It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Counting Nudis

On Tuesday, we went to Point Lobos to do some nudibranch counting with Alicia Hermasillo and other BAUE members. I guess a lot of people had had enough by Monday, so on Tuesday, it was just Clinton, Ryan, Rob and me (and Alicia and Roberto). The topside weather was great -- sunnier than Saturday, and less windy than Sunday. For dive 1, we did some nudibranch counting at two of the proposed sites for the BAUE nudibranch study. Rob and I counted site 1, while Clinton and Ryan counted site 2, and Alicia and Roberto bounced between the two to see how we were doing. Actually Rob was counting, and I was in charge of keeping the team alive, as either Clinton or Rob put it. But I was looking for nudibranchs too (though not as hard as Rob was), and pointed anything out to Rob that he missed. We saw some cool stuff. I found a Limacia cockarelli, which we've never seen before! We had just been discussing them before the dive, I think because of the recent traffic on ba_diving about them. It was so tiny -- I don't understand how anyone confuses it with a clown nudibranch. The one I found was at most an inch in diameter. It almost looked like a closed up anemone -- like strawberry anemone in reverse, white on the inside with orange tips. I was totally excited to find that. Alicia also pointed out some Rostanga pulchras. The one she showed me was unbelievably tiny. But it was good to see the kind of sponge that they live on, for future reference. I told Rob after the dive, that based on its size and how well it blends with the sponge, I could imagine never seeing another Rostanga again :) Other than that, we counted a bunch of San Diego dorids, a Doriopsilla, and two Hermissendas. Rob and I split off and headed in by ourselves. Apparently on the way in, Clinton found an Ancula gibbosa. We missed it though, boohoo. I was freezing on this dive. We were barely moving at all for almost all of the dive (the survey site was at most 20' x 20', and we spent like 35 minutes just on that!). 60 feet, 70 minutes, 46 degress

After some lunch and warming up, we went back out for a second dive. Ryan took off since he had a long trip home. We decided to do middle reef again, but just do a fun dive and see what Alicia could find. Clinton was going to try to take us back to the Ancula. Unfortunately, we must have swam out too far before dropping, because he couldn't find it. Alicia found two Aegires albopunctatus which were teeny tiny. If I had seen it, I would have thought it was just a piece of sea junk. Rob found a Rostanga back in a crack! I couldn't believe he found it. It was a bit bigger than the one on the first dive, but it was way back in a crack! Rob said he was purposefully looking for the sponge that they live on. There was also an egg case for some kind of nudibranch nearby. I also noticed some cool looking chitons all over the rocks, which reminded me of Easter eggs. They were purple ovals with some other colored design on them. I think they were Tonicella lineata. 50 feet, 64 minutes, 47 degrees.

Rob didn't bring his camera on either dive, so no pictures for this one :( The picture in this post is from another dive, I just couldn't stand to leave out a picture in a post about nudibranchs!

No comments: