Saturday, January 26, 2013

Gabriola Bluffs and Dodd Narrows 24/11/2012

Jim Dixon organized two boat charters out of Nanaimo. There were enough people to fill two boats! There were some GUE divers up from the States, and they went on the Sea Dragon with Greg and Shawn, while Jim and I, and the other Anton and Kseniya went on Bill's boat. The other group went to Gabriola Narrows, while we went to the Bluffs and Dodd Narrows. This was exciting for me because I had never done Dodd Narrows (correctly). The last time I went the wrong way, and missed the dive completely! So it was a bit of a vindication to get this dive done.

On the first dive, we did Gabriola Bluffs. I was again impressed by the rock features and the beautiful wall. Visibility was pretty good, too.

For the Dodd Narrows dive, it was a bit hairy. The current did not turn when we expected it, so we spent a great deal of the beginning portion of the dive hauling ourselves along with our hands. The current was too strong to fin against, we would exhaust ourselves in short order. Several times we stopped to rest. We couldn't tarry because the boat expected us at the other side at a pre-determined time, and we knew surfacing in the Narrows would be very dangerous. Halfway through the dive, the current started to turn, and we got some of the drift dive that we were expecting. A very tough dive to plan! I know now why people don't like doing it. It must be timed very carefully. On surfacing, we saw the other danger; a huge log boom getting pulled through the channel. It was traffic like this that also made this dive difficult, because it can turn the channel into an overhead environment. However, we were all very well briefed, and all the contingencies were covered, so everything was good.

Finally I could mark Dodd Narrows as a success!

Here is a bit of video:

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