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Strawberry fields forever – phantasea of strawberry anemones

June 7, 2009 Written by

Location: Tahsis Narrows, Nootka Sound, west coast Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Oh my. I had forgotten how the strawberry anemones of Tahsis Narrows  are more like a wild crazy fantasy and dream than anything in real life.  These beautiful little red anemones don’t even stand half an inch high but they literally blanket and carpet everything at this dive site. They are layered all over rock scallops and wee little swimming scallops to the point that they obstruct the opening of the poor bivalve.  The boulders onsite are so heavily encrusted that they look as if they are covered in a thick pinkish-red carpet. In fact, everywhere we turned and shone our lights looked like it was layered with a beautiful plush red carpet. Absolutely amazing and not a site (pun intended) that I will forget for a while. Finished the dive off  on a sand flat full of tube dwelling anemones and loads of giant swimming nudibranchs. Nudibranchs everywhere I looked as a matter of  fact.    These particular (and very large ie. 10 inches long)  nudibranchs prey on tube dwelling anemones by sneaking up and pouncing on them before the anemone can retract.  And yes, these amazing nudibranchs actually launch themselves off the bottom (when under threat???) and can swim through the water before gracefully dropping back down to the bottom with their external gill structure elegantly streaming  behind them like a parachute. I love scuba diving these waters!!! Finished the day off after 3 dives with a visit to historical Friendly Cove and sat on a log on a beautiful beach watching the sunset and a juvenile grey whale feeding and frolicking  in the surf  a couple of feet from the beach. Captain Mike

Surface Conditions: Beautiful summer day with calm winds, calm seas, temperature mid 60’s.

Underwater Conditions: Water temperature 47 F  (warmer in the shallows),  visibility 15 – 20 feet.



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