© Joseph Dougherty. All rights reserved.
Multiple sea urchin spines broken off in the palm of my hand. Here is one of the extracted spines. Others were too deeply imbedded to get a grip on their base, and the fine microscopic serrations hold them in place like tiny arrowheads.
The rocks and walls of the Channel Islands are utterly carpeted with urchins in many areas. These regions are known as "urchin barrens." Impalement is a constant threat while doing underwater photography, because the nature of the work requires staying in tight against the topography.
A sudden wave surge picked me up and threatened to throw me against the rocks during a dive when I was working close to the cliff on the face of Santa Rosa. It was either me or the camera housing... obviously the camera housing is more important.