Аbout what do you usually think, if you know that tomorrow, after a week of hard work, will come a long-awaited Saturday? That’s right, you think that there is nothing in the world that would make you get up at 4 o’clock in the morning and step away from the warmth of your bed.
Yes, absolutely nothing … except if you are not obsessed with an idea to dive slack tide somewhere few hours of driving time away from your home. And, in semi-darkness of your kitchen, when you are sipping the first cup of the morning coffee, in a back of your mind you hope that you are not the only one who is so affected by the “tidal pull”. And then, upon arriving at the dive-site, you pleasantly surprised, observing that parking lot is bustling with the same sort of “passionate” divers just like you are.
Early morning at Peirce Island
Thus, if you experienced all I’ve mentioned above, then you one of such divers and – congratulations, you have another good reason to be alive 🙂
left to right; Reg Wilson, Sang Lee, Michael Macdonald, Mike Mahoney, Andrea Dec
And that’s what has happened this past Saturday. Not an early hour, nor cold weather, nor long walk to the point of entrance … nothing would stop a bunch of divers to occupy almost whole parking area at Peirce Island. Actually, believe it or not, but I counted 15 cars. The tide was high, visibility supposed to be way better than on my previous dive, hence, everybody wanted to join “Verrillifest” (I had to come out with some word that would fully describe the “carnival” of verrillis at Peirce island 😉 ) and get clear pictures of Flabellina verrillis, along with lots of other exciting marine organisms.
In terms of variety of the marine animals, the dive was plentiful. As soon as I began my plunge, I spotted Flabellina verrucosa (Coryphella verrucosa is the new name), then, just a few feet away, I saw Fuzzy onchidoris, a minute’s later F. verrilli and on a nearby rock, I found Atlantic ancula.
Coryphella verrucosa (Flabellina verrucosa)
Then I noticed, as huge Dendronotus frondosus, barely holding to a rock, was flapping in the column of moving water like a flag in a strong wind. The second later the animal let it go and landed a few feet away, trying, very unsuccessfully, to cling to another ledge. Still, the forth of water took it farther down, until it came to rest in relative calmness between a few rocks, and that’s where I was able to snap a few shots. To my surprise, right there, a foot away from Bushy, I detected one of my favorite nudi – Palio dubia. Its body was darkish olive-green, peppered with hard to miss yellow dots. YAY!!!
I was very happy that I found so many species in the first 20-25 minutes of my dive. And I’d continue to explore, but water movement became too strong and I did not want to end up like Dendronotus and fly away. Therefore I had to cut my dive short and to get out on the 37th minute. The water temperature was 38°F (3°C) at high and 36°F (2°C) at the lowest point with visibility about 7-9 feet.
Despite that one must deal with the tides, Peirce Island is a truly wonderful spot for underwater exploration and photography. I don’t know where else, but here, among many other marine animals you can find a countless Flabellina verrillis. Today, while city renovating Water Treatment facility, the walk to the entrance and back is somewhat taxing, but it’s doable and well worth it.
At the Peirce Island
After the dive at Peirce Island, Andrea and I went for another one to Folly. But in between, we stopped at Rock Sculpture Point – Periwinkle Cove. Naturally, after observing many creations of other visitors, we decided to erect our own masterpiece. And while I was doing the heavy lifting, Andrea decided to lay low :))))).
This is just one boulder at the Periwinkle Cove
Andrea is “laying low” 😉
Our handy creation
At the Folly we dove left the side, where Andrea told me she saw a Lemon nudibranch. In about 20 minutes into the dive I was able to spot one large specimen.
Sea lemon nudibranch (Dorididae)
It is not a first time that Andrea and I dove during the same day in two locations and, I must admit, I love it. Yes, it takes the whole day, but at the end of it, you are depositing yet another priceless coin into the bank of your good memories. And I’d like to thank all for such a wonderful experience.
New exciting discoveries and safe diving to all.