Tuesday, January 24, 2017

GUE-BC Diver's Weekend 21-22/01/2017

For the last two years, GUE-BC had been an attendee of Diver's Weekend sponsored by the Vancouver Aquarium (see my write up for last year).

 It was a great opportunity for divers to meet people associated with the dive industry. This year, notable attendees were two submersible manufacturers (Aquarius and Nuytco), Shearwater, the Coast Guard, RCMP, Sea Dragon Charters, Sea to Sky Scuba, Nanaimo Dive outfitters, Rendevous Charters and DIABC, among others. There were many great talks, ranging from submersible technology,

Dennis Diamond did a lot of work with the Aquarium to get us set up. This year, we were in a great location right next to the Japanese sea nettle tank. Thanks goes to Jeremy of the Aquarium for picking it for us! Here was a picture once we got set up:

On the first day we had Dennis, Vlad, Mike, John and myself manning the booth. There was a lot of interest in diver training, along with our conservation work. As usual, we had videos playing of local diving along with official GUE videos. The footage of the Hornby Island sea lions was always a hit with the kids! We had a conversation with the Aquarius sub people, and we talked about the idea of coordination between the sub and GUE dive teams. Nothing concrete, but a fun discussion. I also had a great talk with Phil Nuytten of Nuytco. I had been trying to find an old movie called Jaws of Death. Phil had actually been in the movie, and I thought he might have a copy. But the joke was on me because when I mentioned it, he asked if I had a copy! My search would have to continue. I was also impressed by a young and passionate conservationist who taught us a thing or two when she visited our booth. She had set up her own website, pretty amazing for a 12-ish year old. Finally, Vlad and I cornered Andy Lamb (the marine identification expert) and had him help us identify some bait-fish that Vlad had seen (probably Northern anchovies).

After a successful first day, John invited all of us over to his house for a GUE-BC get-together. It was a lot of fun, and we had a great time! Good food and good people.

The second day was even better than the first. We had even more people interested in GUE, and we handed out a whole stack of cards for those interested in training. I also got in touch with Rick Stratton from Dive News Network about possible publicity for GUE-BC in exchange for content. Exciting times!

I will sign off with a group picture of everyone who helped out. Thanks again everyone (and Vancouver Aquarium) and see you next year :-)

Monday, January 23, 2017

Whytecliff Park GUE-BC 08/01/2017

It had been too long since I had gotten out for a dive. Christmas was great though, and so was skiing. The snow was exceptional this year!

GUE-BC members from the Island decided to come over to dive the Annapolis and I took the opportunity to go along. Liz Tribe, Jim Dixon, and Francoise Keen made up the Island contingent. Dennis Diamond, Vlad Chernavsky and myself were the Mainland divers.

Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate and the Sea Dragon had to cancel the dive. Since we had all met at Horseshoe Bay, we decided to go do a dive at Whytecliff instead.

We had a great time, and it was a fun dive. Vlad, Francoise and I teamed up, and Liz did some dive training which Dennis helped out on. We checked out the plumose gardens, looked for octopus (but didn't find any) and checked out the sponges towards the Cut. We didn't see a lot of unique new things but it was a fun dive all the same.

I did get some video. Hopefully next time we'd be able to get out to the Annapolis as planned!