Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day 17: Manitou Beach

Great day for a lunchtime swim. Lots of interesting animals and the water was bright and clear, although a little murky near the end of the swim. Underwater pictures getting a little better, see below! Here's Murden Cove looking E to Skiff Point (left photo).'s a diver's eye view looking East across the Sound. You can just make out Seattle in the right background behind the pilings. This image is half underwater showing the bottom in the right foreground, the partly cloudy sky above, and the sky reflected on the mirrored surface (right photo). Wow, now you know why I keep coming back.

air temp: 44F
water temp: 46F
Jan 27, noon, mostly sunny
wind 0-5 from NE
medium tide, rising
visibility 15-25 feet
today's distance: 1.17 mile
total so far: 18.18 miles (1/3 around Bainbridge!)

today's notables:
infinite sand dollars
lots of geoducks
moon snails
big basket stars
huge sand/eelgrass flats

Getting back in at sand dollar heaven in Murden Cove was a treat. With some more time and better light, I was determined to get some good underwater photos and here they are.

It's interesting to swim over and look at the patterns of the animals (left). Here's a closeup (right), you can just make out their little tube feet if you click on the picture and enlarge it.

With the nice light, it was lucky to be in this area with so many fun animals like this big 20-arm sunflower star with the bright orange (right).

Also this anemone (left).

And one of my favorites, the moon snail (right).

As I left Murden Cove and turned north up Manitou Beach I saw a person fly fishing and tried to swim unobtrusively behind to avoid scaring any fish. The only problem was the shallow water, I had to pull myself through using my hands, it was too shallow to swim or even kick past.

Turning the corner to Manitou Beach also brought a cold, sweeping current running against me, strong enough that it was difficult to make forward progress. I had to put my head down and swim upstream hard for a few minutes to get through. After a couple hundred yards the current let go of me and the swimming was more reasonable.


Katy said...

Those are great photos! I thought the starfish was a sun star, not a basket star though?

Mark Powell said...

Urp, you're right it's not a basket star. I'm no expert on invertebrate ID, but I think sunflower star. Or is it really a sun star?

Mark Powell said...

Note: I changed the original post.

Julie Leung said...

Sunflower star is the common name, yes. Beautiful echinoderms!