I interrupted an enormous puget sound king crab enjoying his lunch ably assisted by half a dozen sculpins busily attending him


I enjoy covering ground on my dives. Other people typically laugh at me for flying over a site like superman on a mission. It’s not because I’m in a rush, I just like to get a sense of the general topography and overall shape of the site. I understand that this causes me to miss lots of interesting stuff but I feel that it’s a fair trade in exchange for getting a big picture of what the site has to offer. I splashed on North West Browning Wall today and followed my usual plan of attack. From one end of the site to the other in 15 minutes.

What a gorgeous site!

It continually amazes me how intense the life is at every single one of the dive sites in Browning Pass – each and every site is absolutely spectacular!

So anyway – I’m at the end of our planned site and I’ve got some time left so I decide to relax and focus in on some of the finer details along the wall. I came upon an enormous Puget Sound King Crab with a kaleidoscope of colours on it’s pointy and rippled carapace. I settled in to watch what he was doing. It immediately became apparent that I was interrupting his lunch. As I got closer I could see that he was chowing down on a small sun star. While the crab was busily munching away on a couple of legs, one leg firmly grasped in each claw, the poor sun star was slowly escaping on what legs he had left. As I looked closer, I could see a half dozen sculpins darting around the crab feasting on the bits floating around the crab as it tore into his lunch. Before I knew it, I had spent nearly a half an hour watching this event and as each minute passed, I noticed more and more detail. Shrimp, jellies, nudibranchs – so many countless critters that it would take me a week to look them all up in the relevant reference books. All of this took place within a 4 square foot section of the wall. While I still enjoy flying over sites for the big picture – I think I’ll take more time to focus in on small areas more often from now on. It’s amazing what you notice when you look closer.

– Alex
1st Mate
Nautilus Swell

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