March 24, 2022

Reached the 5,000 Observations Milestone

Yesterday, I achieved the 5,000 iNaturalist milestone. I observed individuals of several species during a shore dive off Vancouver island's Beachcomber Regional Park (Nanaimo, BC, area). The dive was relatively short because I spent some time exploring a deep wall only a few short minutes from the beach (150 fsw max depth). The same beach gives access to a shallow wall to the west and a much more expansive deep wall about 14 mins swim to the west.

During the dive, I noted that the area was relatively barren - the number of species has declined and also the number of individuals. I observed a Steller sea lion, two wrinkled stars, and some quillback rockfish amongst other species.

Posted on March 24, 2022 02:49 PM by tom858 tom858 | 2 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 27, 2022

Reached the 4,500 observations milestone

This morning, I uploaded several observations made diving at "The Jib", a Nanoose Bay area (Vancouver island) shore dive site on February 22, 2022. Several of the observations were of rose sun stars, and I also observed three morning sun stars.

After uploading the sightings, I discovered I have reached the 4,500 observations milestone. The bulk of these observations were made underwater, in the Salish Sea (Strait of Georgia) using SCUBA gear.

Posted on February 27, 2022 04:53 PM by tom858 tom858 | 4 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 30, 2022

Trojan and Slime Stars at Cottam Point

On January 28, 2022, I made several observations of trojan and slime stars off Cottam Point. This Vancouver Island shore dive site is the best local dive site to find these two species. It is tidal current swept and has good bottom structure for these species. My dive was solo, it is easier to make observations when not having to pay attention to dive buddies.

Posted on January 30, 2022 03:36 PM by tom858 tom858 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 24, 2022

Video of finfish and invertebrates at Wall Beach, Northwest Bay, Salish Sea, January 23, 2022

Yesterday, my dive buddies and I explored the sea life off Wall Beach. This is a shore dive site between Madrona Point and the log booming area in Northwest Bay, east of Parksville, BC, Canada.

We observed 2 small Puget Sound king crab, salps, crinoids, a Monterey doris, swimming scallops and other invertebrates. We also observed lingcod (and 3 ling cod egg masses), many quillback and copper rockfish plus 2 tiger rockfish, and kelp greenlings. I was buzzed by a stellar sea lion while swimming back to the entry point.

There is a steep stepped bouldery slope with some shallow walls at the deeper edge of this dive site, I will be returning soon to explore the deeper sections (my maximum depth yesterday was 108 fsw).

The video including some of our observations is posted at

Posted on January 24, 2022 03:15 PM by tom858 tom858 | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

January 21, 2022

Video of a Sea Lion Encounter January 18, 2022

My dive buddy Wayne and I were given a demonstration of swimming skills by the true master divers of the Salish Sea during our last dive on January 18, 2022. It was great to be visited by the sea lions - they are graceful and surprisingly tolerant of us and gentle when mouthing fingers/hands/flippers.

I post videos from my dives on YouTube - the video of this sea lion encounter is at:

Posted on January 21, 2022 05:27 AM by tom858 tom858 | 1 comment | Leave a comment

Reached the 4,000 Observations Milestone

I recently reached the 4,000 observations milestone, confirming that iNaturalist can become an addiction.

The iNaturalist community is a wonderful group of people - over 300 have taken the time to confirm a species ID or several for my observations. I value the time that these experts contribute to making the data more accurate and useful. Going diving is a relaxation for me, an escape from the stresses of the dry world. It's nice to learn more about the creatures I see.

Posted on January 21, 2022 05:23 AM by tom858 tom858 | 6 observations | 1 comment | Leave a comment