Friday, July 4, 2014

Topline Canada Day 01/07/2014

Happy Canada Day!

Jason Kolba messaged me asking if I could come out diving on Canada Day. It had been forever since we had got together for a dive. The day did not disappoint. It was sunny and clear. The picture above was taken by Jan at the end of the day, but I figured it would be great to put it first! Kevin and Jan of Sea Dragon Charters were their usual awesome hosts. They had a three dive day planned, two dives in the late morning, then a dusk dive and fireworks viewing. I only did the first two dives, as I had already had plans that evening with Heather.

On the boat I was not surprised to see Patricia and Andre.They were putting their new sidemount skills to use. Jason also had his wife Pia join us, but she relaxed in Horseshoe Bay while we were out diving.

On the boat ride, Sewell's Marina had their fast boat out, and were using the Topline's wake for some pretty impressive jumps! It was quite a spectacle.

Kevin joked that Sewell's shouldn't be so strict about the no-wake policy, since they were having so much fun using his.

Our first dive site was Halkett Wall, and it was a great dive. When we dropped down, we investigated the crack and rock ledge for octopus and wolf eels but saw none. However, there was a very nice tiger rockfish there. The giant plumose anemones covered much of the wall, and it was really neat to see the sheer rock covered by them. Steve from one of the other groups spotted and pointed out to us a whole mess of Cockerell's Nudibranchs. I had only seen these once before. Later, when we were talking about it, they apparently were seen up in Port Hardy, and it was interesting to see them this far south. Another interesting part of the dive was swimming through a bait-ball. I didn't know what kind of small silvery fish they were, but it was like the big schools of bait fish you'd see on nature shows. Not as thick, but still nothing like I'd ever seen before. It was good to see the little fish, since that meant more dolphins and other bigger things. We also spied a very large heart crab.

On the second dive, we went to Twin Peaks, a new dive site for me. There were two sea mounds close together, hence the name. Jason had dived it before, so he led the dive. It was a lovely little dive. We came across a swimming nudibranch, as well as a fried egg jelly fish caught and being devoured by anemone. I couldn't see how such a small anemone could eat the whole thing, but I guess a bit at a time works! Talk about being eaten alive. Jason also found an impressive decorated warbonnet in a cloud sponge. Very nice!

Here is some video from the dives.

All in all it was a fabulous way to spend Canada Day. When I was driving out, I was kind of sad that I had not worn red. But I realized my drysuit was red, and I even managed to get the Topline in frame for this picture! Jan made me wear the crazy hat in the second picture, and it also turned out great!

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