Thursday, September 4, 2008

Day One of Diving

Four dives today just off of Green Point, a site to the east of Port Angeles. The primary goal of this dive project is to map habitat prior to the removal of the Elwha Dams and provide a baseline against which post-dam conditions can be compared. Green Point is a "control" site and is thought to be far enough away from the Elwha that it won't be affected by the dam removal. It is an interesting area with much finer sediment than we've found in the Elwha drift cell. And today it was evident that the Gray Whales DIG that fine stuff, quite literally. We spotted at least five whales all actively feeding in the fine sediment. They would rise to the surface trailing plumes of sediment behind them as they filtered out all of the goodies. In one case a huge male came about as close to us as I've ever been to a gray AND I captured some video of it...

The diving? Pretty marginal, with low visibility, quite a bit of surge and overall low biological diversity. My highlight of the day was a starry flounder that I had the opportunity to follow around...


video video

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