Tuesday, June 25, 2013

China Creek 16/06/2013

Greg, Jim and I decided to do China Creek again. We met at my place, and car-pooled up. Unfortunately when we arrived, Jim discovered he left his backplate and wing at home! Luckily he brought his own car, so didn't have to stick around all day.

Greg and I did the bigger wreck first. We brought O2, and planned to maybe use it if our average depth warranted it. We ran a line and did a short penetration of the wreck. It was a lot of fun, and good to put our cave training to use. It was a pretty short penetration, maybe 5 minutes. There really wasn't much to see since the wreck was quite small, maybe a hundred feet long. We poked around for a while, then headed back to the beach.

Chris and Kim met us for the second dive. We did the wall next. One thing I did notice quite a bit was how cold the water was. But when you got to the beach and into 20 feet of water, it felt like a hot bath, since the water there was so much warmer. Greg and I did some valve drills and s-drills in that warm water, to take advantage of it! The dive on the wall was nice. It was fairly barren of life, and I still thought it was more fun to scooter it, but it was still good. Greg found a very odd translucent formation. We had no idea what it was. It wasn't an anemone, possibly an egg case? It was not soft, but quite hard. At the end of the dive, we did some mask removal and backup mask deployment drills. Boy was that cold!

Here is a bit of video:

Willis Point 09/06/2013

Greg and I did some scootering at Willis Point. We chose Willis because the visibility was supposed to be great. Unfortunately it wasn't!

It was a nice day for diving. When we arrived, there was ample parking. We took our time gearing up, and decided to do one longer dive instead of two.

Descending down, it was very soupy, and it didn't get better at depth. We did talk to a group of other divers who were using a rigid inflatable boat there, and they said that the vis cleared up. They must have been diving some other site! It was still a fun dive, because we were challenged keeping together while scootering. It was also a fun challenge not to run into anything. There were a lot of lion's mane jellyfish to avoid as well. I'd not seen so many ever.

The next Thursday, Greg reported that visibility at Willis was 50 feet. You never know!

Telegraph Cove 05/05/2013

My first dive back in cold water since Mexico! Jim wanted to do practice for his upcoming Tech 2 course, so he, Greg and I went down to Victoria to do some bottle practice. Originally we thought to go to Willis Point, but visibility was pretty bad there, so we switched to Telegraph Cove. This was very close to the 10 Mile Point dive site.

We arrived early, so Jim and I grabbed a tea at the Star Bucks and took our time putting our gear together. Greg showed up, and we took our time, talking about Mexico and just enjoying the fairly nice day.

The dive plan for the first dive was to go out, find a depth around 20 or 30 feet, deploy a surface marker and tie it off, then run a line out and practice bottle rotation on that line. I was leading the dive, and we quickly found that Telegraph cove was shallow. Very shallow! The tide was on a large swing as well to low tide. So we spent at least 15 minutes swimming out and getting to about 15 feet maybe. There was not a lot to tie off to on the bottom either. In the end we tied the SMB to a small rock. Running the line to a point to tie off to was also frustrating. Blue gloves made my line skills not very good! I would need to practice a lot more with that. Bare hands in Mexico was quite different!

Once we got set up, we started to practice. The SMB creeped along the line too, so there was some creative tie-down action using a spare double ender to get it fixed better. Jim and Greg did bottle rotations for most of the dive. I did a few gas switches and valve and gas-sharing drills too. We spent almost an hour doing all of this, then it started to get a bit too cold. Getting back to the beach was a bit of a challenge too. The bottom was so shallow it made natural navigation using the depth change non-existent.

After a nice surface interval answering local walker’s questions, we went back out again to see if we could find anything interesting other than sand. On the first dive, that’s all we really found. We tried going to the right, and did eventually find some rocks with nudibranchs and some life. But it was a lot of sand still, and very shallow. Since it took so long to swim to anything interesting, Telegraph Cove seemed not such a great dive site. I do remember finding a huge number of gumboot chitons however. I picked up several and we examined them. I also dropped a sea cucumber in front of Jim from above, which scared him. There were quite a few shenanigans on this dive. Greg stole my stage bottle at one point, but I noticed pretty quickly. We had to do something to make the dive interesting!

In the end, it was nice to check out Telegraph. However, it was only very good for training, and maybe not even that. Certainly you would not want to dive there at low tide!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Capilano and Vivian Island 26/05/2013

Heather and I were talking to Bill Coltart of Pacific Pro Dive and decided to take a trip up to Comox to go out with him on the Ata-tude. It was not a regular charter, it was just a few locals going out that day for fun.

The day was excellent for diving. It wasn't raining, it was sunny, and not too cold. It ended up being only 4 of us on the boat, so it was very comfortable. Bill's boat was in Comox for the summer, and it took us a little bit to find it. It was beside the boat ramp at the main docks. We toted all the gear down, and set out.

The first dive was on the Capilano. I found a good page on the history of the wreck itself. It was pretty interesting.


Visibility wasn't the best, especially at the surface. It was about 20 feet maybe, so not terrible. On the wreck itself, we were confronted by at least 5 lion's mane jelly fish around it. It was like a small mine field. We steered clear of them, and had a pretty good dive. Back on the boat, we took quite a bit of time freeing the small anchor. It was hooked very well. Once loose, we took the small jaunt over to Vivian Island and had some lunch.

At Vivian, we had a nice dive between 30 and 40 feet. We saw some large nudibranchs, and very large rock scallops. In the video below, at the end, one of the biggest rock scallops is featured.