**This blog entry orginally appeared on the website oceanspaces.org.**/p>
Wens. Dusk Dive on the Yukon
Time: 7:25 pm
Location: Wreck Alley, Mission Beach
Purpose (for me): to begin initial species survey for the 2015 Ocean Sanctuaries Yukon Marine Life Survey–see previous blog posts here.
Max Depth: 100 ft.
Dive buddies: David Hershman and Charles Lofton on re-breather
Critters seen: Strawberry anemones, Cobalt sponges, yellow sponge, orange sponge, white Medtridia anemones, purple algae, Blacksmith fish, Painted Greenlings, Macrocystis (Giant Kelp)
Despite dire predictions of 4 ft swells in the forecast (we only saw a couple), we motored out with on the Dive Animals boat on pretty smooth seas and tied up to the Stern buoy.
Even though it was still light out when we went down, it got dark almost immediately and became a night dive as soon as we alighted on the wreck.
There was actually quite a bit of marine life out, even though we could really only see what was in the beams of our lights.
Of interest were not only the various sponges on the ship (see above), but also the Cobalt sponge, whose deep blue coloring is due to a symbiotic cyanobacterium. Also known as blue-green algae, cyanobacteria can photosynthesize and provide nutrients as by-products, just as the sponge serves as a protective shelter for the cyanobacteria.
By pre-viewing a video I took on the Yukon in 2010, I was able to revisit some exact sections of the ship to take updated video of the marine life in those areas for comparison study of marine life.
Photos and video: