Thursday, January 31, 2013

China Creek 06/01/2013

When I had gone on the trip with IDC to Barkley Sound, the boat trip had us pass by an RV park near China Creek. It was not far out of Port Alberni, and I was told it was a pretty nice dive site.

Luckily, Greg, Shawn, Chris and Kim invited me along to do a scooter dive there. The actual place is called China Creek Marina and Campground.

The dive site was not at the Marina, like I found out, but at campsite 55. The drive there was quick from Nanaimo, but the road leading to the place was rough to say the least. It was dirt logging road with giant pot holes. I don't think I'd like to drive it without at least a truck! During the drive, I was really second guessing myself as to where I was going, and thought surely I was on the wrong road. But Google maps did get you me there.

I met everyone at the campsite, and we talked about the dive. Chris and Kim didn't bring their scooters, so we decided to tow them. There was a wreck of a ship to the right, and we decided to do that first. Visibility was quite good and it was fun towing Chris. I had only towed someone twice before, so it was good practice. I don't think he got a very good view though, hanging on behind me!

At the wreck, Kim, Chris and I teamed up and Shawn and Greg did some wreck penetration. It wasn't a large wreck but it was very interesting. It was at a steep 45 degree angle, so it was very odd hovering over top of it. There was a very nice cloud sponge growing off of one of the railings, and swimming past the props was nifty as well. We did about 3 circles of the wreck, and watched Greg and Shawn come out of the wheel house, then headed back. We did a few skills, then called the dive.

Chris and Kim decided to take the opportunity to get home early, so it was just me and Greg and Shawn on the second dive. The surface interval was cold and rainy, but Shawn had a portable canopy tent that kept most of the rain off. For the second dive, we decided to scooter as far to the left as we could. The wall there just seemed to go on forever, and the rock topography was very cool. There were large patches of debris here and there. At one point, there was a wide expanse of discarded fishing net draped over the bottom.

Scootering so long did get cold, so we were feeling it when we got back. We stopped at a sunken log tug boat hull, and did a few more skills. Greg signaled me over at one point, and had spied a young wolf eel living in one of the tubes coming off the deck! It was poking its head out, and seemed very curious. It was a great find, and I got some nice video of it. In the video, it looked gigantic, but in reality the pipe was only about as big across as a water glass.

I would go back to China Creek again for sure!

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