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Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat


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Posted by Merry on April 25, 2012 at 09:29:12:

Our dives only allow a brief window into the ever-changing midwater landscape. A world of beauty and drama, it gives me the sense of witnessing a grand process, something much larger than ourselves.

I don't think my feet will touch bottom again for a long time.

Each of 8 dives on the Barge over a two-week period revealed a different assortment of zooplankton. I was aware of only a handful of species, and usually 2 or 3 species would outnumber the rest of the pack.

These two fish were sheltering by our anchor line for most of one dive. Kevin Lee identified them as larval flatfish. The second photo appears to be an older fish, as its eye has started to migrate.

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Salps (pelagic tunicates) are just starting to show up.

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This salp was about as large as a bonbon.

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Small Ctenophores have been heavily represented lately, but we haven't seen any of the large, impressive species. This Beroe is stuffed with another comb jelly.

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This comb jelly was a nice size, ~2", but so transparent that photographing it in the schmutz was quite a challenge. It appeared to be shape-shifting as it unfurled its lobes to feed.

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This delicate species was barely nickle-size. Note the frilly lips of its mouth. Distinctive nematocyst tracks run upward from the base of each tentacle.

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A delicate animal that reaches the size of a quarter, Mitrocomella lives for only a month! The whitish bodies are gonads, and its mouth has short lips.

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This one accommodated amphipod hitchhikers.

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