Friday, April 24, 2009

Day 28: Battle Point

The westernmost point on Bainbridge Island, Battle Point (left). Named for a famous battle between two tribes that took place well before European discovery.

Swimming down the beach to Battle Point today was a lazy, hazy experience. Sunny and calm, warmer weather, no need to hurry, and the walk back on the beach was delicious and warm with the sun on my back.

The plankton bloom is now turning into marine snow (right). Bigger particles making for a strange low visibility scene. I can see a bit through the swirling snow, but not very well. Some places I can barely see the hand on the end of my arm. The photo at right is me with my camera held at arm's length in a particularly thick spot.

The next photo (left) is me in one of today's more clear spots. You'd never know from above that there's a snowstorm happening under the placid surface on this warm day.

air temp: 56F
water temp: 46F
April 24, 2009, 4pm, sunny
wind calm
medium tide, rising
visibility 3-7 feet
today's distance: 1.06 mile
total so far: 32.28 miles

today's notables:
plankton bloom
sand dollars
sand flats

More access trouble today, I have to park at the entry point, swim, and then walk back to the car. I haven't done this since last fall, I much prefer walking before I swim. But that's mostly because the wet walks started getting too COLD in November. I'll try swim first today and see how it goes.

The water is still thick with the spring Puget Sound plankton bloom. But the particles are getting bigger so it might be peaking. I'm guessing that bigger particles mean clumping and the aging of the bloom. At least I'm hoping that's what it means. It's fun to live in the plankton bloom, but I'd really like to see again. Try to picture swimming through this:

I swim out and in, looking for some clear patches. I wonder if further offshore will be better, but the clear patches seem unpredictable. I'll swim a bit and see if it gets better closer to Battle Point. The swimming is quite fine with the glassy water, bright sun and beautiful coast, and I can see far enough underwater to see what's happening on the bottom. I wander in and out to stay in view of the bottom, mostly from 3-7 feet.

Here's a huge bed of sand dollars, spreading over the last half of the swim. This photo is from about 2-3 feet away from the sand dollars, some other photos barely show the sand dollars from this distance.

Near Battle Point, I start getting small sheets of algae catching on my snorkel and getting stuck between my mask and snorkel. I have to keep shaking my head and pawing at the algae with my "lobster claw" 3 finger gloves. Finally, I pull out at Battle Point and lounge on this western shore in the warm afternoon sun. Here's the view looking south towards Point White and home (left).

View Swim Around Bainbridge in a larger map

No comments: