Dive Location: Vet Spark
Buddy(ies): HBNudiSpotter and Ross O'Zoom
Time: 7:00 Splash
Bottom Time: 77 minutes
Max Depth: 110
Vis: pretty darn good.
Wave height: As if...
Temp at depth: WARM! 57 to 58
Surface Temp: whatever - Drysuit
Tide information: Falling fast on the way in, rising on the return
Gas mix: EAN 32
Best moment: Uh, too many to count. Maybe the Mystery Nudi
Things to do differently next time: Shoot some of the zillion shrimp we saw
Comments: 10 (TEN!!!!!!!!!) Species of Nudis at Vets - a new Personal Record
I read this week a diver at Vets saw a few Nudis. So I wanted to get in soon before they all vanished.
Ross O was available, so I grabbed the buddy scooter, and he, dette and I met up at Vets. No wind, warm night, ankle slappers AGAIN (another Seattle entry...) - this could be a good night.
We gear up, grab the scoots and walk into the tub.
The plan was our usual plan: Middle steps, 280 degrees to 110 FSW, then come south east-ish up the canyon. On the way down, my camera was hanging funny, so I kept having to adjust it. My inflater came off (Op error...) and so I was scootering and fiddling.
Not a good combo when you're the lead dog.
So I'm keeping 280 in my peripheral vision on my compass while I'm futzing around with my gear. Its taking longer than usual (about 5 minutes) to get to 110. I look at my compass and I'm putting us on ONE-EIGHTY (not 280...)
I reset the course and we resume. We get to 110, but this is a very different 110 than we see each week. Its flat (not sloped) and its full of grass and other stuff (not bare sand...) I like this!
We immediately start spotting Nudis. I find a Hermi. Claudette brings over a Navanax which we immediately fly for the BlimpaNax shots, below. I see some more small stuff (moustache Nudi, My Dirona, several small Black Dorids and another Hermi) and keep shooting. Ross comes over, looks at me all hunched over some shred of kelp leaf, shrugs and continues to scoot about us.
As I'm shooting, I hear a scooter zoom by. Its Ross. Its like he's on patrol, keeping close enough to be safe, but keeping far enough away that I don't splash my Nudi Mojo all over him. This is a scene that will be repeated for the next 77 minutes. Spot a nudi, shoot a nudi, Ross goes zoom zoom.
After about 20-some minutes at 110, we move it up to 70. I find this wavy turban shell with several small moon snail shells strewn about the sand in front of it... this can only mean one thing: An octo in the wavy turban shell. Sho' Nuff... dude has started a fine trash pile in front of his home, and is in the process of extraction even as we shoot! Lil Cutie.
Ross comes over, checks out what all the hubbub is about, then zooms off.
Claudette finds a Fed Ex who was having a really bad hair day. Fed Ex are always impeccably groomed. This one was a hot mess of Bed Head meets mayonnaise shampoo. I love how his colors light up the very mono-chromatic landscape that is Vet Spark sand.
Ross goes zoom.
There were some squid out tonight. We saw 2 or 3 of them. One laying her egg case into a basket. Really cool to see that again. I was able to grab some shots of her immediately after that.
Ross goes zoom.
Next I spot the Tri-Linny. There are Dendy eggs everywhere so you know there has to be some dandy Dendy's around. 'Chica finds two all stretched out on a stick and brings it over for a shot. I see some more Black Dorids (a group of 4 on one tiny Kelp leaf) and another Herm- which we fly for the shots below.
Its a bird. Its a plane. No. Its Ross.
Claudette brings over a little Nudi - teeny, about 1/4". We're in the mood to fly some more Nudis, so I grab a quick shot while he's on the stick, and we fly him. After the dive, we both look at each other and ask, "do you know what that last little guy was?..." We perch the camera on Ross' mega truck's open tailgate (which places it at near eye-level... I'm not kidding. This vehicle belongs at the stadium, crushing other trucks on SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY....)
We don't know what it is, but we both know I've never shot one before. A new Nudi! I love that.
Claudette will give you the full list of 10 in her report, I'm sure... I have all my own names and, well, I'm too lazy to look up the real names.
Ross goes zoom.
We come up, have another Seattle exit and head for the cars.
As we're taking off the gear Claudette mentions a Black Widow spider she saw on the pilings as she pulled in. I'm all, "you can see the spider as you pulled in... at night?" I'm thinking, this must be a big spider.
OMG - this is the biggest black widow I've ever seen. He was not impressed that I was taking his picture, and I posted Ross and Claudette as spotters, with orders for one to stomp the spider and the other to pull me back by my hair if Spidezilla lunges at me.
He didn't .
Excellent dive. Thanks so much for joining the Nudi party, Ross. Even on a fly-by basis... 'Dette, you rock so hard you should be a diamond.
Full gallery can be seen here: Vet Spark 11_29_07
Tri Linny. The full sized TIFF of this image is gorgeous. This guy's skin was just unreal. I love this shot.
In a sea of gray sand, this guy is such a wonderful diversion - even if he's having a really bad hair day. Check the red apples (the hydroids) he's munching. Most of the tree is already bare, but there are a few left. I love the Original of this shot. You can see the details of the hydroids, and the transparency of the Cerata. Original here: Linky
This is the Octo with the moon snail shell pile on his front porch. I had the 60 on, so getting the porch and the guy was tough. I like this picture better.
Couple of Dendy's racing up a stick!
Mystery Nudi - still working on the ID. Top shot on the stick, bottom two flying. This is a new Nudi for me. I'm sure Scott will be able to ID this before the ink dries on this post (luv you, man...)
I saw more Black Dorids last night at Vets than I have ever seen there on a single dive. It had to be way over 15 of them. At every stop, at every depth I saw them.
Navanax, doing his best UFO impersonation. What a blimp this guy was. Its sort of like tossing a Mortadella and shooting it as it tumbles through the water. Except this one was alive. And a Slug. And about 2" long. Aside from that, it was just like Mortadella tossing.