Archive for October, 2013

Kelp forest trips 2013

October 23, 2013

Syver in kelp

On Tuesday 8 October and Thursday 10 October, second year marine scientists journeyed to a small kelp forest near Fossil Point.

Griffin & Ivan did a dive in the kelp on Tuesday, while Lily & Lucas (pictured below) went on Thursday.

Lily & Lucas

Divers took a video camera with them that is connected via a cable to a monitor in the cabin of the boat so that students not in the water could see what the divers see, in real time.

Pycnopodia on monitor

Henricia on monitor

We even saw a diver underwater: Lily in the photo below!

Lily on monitor

Several students also snorkelled to experience the kelp forest.

Snorkelling Syver

Taran & Pisaster

Johan & Syver

Some of the species observed include: bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana) of course!, cross jellyfish (Mitrocoma cellularia), blood star (Henricia sp.):

Mitro Henricia Nereo

Sunflower star (Pycnopodia helianthoides):


Hooded nudibranch (Melibe leonina):

Melibe on kelp

Melibe in bucket

A brittle star in a kelp holdfast:

Brittlestar in holdfast

And ochre stars (Pisaster ochraceus):

Pisasters holding hands

Taran & Marc


Two wonderful trips!

Lucas getting ready to dive in the kelp forest

October 23, 2013

Suited up:

Lucas suited up

Getting the briefing from Erik:

Erik briefing


Ready to roll:

Lucas leaving


In the water:

Lucas in water


Thanks for this series of photos, Taylor!

Another Foggy Friday

October 18, 2013

Friday 18 October 2013 7:45 am, Pearson College dock, Pedder Bay


Pedder Bay Marina

Pedder Bay marina

The double-crested cormorants seemed to be very agitated this morning.  Many of the birds were flying around in Pedder Bay.



DCCOs in tree

Esquimalt Lagoon – 3 October 2013

October 14, 2013

It was a sunny Thursday morning at Esquimalt Lagoon for the other class of second year marine scientists.

Emilio Seining

Again, we did two beach seines but at this location there was much less seaweed.

Seining 2


Seining 4 Searching 2

We found crangonid shrimp in the seine:Crangon

We then moved to the cobbles and found a diverse collection of organisms under the rocks.


Lots of crabs including: green shore crabs (Hemigrapsus oregonensis), decorator crabs and hermit crabs.

Shore crab

Decorator crab

We also found amphipods, isopods, barnacles, periwinkles, mussels, fish eggs and flatworms (and those were all under a single rock!).

Eggs et al


Witty’s Beach – 30 September 2013

October 13, 2013

It was a rainy Monday morning (30 September) but second year marine scientists persevered…

Wittys in the rain


We did two beach seines:


which both resulted in copious amounts of seaweed.

Sorting thru seaweed


Ivan & seaweed

We searched through the seaweed and found some interesting organisms that we looked at back at the lab using dissecting microscopes (photos from Taylor’s iPhone).


A decorator crab.


A flat-top sea squirt (Chelysoma sp.)

Cancer sp

A cancrid crab.

We also examined the sand grains under the microscope:



We did a little digging at Witty’s Beach…



and found a beautiful red polychaete worm:



And finally a photo of the Haystack Islets:


What a day in Pedder Bay!

October 2, 2013

Yesterday was the first day of October and there was an incredible amount of animal activity around Pedder Bay.


GBH on ramp

The first animal of note was a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) on the ramp down to the Pearson College dock.  It was very distracting to Marine Science students…


At the same time the heron was making its way down to the dock, three mink also scrambled down towards the water. Since it was difficult to keep the class focused, we went down to the dock and checked the succession substrates that were suspended over one year ago.

Succession1 Succession2

Lots of bryozoans, hydrozoans and several crescent gunnels (Pholis laeta).

While down at the dock, second year marine scientists noticed a hooded nudibranch (Melibe leonina) drifting around at the surface.


Not a great photo or video footage but a very cool little watermelon-smelling organism!  Cool enough to have a song written about it by Hanne and Killaq.

Slug song

First year marine scientists measured the variation in temperature and salinity off the Pearson College dock after big rainfall during the weekend.

Depth (m) Temperature (oC) Salinity (ppt)
0 11.3 11.9
0.5 10.7 30.6
1 10.5 30.8
2 10.5 30.9
3 10.4 30.9
4 10.5 31.0
5 10.5 29.7
6 10.5 29.0

While collecting these data we spotted some further animal activity at the mouth of Pedder Bay:



A submarine being escorted to the Navy dock.  What a day!