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Sunday, March 8, 2015

Time will tell

I was just thinking about these animals the other day, and wondering what kind of year it was going to be for them.

Tonight we counted 30 By-the-wind Sailors (Velella velella) on Salmon Creek Beach.  Most were small, about 2 cm long.  A few were slightly larger, about 2.5 cm long, and several were smaller, only ~5 mm long.

On 28 October 2014 I posted a picture of a By-the-wind Sailor and wondered if those would be the last sightings of the year.  We saw two more on 2 November, but no more live Velella after that.

Today's sightings are the first Velella I've heard of in 2015.  Have you been seeing them on local beaches?

Last year most of the Velella stranded during mid-late summer and fall.  Who knows if the animals stranding now signify anything about the season to come.  Only time will tell!

One more sailor from 8 March 2015:

Conditions at the time: northwest wind at ~15 mph, west swell ~4-4.5 feet, water temperature ~13°C (56°F).

1 comment:

John W. Wall said...

I was at Kehoe Beach on Saturday morning just as the tide was coming back in and didn't notice any. Lots of beach-hoppers though.