Posts filed under 'Puget Sound'
The Alki Junkyard is a lesser known dive site, just around the corner from several very popular Seacrest dive sites, that offers some hidden jewels in the rough. From “Shaggy Mouse” Nudibranchs and Giant Sea Spiders to Juvenile Wolf Eels – it’s a great spot to shoot photos and to enjoy making a dive plan for a moderately current intensive dive site (read: OW classes aren’t held here). The eel grass looks like wheat, blowing in the wind – to be enjoyed during your safety stop, and there’s the occasional score that a bottle hunter can enjoy finding at this dive site.
Continue Reading September 18th, 2009
This past weekend a group of Northwest Dive Club buddies and I headed out to the Olympic Peninsula to dive in Lake Crescent. This alpine lake is nestled in the Olympic National Park, a temperate rainforest and one of Washington State’s great natural treasures. Among the group of technical divers in attendance, we had four gentlemen who played various roles in the solving of a 72 year-old mystery, involving the disappearance of a young couple back in the late 1920s. A team of divers was able to discover the location of the submerged car that carried this young couple to their tragic deaths, so many decades ago.
Continue Reading October 1st, 2008
Today I did my first solo CCR dive, and brought along the new Nikon D300/Subal ND30 rig. It was also my first time using the 105mm macro lens (and accompanying port). I didn’t get fantastic shots, but it was one of the most challenging, complex dives I’ve ever done, simply because there was so much to think about (both camera and CCR) and no buddy to depend on or ask for help.
Continue Reading September 18th, 2008
One of my favorite dive sites in the Pacific Northwest is about to be destroyed, so I went diving there recently with a couple good buddies and shot the last photos I’ll ever take at this gem of a dive site. A long story short, Governor Christine Gregoire’s Puget Sound Initiative aims to remove pilings in our waters containing the chemical “creosote”. But, there are several red flags pertaining to the selection of this site, among hundreds to choose from, since this particular set of creosote pilings happens to be home to an abundant amount of local marine life.
Continue Reading September 8th, 2008
Well, this afternoon my good dive buddy Nailer and I (and our new buddy Larry) threw up our caps (hoods?) as we graduated from Advanced Closed Circuit Rebreather (CCR) Trimix class (I believe this is called Mod 3 in Europe). This means that I can use hypoxic amounts of oxygen (less than 16%) mixed with helium and nitrogen, in various amounts, as diluent when mixing with pure oxygen in a closed breathing loop. I am now certified to dive to 330 feet, which opens up a lot of diving options.
It seems like forever ago, but just 7 months prior I started my first CCR class, Air Diluent CCR cert. It did take me months to find the groove on the Meg, but sometime along the way it just clicked. I’m glad I stuck with it because honestly, those first dozen dives or so had me thinking, what have I done?. Now I feel pretty natural in the water again, not as carefree as on OC before I made the switch, but definitely confident, which is huge.
Continue Reading June 16th, 2008
My dive buddy Josh, aka Nailer99, offers up his account of our recent COPIS Megalodon CCR training from Silent Scuba instructor Mel Clark. All day, every day for a week solid – this was some of the toughest dive training I’ve ever done – but the end result is that we can now stay down for hours on end, and this opens up our NDLs tremendously so that we can stay deeper for longer. With virtually no bubbles, fish and other marine life came right up to us. I can’t wait to shoot some stills and video with the mCCR. I’m looking forward to doing many dives with my new COPIS. It wasn’t cheap (in terms of time or money) but the training corresponds to the higher level of proficiency and diligence needed to dive a Closed Circuit Rebreather like the manual Megalodon from Innerspace Systems.
Continue Reading November 23rd, 2007
Tuesday evening a couple of dive buddies and I came across an 8 foot SixGill shark in Cove 2. We followed the shark for about five minutes (which seemed like an eternity). The two SixGill sharks I’ve encountered thus far both didn’t exhibit aggressive behavior (actually, the first one seemed sluggish). The shark swam gracefully while I captured the video of her. It looked as though she had been tagged at one point, but that the tag had since been dislodged. Also on this dive, I found a mask belonging to a diver who passed away the night before in a dive accident that is still under investigation.
Continue Reading August 4th, 2007
The jellyfish are invading the waters of the Pacific Northwest. Not the life-threatening type, like the box jellyfish, but still venomous enough to provide an unpleasant sting on the upper lip as you run into a translucent tentacle during your safety stop. Though the tiny box jellyfish is one of the most deadly in the world, the cool waters of the Pacific Northwest are home to some of the largest jellyfish on Earth, including the Lion’s Mane Jellyfish and the Egg-Yolk Jellyfish. Growing up to a massive diameter of 7 feet, with tentacles up to 120 feet in length – these aren’t creatures you want to tangle with.
Continue Reading June 6th, 2007
I finally was able to capture a stubby squid (rossia pacifica) changing color from reddish purple to iridescent. The small (3″) squid held its pose for just long enough for me to snap a couple shots. They typically change to the lighter-pale iridescent colors when they feel threatened. My dive light gave little squiddy just enough of a scare to change his color for a fraction of a second, but not enough to make him flee. These small molluscs are cute, ever-elusive and are actually more closely related to the cuttlefish than squid – despite the common name. They’re relatively abundant in the temperate waters of Puget Sound, but you have to look closely to find one.
Continue Reading March 29th, 2007
Last night a few dive buddies and I went diving at Seacrest (Alki) Cove 2. The dive started as a ho-hum dive, not much to see and one of our buddies didn’t have enough weight so he turned back and the rest of us descended. It was relatively poor visibility for this time of year, mostly due to the harbor seals that were zooming around and stirring things up. At around 100fsw or so I turned around and was shocked to see a 14-foot Sixgill shark, about a dozen feet in front of me. I fumbled for my trusty Casio EX-Z1000 and flipped it into video mode to catch a few minutes of the prehistoric looking shark swimming slowly and gracefully before sinking down to the bottom – apparently strange behavior for a shark of this type.
Continue Reading January 19th, 2007