Titlow Beach snorkeling, July 3, 2000

NANFA members Stephanie Brough, Jay DeLong, Laura Elliott, Jeff Kruse, Katrina Kruse and Christopher Scharpf got together for two hours of snorkeling in the c-c-cold water of Puget Sound (55 degrees perhaps?).  Titlow Beach is an old ferry pier located a short distance south of the Tacoma Narrows in Tacoma, WA.  Jeff and Katrina were our guides.  The two of them are avid and accomplished scuba divers.

The water was turbid with all the suspended materials, which isn't a bad thing considering that all the "stuff" in the water is what makes these waters among the most productive in the world.  But it makes it tough for an amateur like me to photograph underwater, so I apologize for the poor quality.  These photos were taken with a cheap, disposable  underwater camera (recycled materials!), and with the sun as the only light source.

beach.jpg   getting ready to enter the water

C&S.jpg   Chris and Stephanie

L&K.jpg   Laura and Katrina

lowtide.jpg   The tide was very low at first, and many anemones were above the water for over a half-hour.

narrows.jpg  In the background is the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.  This photo was taken later in the afternoon after the tide came in.

facedown.jpg This was the way those of us snorkeling viewed the underwater life.  Only Jeff had scuba gear.  He brought us some interesting things from the bottom, including a juvenile mosshead warbonnet.

anemones.jpg   White plumose anemones Metridium senile covered the pilings closest to the shore.

anemones2.jpg   There were all types of hidden life in the anemones-- fishes (sculpins mostly, several species), crabs, chitons, nudibranchs, barnacles, and much more.

crabs.jpg  Kelp crabs Pugettia producta on a piling.  The one in front is approximately hand-sized.

seastar.jpg   The colors of this seastar are quite muted in the low light.

feather.jpg   red feather duster, hard to see in the dim light.

lionsmane.jpg   lion's mane jellyfish Cyanea capillata.  There is a bit of information on it at the Tennessee Aquarium web page at http://www.tnaqua.org/Special/lion'smane.html.   From that page: The largest of all jellyfish, in Arctic waters its bell can reach 2.4 meters (96 inches) with tentacles 30 meters (98 feet) long. That's longer than a blue whale!

jellydiver.jpg   the same lion's mane jellyfish beneath a snorkeler

surfperch.jpg   striped surfperch and pile perch were schooling in the waters around the pilings.   The thing on the right that looks somewhat like a fish is a striped surfperch Embiotoca lateralis.

Other Websites to Learn More

Puget Sound Dive Sites

The Vibrant Sea: The Underwater Photography of Jeff Rosenfeld