch, a personal favorite

close up of polyps of sea pen (soft coral)

This was sunset a couple days ago.

gale warning

There was a gale warning, so we decided to come back to port after one night at the field site rather than sleep in the bay in a possible gale.  But today was another good data day, despite 5 foot visibility.