Deer in Dive Lights

We are sitting atop a new year, and I’m tempted to make a resolution to post my dive stories more frequently. Part of the reason I haven’t posted in so long is because I spend my free time (a) diving, (b) processing photos from diving, or (c) getting ready for an art fair to show my photos from diving. The other reason? Having so many stories to tell and not knowing where to begin.

New year’s resolutions like this (do more, do better, blah blah blah) seem so familiar they’re tedious, so I never actually make them. So maybe if I do, I’ll abide by them? Let’s see.

I did a dive this morning — first dive of 2016, and also the first dive I have done locally since it turned so cold. I nearly froze solid. I long for the cozy warm comfort of last summer. Not your problem, I know. But today’s dive was happily reminiscent of last summer in one regard — we saw 3 of the 4 local octopus and squid species.

Alas, it’s been a while since it was warm out and all the cephalopods were making babies. But it wasn’t that long ago… And it was the most amazing summer for local diving I’ve ever witnessed. I could write a book for all the sights I was privy to. Which is why I haven’t written a blog post in a long time — there is simply so much to tell, I feel like a deer in headlights.

During the amazing summer of 2015:

I had close-up experiences with both of our local shark species — close up in ways I never have before. The “summer of sharks”?

Spiny Dogfish, Three Tree North, August

Spiny Dogfish, Three Tree North, August

sixgill in profile

Sixgill shark, Sund Rock, June.

I witnessed three different giant Pacific octopus dens hatching out. Yes! Tiny baby octopuses. I got sucked in to major obsessive compulsive diving (OCD) at 3 am on many mornings just to try to see as much as possible. FOMO (fear of missing out). I also found one of the females just after she’d died…

Newly hatched giant Pacific octopus, Three Tree North, August.

Newly hatched giant Pacific octopus, Three Tree North, August.

Newly hatched giant Pacific octopus, Three Tree North, August.

Newly hatched giant Pacific octopus, Three Tree North, August.

Female giant Pacific octopus, just after death; Cove 2, September.

Female giant Pacific octopus, just after death; Cove 2, September.

There were the squid! Oh the squid. First, there was the mass spawning at Redondo South. Then, while visiting the octopus den at 3 in the morning several times in August at Three Tree North, I experienced an evolving relationship with juvie squid — every day on descent we met up and they got more at ease, or more curious, or more aggressive (I have no idea which). Then there was the single pair of mating opalescents that mated and laid an egg pod while I watched — couple of exhibitionists!

Mass spawning, opalescent squid; Redondo South, July

Mass spawning, opalescent squid; Redondo South, July.

Juvenile opalescent squid, Three Tree North, August.

Juvenile opalescent squid, Three Tree North, August.

Spawning opalescent squid, Three Tree North, August.

Spawning opalescent squid, Three Tree North, August.

I used to work for DivEncounters Alliance, and for 2 years I wrote a weekly blog for them. That is how I spent 88 Sundays of my life. For the next few weeks I will commit (resolve?) to a weekly SeaJen post to catch up on 2015’s underwater awesomeness. I’m quite glad to say goodbye to 2015 topside. But 2015 underwater was the stuff of coldwater divers’ dreams.

Also during 2015 I was diving in South Africa, Iceland, the Olympic Peninsula, Southern California, and the Philippines (my only wetsuit trip of the year). There are a few stories and photos from those trips too. I’ve got my work cut out for me.

See ya next week.

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3 Responses to Deer in Dive Lights

  1. Ron Church says:

    How do I subscribe to this. This was awesome.

    • seajen says:

      Hi Ron! You might like the previous one, as it’s an actual story, not just a promise of more stories. As for subscribing… that’s a great question. I know people have subscribed… but I am not sure how! I’ll try to figure that out and let you know.

    • seajen says:

      Ron, there should be a little box on the bottom right corner of your browser that says “+ Follow”

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