Archive for October, 2014

Riikka’s turtle crab

October 24, 2014


While diving at Christopher Point on Wednesday 22 October, Riikka found this little turtle crab (Cryptolithodes sitchensis).  The colours on its shell are beautiful!




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Kelp forest trips 2014

October 22, 2014

Kelp at surface

Friday 10 October and Tuesday 14 October, second year marine scientists did the annual field trip to the Nereocystis kelp forest at Fossil Point.  This is one of the very best field trips we do in the IB Marine Science course at Pearson College. Divers get into the water with a camera that is tethered to a monitor on our boat ‘Second Nature’ so that non-divers can experience the kelp forest along with the divers.

Yam (below), Riikka and Tyleisha did the dive on Friday.


Stuart (below) and Martin (even further below) did the dive on Tuesday.




Martin getting instruction on how to use the camera…

Camera instruct

…before rolling off of ‘Second Nature’.

Martin roll

The divers descend with the camera so that everyone on board can see what they see on the monitor in the cabin.

Eliott notesMonitoringMonitor2 Monitor Melibe2 Melibe

Sometimes we can also see the divers:

Stuart underwater

Non-divers are invited to snorkel around the surface of the kelp forest and have a wonderful time acting like sea otters.

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Back on ‘Second Nature’ other students are doing various measurements…

Caroline stipe

and making observations…


Cyanea touch Cyanea bucket Courtney Simon

Thanks to Courtney for making these 2 trips happen and to the divers, snorkelers, measurers, observers and photographers.

River otters at PC dock

October 19, 2014

On Friday around noon, Malou (PC 41, Greenland) was leaving the floating lab and motioned to me to come see… a group of river otters (Lontra canadensis) catching fish and jumping out on the the dock.





And here is Malou hoping for another glimpse of those rascally otters:


Calm before the storm?

October 17, 2014


Plankton sampling and examining

October 14, 2014

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For the past week or so, first year Marine Science students have been learning about plankton. After collecting plankton of the Pearson College dock, students examined the samples using microscopes.

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Some of the species in the sample included a cross jellyfish (Mitrocoma cellularia):


A sea gooseberry / comb jelly / ctenophore (Pleurobrachia bachei):


A sea cucumber auricularia larva:


More images and videos to follow…

Crab boat in Pedder Bay

October 9, 2014


Tuesday morning (7 October 2014) between 7:30 and 7:45 am the crab boat ‘Thrud’ was pulling up traps in Pedder Bay and was being followed by a big group of gulls.


P1030582And then it was off again. Into the sunrise…

A preponderance of plankton

October 2, 2014


As I was leaving the floating building at 12:15 pm yesterday (1 October 2014), I noticed a golf ball-sized green blob floating past the Pearson College dock. It turned out to be this red-eye jellyfish (Polyorchis penicillatus) and right next to it was a sea gooseberry or ctenophore (Pleurobrachia bachei) and a barnacle moult.


The bell of the jellyfish is covered in a green algae and the red eyespots are visible around the margin of the bell and there is a red amphipod living in association with the jellyfish too (see it peeking out from the margin of the jelly in the two photos below).



And here is a better view of the comb jelly / ctenophore Pleurobrachia bachei which we rarely see around the Pearson College dock, but is periodically very common at the Race Rocks jetty.


Simon and I also met several students at the dock last night at 8:30 pm to observe bioluminescence. It was magical! While moving our hands through the water we saw a line of bioluminescence about 6 cm long which turned out to be a cross jellyfish (Mitrocoma cellularia) which “luminesces if disturbed in the dark, especially in a band along the margin of the bell” according to Cowles (2009).

GBH on Second Nature

October 1, 2014


This Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) was watching for herring while standing on the boat ‘Second Nature’ this morning.