Category Archives: Fun Diving

Porteau Cove

Hollis Explorer at Porteau Cove
Hollis Explorer at Porteau Cove

UWE was out on Saturday night diving the Hillis Explorer Rebreather at Porteau Cove.  We followed an easy compass bearing out to the the fire hose and then turned right and followed it to the Jungle Gym, and then we stayed at about 50 feet heading out past the Granthhall.  The dive went very well.  We had one diver in Sidemount, then and another in doubles and me, well you guessed it, I was on the Hollis Explorer.  The rebreather performed very well, though I think battery cell number three is having problems.  I have been dealing with Gus at Hollis trying to figure out what the issues are.

Porteau Cove is an awesome dive site with so much marine life and artificial reefs that it is so much fun to check everything out, especially on a night dive.  I am off to Ontario for the week, so I will land locked for a little, but  I will be back at it next week!

#hollisexplorer, #hollis

Hollis Explorer Rebreather

Hollis Explorer Rebreather
Hollis Explorer Rebreather

UWE was out the other night diving at Whytecliff Park on my Hollis Explorer Rebreather.  The conditions were not the best, but as we descended deeper the visibility improved drastically and we had an excellent dive.  We descended in about 30 feet of water and headed down the slope.  The visibility was about 20 feet.  As a slide along the sand with the rebreather, I was once again treated to the cool things that my Hollis Explorer Rebreather allows me to get closer and closer to the marine life without scaring them away.

Our dive lasted about 60 minutes, I want to say my unit performed flawlessly, but I can’t.  Since I had the head, handset and hud replaced I have been having battery problems with the unit.  I keep it on charged, and when I put the unit together it’s fully charged, I have been having 0 battery ascend immediately warnings.  The unit had been off charge for about 1.5 hours by the time I hit the water, then 60 minutes later I had the “Ascend Immediately” warning, though it’s impossible that the unit had last power that quickly.

I knew the system would have it’s problems as I know it is still very new on the market.  I have to say Hollis has been very supportive, and I have been dealing with Gus, who has been fantastic.  If you want to try something cool….come dive the Hollis Explorer Rebreather!!

God’s Pocket Resort

Hooded Nudibranch
Hooded Nudibranch

UWE went with Ocean Quest Dive Center to God’s Pocket Resort in Port Hardy BC.  Wednesday had us travelling to Port Hardy which had us leaving at 7:30 on the Nanaimo ferry, and a quick 5 hours later we were in Port Hardy.  The drive was amazing, I had forgotten how beautiful the drive is on the island.  Once in Port Hardy, Lyal picked us up with the boat and we were off to God’s Pocket Resort.  This was my first trip to God’s Pocket Resort and I have to say I was very impressed.  The Pocket was beautiful, it was not till I realized how organized and beautiful everything was at the resort.

We headed out the next morning to do our first dive of the week, which was a checkout Dive.

Giant Pacific Octopus
Giant Pacific Octopus

I decided to bring my Hollis Explorer Rebreather as my choice of diving method, and I was very impressed on what an awesome time I had diving this rebreather.  During my first dive of the dive i had the luck opportunity to enjoy time with 50 to 100 Hooded Nudibranchs, these are so cool to sit and watch as they remind me of the venus flytrap. Our next dive had me enjoy an encounter with a free swimming Giant Pacific Octopus.

Red Irish Lord
Red Irish Lord

The next day, I was treated to the beauty of diving Browning Pass, and once again I was treated to a free swimming Octopus, on a wall with such beauty.  There are finger sponges, Basket Stars and Red Irish Lords to name a few.  The water was amazing with easily 30 – 40 foot visibility. Browning Wall has easily been the highlight of BC Diving for me.

God’s Pocket Resort, is a classy place where you get royal treatment,  awesome food, well organized dive boat with an elevator for getting the divers out of the water.  I am already planning my next trip to God’s Pocket Resort and beautiful waters of the Pacific Northern waters.

 

Porteau Cove

Ken diving the Hollis Explorer
Ken diving the Hollis Explorer

UWE  was out diving at Porteau Cove, enjoying their Hollis Explorer Weekend.  We set the Hollis Explorer up on the day before, ensuring that all appropriate check lists were followed.  We did a quick negative pressure test, just to ensure the final checks the next day would go off without a hitch.  I noticed after trying to take the Hollis Firmware update the HUD was not working 100 percent.  So, the big questions was weather to cancel the dive on Closed Circuit and dive regular Open Circuit.

I got out to the Porteau Cove, and completed the Pre dive series prior to donning my gear and I notice the HUD still no acting properly, though it was running.  Deciding to ensure I paid close attention to the handset I decided to try the descent.  Rene and I decided to enter the water at Porteau Cove by going down the stairs since the tide was way out.  Once entering the water we descended right at the beach level and started out in the main area of the dive site here at Porteau Cove.

The HUD flashed up right on descent and started to work properly for me so it was off to the dive. The

Ken Diving at Porteau Cove
Ken Diving at Porteau Cove

conditions were fantastic, with visibility ranging between 10 and 40 feet at depth.  We spent about 2 hours underwater, and with me diving the Hollis Explorer, I was able to get very close to the marine life without disturbing them.  The Explorer worked flawlessly, and I am very happy with the purchase. I have been having some minor problems with the unit, but Hollis, Gus specifically has been awesome ensuring that Hollis stands behind their unit totally.

I will be leaving for a trip to Port Hardy to stay at God’s Pocket resort to get a weeks worth of diving in, and I am planning on bringing my camera and my new Hollis Explorer Rebreather!!

Interested in diving Porteau Cove, need information on the Hollis Explorer, let me know and I am more than happy to give my advice, and dive briefing.  Either email me here, or stop by Ocean Quest and we can have a chat about your diving needs

 

#hollisexplorer, #porteaucove

Diving With Seal Lions

I was out last weekend diving at Race Rocks.  I have not been diving in Victoria for some time, and I have to say getting off the ferry felt like I had finally returned home after far to long an absence.  I went out with Ogden Point Dive center and we diving with the Stellar Sea Lions at Race Rocks.  What an amazing adventure, I have had an opportunity to dive with various critters but these gentle giants were so much fun!

On our first dive we went in at Albert Head down near the DND compound, the same place I did my JLC course back in the 90’s.  The wind was bitter cold and as always I am amazed how much warmer the water feels when I entered.  As I descended I figured out there was a pretty strong current leading southeast, but we just drifted nicely, where we were treated to Swimming scallops, Puget Sound King Crabs, and a free swimming juvenile wolfe eel.  Amazing encounters.

Dive two, and the dive of the day was at Race Rocks itself where we entered in a nice quiet pool out of the current in about 20 feet of water where the Stellar Sea Lions put on an amazing show.  Take a look at our video, and see what we saw!!

Egmont

Egmont 2013
Egmont 2013

UWE and Ocean Quest headed off to Porpoise Bay Charters in Egmont and spent the weekend doing some of the best dives in all of British Columbia.  This is the first opportunity I have had to spend the weekend with Kal and Ann, and I have to say it was an amazing weekend!!  The diving was great as always, but I was very impressed with the with the amazing way in which Kal and Ann took care of us.  Kal certainly knows the dive sites, and conditions and I like the fact that he is conservative and I have to say I received some of the best dive site briefings every.  Current direction and which shoulder to keep the topography on, the rest was my diving experience.

Diver with Giant Pacific Octopus
Diver with Giant Pacific Octopus

I have dived in this area many times, though it’s been some time.  The sites that Kal brought us to were abundant with life.  We were treated to a free swimming Giant Pacific Octopus, which is easily one of my favourite marine life we can find in our area.  This little guy was out swimming in about 70 feet of water.  I ran into him at about 90 feet and he was thinking of heading deeper though he put on a little show for us.  Great stuff!!

Thank you to everyone for a great weekend, Stuart, Jim, Lisa, Mike, Travis and Amy, and of course Kal and Ann…great time, and great friends!  When is it time for our next trip!!