Sunday, June 25, 2017

Alert Bay 10-16/06/2017

Heather and I had the opportunity to do some more diving in Alert Bay while visiting for a week. As usual, the visibility was excellent (compared to the Vancouver area). It wasn't as clear as it was during other times we had experienced, but it was a good 30-40 feet. Here was the video compilation:

We did two dives on the old breakwater in front of the Cultural center. We encountered the same amount of junk on the bottom coupled with a lot of marine life. At the start of the first dive, we happened on a red irish lord right in the shallows. We also saw various pretty gunnels, like the saddle back. I didn't notice as many as we had seen in the past however, especially curled up on the eel grass. On these dives the eel grass seemed more devoid of gunnels.

There were a lot of pipe fish and juvenile rockfish, and many red and dungeness crabs. We spent a bit of time on one dive freeing a few crabs that had gotten trapped in old fishing net. There was a lot of old netting on the bottom, and a good cleanup certainly would be needed at some time. I imagine that the nets fell off the dock or fell overboard from the various boats moored there. One of the crabs was not in the mood to be rescued and was able to latch on to my hand even thought I grabbed it from behind. It hurt a lot! Not panicking and having Heather help coax it to let go was the key to helping the crab and not ripping my dry glove.

We had a great swim though the second old break water. As before it was covered with plumose anemones. It was like floating through some cathedral. The juvenile rockfish made it like our own personal aquarium.

We did experience some tide and current issues on one dive, and ended up drifting a fair distance while coming back to shore. When we surfaced we were surprised at how far we had come!

The highlight of the dives was the spiny lumpsucker that Heather spotted. It was quite big, about the size of a golf ball. I didn't see it at all, and thought it was a rock. When I finally figured out what it was, I understood why she was so excited. Outside the Vancouver Aquarium we had never found one in the wild before. Heather got a great photo.

All in all well worth taking the gear up and getting in the water! Not to mention how relaxing it was out of the water.

I could not wait for the next time!