Tagged: sea monster

Melibe leonina nudibranch

Melibe leonina nudibranchs are weird and awesome

Nudibranchs never cease to amaze me. Just when I think I’ve had enough nudibranchs for, like, ever, a new one I’ve never seen before comes along and voilà, instant nudibranch love affair all over again. I’d seen the Melibe leonina nudibranch in photos but never in the flesh (in the slime?). Then we went for a shore []

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The Sea of Cortez is Riddled with Nudibranchs

Being the kiss of death that I am when it comes to dive trips and good conditions, I shouldn’t have been surprised when we arrived in the Sea of Cortez to find cold, green, murky, Socal-esque water. For months prior to the trip, I entertained fantasies of seeing whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, orcas, manta rays, []

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Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber

Chamber Day 2013 and Catalina Kelp Diving

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013, marked the 25th annual Chamber Day on Catalina. The event benefits Catalina’s hyperbaric chamber, the only hyperbaric chamber in Southern California that is exclusively dedicated to the treatment of diving accidents. The Chamber, which is staffed 24/7/365 by volunteers, derives over half of its annual budget from Chamber Day proceeds. We []

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Acanthodoris rhodoceras nudibranch

New-dibranch: Acanthodoris rhodoceras

I love finding new critters I’ve never seen before. Sunday, Mat spotted this adorable tiny nudibranch in about 100 feet of water. We were diving off the Pacific Star near Blue Cavern on Catalina Island. It was a brave little thing, too; when I crash-landed into the sand next to it (oops), it retracted its little []

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Spanish Shawl nudibranch

A Sojourn with the Shawls

So I was having some issues with my strobe connection, which made my lighting situation pretty much suck, especially when it was called upon to light anything farther than 0.000000001 cm away. Incidentally, there aren’t a whole hell of a lot of sea creatures who tolerate that kind of proximity to us noisy bubble-blowers. So I opted for my old standby, the nudibranch, which either doesn’t care or can’t get away or both. And Spanish Shawls were all over the rocks. Awesome!

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Rebreather divers at the wreck of the Infidel

Tech Diving Catalina Island and the California Oil Rigs

Southern California Tech Diving with Ocean Research Group This past weekend, I attended my first Ocean Research Group technical dive trip on the Sand Dollar out to Catalina Island, California.  As a fledgling SoCal tech diver, it was pretty cool to do some “big kid” deep dives under the guidance of experienced divers and instructors. I’m also []

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Parrotfish in Curacao

The Best of 2012: My Year in Photos

2012 was a hell of a year. I settled in San Diego and got to know a ton of cool people. I was fortunate to travel to some really amazing places. Of course, there was quite a bit of diving. I saw some San Diego sunrises…   And some San Diego sunsets :)   I []

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Curaçao: Stunning Slugs, Snails, and Worms, or… the Pretty Yucky Stuff

Christmas Tree Worm Go anywhere stateside after Thanksgiving (hell, after Halloween), and Christmas stuff is everywhere. We arrived in Curaçao Thanksgiving Day, and I don’t recall seeing anything glaringly festive. That’s OK. The only Christmas tree I needed in the Caribbean was of the worm variety. Possibly the prettiest worm ever: the Christmas Tree Worm. []

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Black Sea Nettle in Point Loma kelp beds, San Diego, California

Operation: Black Sea Nettle is a success!

One of my (many) favorite things about scuba diving in San Diego is the constant turnover of animal populations. I’ve lived and dove here for less than a year, and already I’ve been witness to the market squid run and the bat ray invasion. I was there when the juvenile rockfish moved in at La Jolla Shores, []

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Metridium on HMCS Yukon

Diving San Diego’s Wreck Alley and Kelp Forest

I spent Memorial Day diving with my friends at San Diego dive boat Marissa Charters in Wreck Alley and the Point Loma kelp beds. It’s always nice to be out on the boat, but Monday was amazing! We had great weather topside and pretty good visibility out on our dives!   HMCS Yukon HMCS Yukon is a []

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Sarcastic Fringehead

Making my way back to Shores-cago

Okay, that was terrible. I’m sorry. Last night was my second night back in the cold, dark waters of sunny San Diego since our return from Belize. (I have so many photos from that trip that I’m intimidated by them. Eventually they’ll get sorted and posted. Promise!) Monday night, I joined the crew of the []

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Salp chain

An Uncommon Dive at La Jolla Shores

Friday morning, I went for one last cold-water dive at La Jolla before heading out of town for the Long Beach Scuba Show and our anniversary trip to Belize. With the possible exception of last year’s squid run, this was one of the most different and interesting La Jolla Shores dives I’ve ever done. In []

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Kelp at Two Harbors, Catalina

Catalina Dive Sites: Two Harbors

The diving at Catalina Island is some of the best in Southern California–even when it’s not so great, like it was last weekend. I did four dives over two days, and found Catalina has been suffering from the same low-visibility problems as San Diego. I still had a great time! The Catalina dive sites I []

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Tube anemone at La Jolla Shores

Diving La Jolla Shores, San Diego: The Usual Suspects

I have a confession to make: It’s been weeks since my last time diving La Jolla Shores. Conditions have been less than wonderful and life has gotten in the way. This morning, a friend and I finally got back in the water (in honor of his birthday!) and had a great time. It sounds silly, []

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San Diego Nudibranchs: Hermissenda crassicornis

When the visibility gets tough, the tough find nudibranchs

San Diego Nudibranchs A swell that has been plaguing the San Diego coastline with rough surf (seemingly forever…) finally subsided late last week, just in time for our scheduled Easter Sunday boat dive. Visibility was severely compromised, though, as a result of the extended period of rough ocean conditions. The water was green and murky… []

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California kelp

The California Kelp Forest

My diving career so far has been rich with travel. I have dove all over the tropical blue waters of the Caribbean and the untouched oceans of Fiji. I’ve seen the exotic Antarctic sea creatures that migrate north to the temperate waters of Sydney, Australia, swam with the seals in the Isles of Shoals off []

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Peltodoris nobilis - sea lemon (noble dorid)

Nudibranchs: The Sea Lemon

Anisodoris nobilis, or the noble dorid nudibranch, is also known as the sea lemon. This name is not only attributable to its yellow color, but apparently also to a citrusy smell it can give off when it is handled. Unlike many tinier nudibranchs, the sea lemon can reach up to around five inches in length. []

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Spanish Shawl Nudibranch in Point Loma Kelp Beds, San Diego

Nudibranchs: Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

After more than a month out of the water, and two months out of the cold California water, I finally got to go diving again! We spent the weekend on the Horizon dive boat diving San Clemente Island and the kelp beds of Point Loma, San Diego. I saw lots of sea lions and a []

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Diving the California Oil Rigs, Part 2

(See Diving the California Oil Rigs, Part 1 here.) This is the Spanish Shawl, a nudibranch (type of sea slug) common to Southern California. It’s tiny, only about one or two inches long. The orange appendages on its back are called cerata, which assist both in respiration and in digestion. They also store the stinging []

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