Verification Day

Barbara Warren and Diane Brousseau joined us today.  They are with Salem Sound Coastwatch and were onboard to verify whether we were, indeed, finding Didemnum sp.  as often as we were reporting it.  Turns out we were not.

We anchored for the first dive at Stone Garage, near Bemo Ledge.  Again, the visibility was good.  Pete said it was 38 feet.  The surface was 57 and the bottom was 52 degrees.

Bob and Bethany Brousseau from Rhode Island were happy with the visibility too.  Bethany said they have been diving with only 8 feet of vis and thought this was wonderful.  We saw lots of pollack that hung just at the edge of visibility.  If you sat very still, they would cautiously approach to see what you were doing.  Upon your first exhale, they’d scoot.

Jacki Kronenberg and Laurent Dubois also liked the site.  Laurent got some lobster and Jacki tried out her new, shocking green aluminum 80 tank.

Pete brought up a huge rock that was covered with a candidate for Didemnum-hood, but it turned out to be orange sheath tunicate.  The rest of the dive, we only brought up more of that.   Pat and Barbara posed for video of using the handheld GPS.

The second dive was at The Dead Light at Thacher Island.  The boat was anchored in 22 feet but drifted over 50 feet by the time we splashed down.  I followed the anchor line into a rocky ledge and found what turned out to be orange sponge and a small, pregnant spider crab with sponge growing on her nose.  We returned her after validating what her nasal adornment was.

The Captain videoed and then brought up a sheet of tunicate that may, indeed, be the Didemnum sp.  Barbara and Diane took pieces of it to get a second opinion. 

Pete and Jacki saw a huge, blue lobster out and walking around.  It was dusty and had barnicles on its back.  They said it was just moping along the bottom, not trying to hide or get away as they approached.  Neat!

We saw a school of pollack here too.  I also saw the first of the gooseberry jellyfish that look like blimps with lines of iridescent color pulsing around their thimble-sized bodies.

The water was flat and there was no wind at all.  Barbara called the conditions “oily.” 

We had a clear shot home under a milky sky.  Not too hot, but not cold either. 

Just right.

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