We came here for a second dive after Richmond Reef (March 7, 2009). The boat captain was going to take us somewhere else that wasn't as current-sensitive, but after judging the current here, he decided that it would be all right for a bit of a drift dive. The highlight here is the clumps of giant feather duster worms that grow on the wall starting at around 70 feet below the North tip of the island. The boat pulled up right next to the island under a navigation light. I almost thought I'd hit the bottom as I jumped off the boat (we were that close to the rocks), but the wall dropped pretty much straight down under me. I headed for the feather-duster worms and found them starting at 70 feet deep. Visibility was about 50 feet (like all my other dives on Quadra this weekend). I went down to around 100 feet, taking pictures of the worm colonies. There is supposed to be a large cavern/overhang at around 120 feet that is another popular feature of this site, but I forgot all about looking for it. I was too distracted by the sight of the life-covered wall and the divers silhouetted by the sun above me. Other than the worm colonies, there were more of those Quadra Island sponges, strawberry anemones, crimson anemones, plumose anemones, giant barnacles, etc. I've almost forgotten what bare rock looks like. I swam along the wall, noticing that the Quadra Island fish population seems to consist mostly of kelp greenlings, quillback rockfish and small lingcod. I saw several vase sponges and grey "tennis ball" sponges along the wall. The wall seemed to become less steep the farther away from the tip we went. For most of the dive the current was barely noticeable, but towards the end, as I went back up to the shallows, it started to flow fairly strong. There were some small cavern-like overhangs about 10-15 feet deep where I could hide from the current. I had a look at the nudibranchs, cup corals, encrusting sponge and small anemones living on the rocks and watched a diver drift by in the current below me before resigning myself to the necessity of surfacing. I launched myself back into the current and drifted along the island towards the waiting dive boat.
divers at the surface at top of wall
feather duster worms
feather duster worms
worms
worms
worms
wall
wall
wall
worms
wall
wall
wall
worms and anemones on wall
copper rockfish
lingcod
kelp greenling
worms, etc on wall
more worms on wall
wall
wall
wall
quillback rockfish
wall
rockfish
quillback rockfish
vase sponges
life around bases of worm tubes
kelp greenling on wall
kelp greenling on wall
vase sponges
vase sponges
back up in shallows
tennis ball sponges
wall
wall
boulder
sponges and strawberry anemones
sponges
lingcod
lingcod
seastar and urchins in shallows
quillback rockfish
wall near surface
quillback rockfish
vase sponge on wall
near surface
cup corals near surface
strawberry anemones and urchins in shallows
barnacles on wall
near surface
urchins under shallow overhang
zoanthids and urchins near surface
in shallows
quillback rockfish
under shallow overhang
life in shallows
nudibranchs
under shallow overhang
diver drifting by
nudibranchs
nudibranchs
looking out from under shallow overhang
under shallow overhang
orange peel nudibranch under overhang
life in shallows
sunflower star in shallows
drifting in current after dive
next to Steep Island after dive
sea monster
"nope. Don't see any more divers in the water. Let's go."
next to Steep Island
Steep Island