Beneath Cold Seas: The Underwater Wilderness of The Pacific Northwest

  • Lion's Mane Jellyfish With Gray Sky

    Beneath Cold Seas author and photographer, David Hall, grew up near the ocean and has always had a fascination with the animals that live in the sea. He began photographing underwater several years after earning a degree in zoology.  At first the focus of his photography was simply to document what he was seeing; eventually it evolved to include environmental and aesthetic goals. After many years of photographing exclusively in tropical waters, David eventually decided to explore the potential for underwater photography in colder waters in 1995. He eventually concentrated all his efforts in the pristine waters of British Columbia. While field guides and scientific papers existed, covering various aspects of the marine life of the Pacific Northwest, no large format photographic book had been published that captured the beauty of this or any other cold water North American ecosystem.  Realizing this oversight, David embarked upon a 15-year project to document these waters, a project which culminated with the publication of Beneath Cold Seas: The Underwater Wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. Here are just a few outtakes from the spectacular picture book.   Hussar Bay, Nigei Island, Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Bull Kelp With Hooded Nudibranchs

    Nigei Island, Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Cormorants, Seaweeds, And Grey Sky In The Afternoon Fog

    Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Kelp Forest Floor With Anemones, Soft Coral, And Coralline Algae

    North Hanson Island, Johnstone Strait, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Decorated Warbonnet

    This shy, elongated member of the prickleback family can be found from Northern California to Alaska; it reaches a maximum length of about 16 inches. Sitka, Alaska

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Giant Pacific Octopus

    The largest octopus in the world, the GPO may weigh 100 pounds or more and have an arm spread of more than 20 feet. Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Gooseneck Barnacles With Kelp And Coralline Algae

    Nakwakto Rapids, Slingsby Channel, British Columbia. Nakwakto was formerly in the Guinness Book of World Records, as having the fastest measured tidal current in the world, greater than 15 knots. It has sense been dropped to second place.

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Harbor Seal

    Wreck of the Themis, Croker Rock, Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Moon Jellyfish And Cross Jellies In Browning Pass

    Browning Pass, Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Northern Kelp Crab With Seaweed

    Clam Cove, Nigei Island, Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Lion's Mane Jellyfish With Bull Kelp

    The world's largest jellyfish species, the Lion's Mane, may reach a bell diameter of 6 feet with tentacles up to 30 feet long. The tentacles bear powerful stinging cells (cnidocytes, aka nematocysts). Bull kelp is the dominant marine plant in the Pacific Northwest; it may reach a height of 100 feet in a single growing season. Hunt Rock, Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Male Sockeye Salmon

    This male sockeye has fought his way nearly 300 miles upstream from the sea and is nearing his final destination in a shallow stream that feeds a river in British Columbia. If he succeeds in finding a mate, he will fertilize her eggs as they are laid on the stream bottom and die shortly thereafter. His decaying body will serve as food for many species of animals and plants in this Pacific Northwest forest ecosystem. Adams River, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Migrating Sockeye Salmon At Dusk

    Adams River, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Orange Sea Pens

    Orange sea pens (Ptilosarcus gurneyi) will withdraw into the sand if disturbed. Sea Pens are a kind of soft coral. Browning Pass, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Puget Sound King Crab

    The carapace of this large lithode crab measures approximately 12 inches across. The exoskeleton of this adult crab is heavily encrusted with tubeworm shells, etc. Browning Pass, Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Purple Sea Stars And Mussels: Viewing A Tidepool From Below

    Here, purple stars preying upon mussels in a tidepool. The view is from below, up through the surface of the water, to the rocks, trees, and sky above, i.e. seeing a tidepool from the point of view of its inhabitants. Browning Pass, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Red-Eye Medusa

    This small hydrozoan jellyfish has tiny light-sensitive red eye spots along the edge of the bell. Nigei Island, Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Fish-Eating Anemone, Also Known As Rose Anemone

    Here, a fish-eating anemone (aka "Rose Anemone") with orange ascidians, bryozoans, coralline algae, plumose anemones, and kelp. Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Mixed Seaweeds At Low Tide

    Several species of seaweeds and kelp are seen above and below the waterline at low tide, including the following: above water: Turkish wash cloth (Mastocarpus papillatus) and sea lettuce (Ulva sp.); above and below: rockweed (Fucus gardneri) and Turkish towel (Gigartina exasperatus); underwater only: broadwinged kelp (Alaria marginata), sea sacs (Halosaccion glandiforme) and an unidentified branching red alga. Staples Island, Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall

  • Steller Sea Lions, Also Known As "Northern Sea Lions"

    The largest of the sea lions and the third-largest pinniped (after walruses and elephant seals), male Stellers can reach 11 feet in length and weigh up to 2,400 pounds; females are smaller but may still weigh as much as 770 pounds. The species is widespread in the cold/temperate/Arctic waters of both East and West Pacific and the Bering Sea, but their numbers have been declining in recent years. They are the only eared seal (sea lion) to regularly haul out on floating ice, especially in the Bering Sea. Hornby Island, British Columbia

    Photo courtesy of David Hall


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