Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Whytecliff - The Cut 02/05/2012

Jim Dixon and I went out to do a tech dive at the Cut. It was the very first tech dive I had done since completing my GUE Tech 1 course, and I was pretty excited! We met there after work. We didn't plan a very complicated dive, and just wanted to see if we could find the fabled wolf eel that apparently lived near the Cut. Visibility was pretty good, and the dive was quite nice. It was great to be able to see while we geared down since the days had gotten so much longer. Alas, no wolf eel was found. However, we did see the nice big cloud sponges. Maybe we'd find it next time!

Howe Sound Boat Dive - Topline 29/04/2012

Jason Kolba and I decided to go out on the Topline for some fun relaxing single-tank diving. The day was perfect, calm and sunny. Kevin and Jan were their usual great hosts on the boat. It was always a pleasure to dive with them! The first site we visited was Halket Wall, and you can see it on a Google map here:,-123.318658&spn=0.012709,0.019033&hnear=Vancouver,+Greater+Vancouver+Regional+District,+British+Columbia&t=h&z=16

 It was a very pleasant drift dive. In the dive briefing, Jan explained there was a wolf eel to see but Jason and I completely missed it. Too bad! It was very close the start of the dive, and we were just a little too far over. Still, the dive on the wall was great. Not a lot of life to see, but the visibility was about 60' so that in itself was worth it. The next dive site we visited was the Dragon's Den off Anvil Island. A Google map reference is here:,-123.315461&spn=0.003173,0.004758&hnear=Vancouver,+Greater+Vancouver+Regional+District,+British+Columbia&t=h&z=18

I'd heard a lot about the Dragon's Den before. It was a rock wall with several large indentations and overhangs. You couldn't really call them caves, because they only went in about 5 or 10 feet, but they were still pretty cool. Again, the great visibility really made it a spectacular dive. Jason and I came across a really nice octopus in one of the dens. It was sitting right on the back wall, and was so camouflaged we almost missed it! It was also out in the open which always seemed pretty rare. Those octopus really like to stay in the cracks and crevices during the day. All in all, it was a perfect day of diving. On the way back, we were treated to a whole group of seals sunbathing on Pam Rocks as well. They were very cute! Here is a short bunch of video clips put together of the diving that day.

Porteau Cove 15/04/2012

Heather and I decided to go out to Porteau Cove to get a few more dives in before her rescheduled rescue course date. The day was again fantastic, sunny and relatively warm. The water temperature was still not that warm though! We had a great dive checking out the wrecks and the artificial reefs. We didn't see anything too spectacular, but there were a lot of little things to see.

Woodlands 08/04/2012

We got Heather's wrist seals trimmed and fixed up, so we decided to do a practice dive at Woodlands. It was a perfect day to be out for a dive, sunny and warm. I always like Woodlands because it feels like you are in the wilderness. An easy entry and some nice topography made it even better. It was pretty crowded though, as there was already a group of divers there! There was not a lot of room at Woodlands to park, and they took the closer parking spot, so it was a long walk. We had a short dive, due to the poor visibility that Indian Arm was susceptible to. Still, it was a lot of fun. And the wrist seals seemed to be a lot better. I had my video camera along, but didn't get any good footage. The vis was just too bad.

Whytecliff 24/03/2012

Heather was finishing her rescue course with OceanQuest and I came along to be a rescue dummy, something I figured I could do pretty well! This was the first open water day for the course, and it was a very nice day: cold but sunny. Ryan was the instructor, and we started to run though the various scenarios. We yelled "pizza" a lot when we needed to simulate a panicked or stressed diver. Most people know that training goes on at Whytecliff, but it was better safe than sorry to yell this instead of "help!". You never know who might mis-interpret what was going on. The rescue courses were always a s drain on the participants, and this one was no exception. By the end of the day, everyone was tired having towed people to shore, hauled people up the beach, performed practice rescue breathing etc. Unfortunately, Heather's dry suit wrist seals were too tight and really did a number on her by the end of the day, so she had to reschedule the rest of the rescue course til a later date.