Friday, 23 June 2017

Hunting for Sea Stars at Pt Holmes

By Keith and Heather Nicol
The route down to the tide pools is a mix of cobbles, sand and seaweeds
      With some of the lowest tides of the summer upon us (it will be just 0.2 m for Saturday, June 24 and Sunday , June 25) you can do some exploring of tidal pools along many sections of coastline near Comox. We like to head to Pt Holmes on these occasions since there is a convenient car park, with nice benches for looking out toward Hornby and Denman Island. The only down side is that the 200-300 meter route down to the rocks and tidal pools is over some awkward rocks that may be slippery. We have found the best tidal pools and orche sea star sightings to be amongst the rocky section which gives the sea stars some protection. We had to look hard find them but if you look in shady areas and crevasses you can see them. This is encouraging since in 2013 there was a major die off of these sea stars which is thought to be due to a virus. 
We saw orche sea stars clinging to rocks in several areas -here they are upside down!
       We found one area with about 6 purple sea stars clinging together and in another case I had to get down on my hands and knees to look under a cleft in the rock and found several clinging upside down to the rock. Be sure not to disturb the sea stars and have a look for minnows and crabs in the tidal pools. We also saw a pair of eagles swooping down and grasping small fish in their talons. Bring your camera! We wore light hiking shoes and they seemed to work fine. Another bonus is that low tide is right around noon for the next 2 days and the weather is suppose to be ideal for exploring the shoreline. To check tides see:  Pt Holmes is along Lazo Road and their is an obvious pull off near the boat launch which is a good spot to park to check out the tidal pools. 
Eagles were out checking out the tidal pools as well

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous photos, as we all have come to expect from Keith and Heather Nicol. Write up sustains as well, in super informative form!