Cruise Day 3: Northwards to Echinoderm Heaven!

Microbial Ecology of Sea Star Wasting Disease

This morning the team set off from Port Townsend after a quick evening, heading north towards the San Juan Islands. Severe losses of sea stars had been reported in these waters by various collaborators, so we are keen to see what lies beneath the waves- and beneath where scientific and recreational divers had reported sea star disease in the last couple of years.

IMG_4427Early morning departure from Port Townsend

First stop on today’s activities was Point Partridge, which is on the northern end of Whidbey Island. This site was chosen since it’s not regularly visited by divers. Unfortunately, our first station was also in the middle of a shipping channel and also a giant mud bank, so we quickly relocated to a station further out in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and were greeted by numerous crab pots – a good sign as these are usually where sea stars…

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