Of Sponges and Sea Pork at Schooner Cove

Of the two islands at Schooner Cove in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, I typically focus on the first large one that is visible as you enter the cove. At low tide (usually lower than 2.0′) this area is spectacular for intertidal life, a display that I like to call “shock and awe,” albeit in a positive sense. A mix …

Sea Lemons and Eggs

Last week I took advantage of the lowish low tide (it was around a 2.3 foot tide) to make my way out to Schooner Cove in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Schooner Cove on a good low tide is excellent for intertidal life. This past week’s low was borderline, low enough that it was possible …

Stranded 4 – Bull Kelp

One of the kelps that often washes up on the beaches of Vancouver Island, British Columbia is bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana). The large, diploid sporophytic stage of this species’ life cycle is the one that we typically see. The form of the kelp is characterized by a holdfast gripping a rock or some other type of anchor, and a long stipe topped by …

Something Fishy

Two participants look at some kelp greenings. Last week I joined some folks with Raincoast Education Society in Tofino as they conducted a beach seine in the eelgrass beds on the shore right in the middle of town. It was a great opportunity to get re-acquainted with some of the fish that can be found in the extensive eelgrass beds around …

Stranded 3 – Scourge of the Surf-line

Moon Jellies often wash up on sandy beaches on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Often when jellyfish are washed up on the shore at Long Beach they don’t last long. At first glance this stranded Moon Jelly (Aurelia labiata) appears to be forgotten. Water-line Isopods (Cirolana kincaidi) are active scavengers along the surf-line. A closer look reveals that some of …

Flacid

I love turning over rocks in the intertidal zone – you never know what you might find! Horse Clam (Tresus sp.) with its siphon extended. This rather suggestive looking image is the siphon of a Horse Clam (Tresus sp.) that I found underneath a rock at Florencia Bay in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. I usually see just the tip of the …

Lumpy Crab at Florencia Bay

Earlier this week I spent two hours at Florencia Bay in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The beach here is sometimes overlooked by tide pool explorers heading to better known locations like the rocks at Wickaninnish Beach, Green Point or Schooner Cove. The boulders at Florencia Bay, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve are excellent for intertidal exploration. I love poking …

Stranded 2 – Red Eye Medusa

Red Eye Medusa (Polyorchis penicillatus) washed up on the shore at Radar Hill Beach in Pacific Rim National Park. There’s a reason it’s called the strand line. I love walking the beach at low tide when the ocean is delivering its twice daily deposit of flotsam and jetsam as it begins to rise. The line of seaweed, shells, driftwood and …

Purple Olive Snails at Radar Hill Beach

The sandy expanse of Radar Hill Beach is good habitat for Purple Olive Snails (Olivella biplicata). With the good low tides this week my objective on my days off was to explore some beaches that I hadn’t visited before. One such destination was Radar Hill Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. This remote beach is accessible by a non …