Alki Cove 3

Yesterday morning, my friend Erin and I met at Seacrest Park for a leisurely dive at Cove 3. It is often overlooked and written off as a training site due to the popularity of the adjacent Cove 2, which admittedly boasts more structure and marine life. Indeed, much of Cove 3 is comprised of unimpressive fields of sand and sea lettuce, but the pilings and rock piles on the north side of the site are definitely a fun place to play.Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 10.39.30 AM

The visibility was excellent, at times exceeding 30 feet. This is typical for Puget Sound this time of year, as there is not yet enough sunlight to support the plankton blooms that cloud the water during the spring and summer. The most common fish species at this site appeared to be striped seaperch (Embiotoca lateralis) and shiner perch (Cymatogaster aggregata), which circled the sunken pilings in large schools. Other resident fish included painted greenlings (Oxylebius pictus), kelp greenlings (Hexagrammos decagrammus), quillback rockfish (Sebastes maliger), buffalo sclupins (Enophrys bison), red Irish lords (Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus), rock soles (Lepidopsetta bilineata), and spotted ratfish (Hydrolagus colliei), a distant relative of sharks. We also spotted several clumps of squid eggs, as well as moon snails (Euspira lewisii) and diamondback Tritonia nudibranchs (Tritonia festiva) on the sandy bottom.

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I was able to capture most of the dive using Matt’s new GoPro. Click on the link below to see a compilation video of some of the interesting creatures that we discovered at this site.

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