Monday, August 2, 2010

Sea Garden

Above, a sketch of a colony of sea whips, filter feeders 80 feet down in Puget Sound. Todd and I found these on a steep slope that descended into pitch darkness. We've been down that slope once, to 130 feet, but this time, breathing an oxygen-rich mixture from our tanks, going below 90 feet would be flirting with oxygen toxicity we stay shallow.

I'm kneeling to examine the many delicate filter tendrils on a sea whip. Our lamps illuminate a blizzard of specks, from krill to stray organic matter. The muddy sea floor sucks at my knees. Todd hovers above. Photons that ten minutes ago were blasted from the sun have bounced off the moon and now penetrate here, but only weakly.

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