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August 13, 2006

Blue rockfish, Sebastes mystinus, Giant kelp, Macrocystis sp.
Blue rockfish (Sebastes mystinus) pack into tight schools when currents
are running. Although difficult to photograph, this is most certainly one of my
favorite scenes. The local sea lions seem to like these dense aggregations as
well.  Watch such a school for a few minutes and you'll likely see the entire
mass dart toward the reef in fright as one or more of our furry friends
approach. Interestingly enough, the sea lions appear to do this as much for
their own amusement as for any other reason

    "Outer Pinnacles", Carmel Bay, California
    August 13, 2006

Giant plumed anemone, Metridium farcimen, Sunflower star, Pycnopodia helianthoides
Visitors to Hopkins Deep Reef will immediately notice both the giant plumed
anemones (Metridium farcimen) and the sunflower stars (Pycnopodia
helianthoides). Sun stars most often assume a rather mundane posture. This
one, however, appears to have taken up some form of yoga. Sun stars, are, in
fact quite pliable. Hold one in your hand (above water, that is), and, apart
from the fact it's pretty much impossible not to rip off a number of the
animal's tube feet, you'll notice that they drape over your hand like a wet dish

    "Hopkins Deep Reef", Monterey Bay, California
    August 13, 2006

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