Sunday, February 22, 2015

Whytecliff Park 21/02/2015

Heather and I went out for a fun dive at Whytecliff. The visibility was alright, about par for the course for Whytecliff. It was a very busy day there, with OceanQuest and Langley Diving out with quite a few students. Our goal was to do some fish counting for REEF. It was a beautiful day, but cold.

Heather got some great pictures from the dive. At the beginning we came across a large gumboot chiton which you didn't see often at Whytecliff. There were a lot of Cockerell's nudibranchs.

We looked hard, and saw a lot of lewis moonsnail egg casings, but none of the moonsnails themselves.

There was several beautiful yellow margin dorids.

There were also many pretty leopard dorids as well.

Heather got some great pictures of small hermit crabs.

There was a very cool little crab hiding on a rock.

A little sculpin peaked at us from a ledge.

An opalescent nudibranch.

The rocks were covered in one spot by the shiny orange sea squirts.

Lot's of fun!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Whytecliff Park 11/02/2015

I did a nice little dive with Evan Soukas and Nick Bowman at Whytecliff. I had not dove with Evan for years, having first dove with him way back when at Port Hardy. We went out around the Day Marker and encountered some very odd current. At times it was against us, then when we would turn around, it seemed to go against us again. Strange!

Nick got some good video of a big tanner crab that was out in the open. We also came across an octopus very far back in a crack, and a ling cod egg mass, minus the guarding ling cod. I sprang a crab on Evan and Nick during the dives. We did some skills at the end of the dive, and they went well. I did a gas share with a stage bottle which was good. At the end of the dive, we came across a buffalo sculpin in the shallow bay. Very cool!

GUE-BC Topline 08/02/2015

Liz Tribe and Jim Dixon arranged for some Island divers to come over and dive the Topline with Sea Dragon Charters. This was not a GUE-BC trip, but there were a lot of us! The Topline boat and crew performed like champs as always, even though there were 20 divers on board! It was a testament to their help and our planning that the dives went off like clock work, and everyone had a great time.

The water did not look good though, as it had been raining heavily for several days.

Talk about muddy! Jan assured us in the dive briefing that the visibility opened up under 20 feet, and she was right.

There were a lot of different dive plans, recreational, rebreather, and technical. I was doing two Tech 1 dives with Kevin Swoboda and Dennis Diamond. I swear that we had more discussion on the dive plans than I'd had ever before. This was due to the fact that we wanted to maximize our profiles while still staying within the time we had on the boat. It worked out very well.

The first dive was good. We saw quite a few Cockerel nudibranchs, which were always cool and colourful. I don't remember seeing these a few years ago, they seem to have showed up only recently. The second dive was even better. Kevin put us right on the good cloud sponges on the back of Bowyer Island. There was a large red fur crab sitting out in the open on top of one of these sponges.

One diver left behind an aluminum 40 of oxygen, and I delivered it to the Bay Moorings restaurant for them. It was pretty funny walking into a restaurant with a cylinder!

All in all, a very very great day.

Furry Creek 01/18/2015

Jason Kolba and I decided to go and dive Furry Creek. The start was a bit tough, because the tide was in and I had never seen so many logs on the beach. It was a hard entry. We had to go down the paved path quite a way to find a spot. Even then we climbed over several logs.

We followed the contour to the wall and explored along it. I don't recall a lot of life, but the visibility was descent. There were some nice cloud sponges along the wall, interesting in that they were small and shallow, about 70 feet. The highlight was a nice relaxing dive!