Category Archives: General

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.

 

Hollis Explorer Course

Greg & Ken diving the Hollis Explorer
Greg & Ken diving the Hollis Explorer

UWE and Ocean Quest are excited to announce that Greg and Ken has completed the Hollis Explorer Course this past week.  The Hollis Explorer Course is an excellent and challenging course to complete.  Though we have many years of experience and have in-depth knowledge of diving, there is always more to learn.  The Hollis Explorer is an eSCR Hybrid Rebreather that is an easy and fast setup, with a 10 or 15 minute automated pre-dive sequence to do in order to get into the water.

I found the setup of the Hollis Explorer pretty easy to do.  The back mounted counter lungs are easy to install and pretty difficult to confuse.  There is really only one way that they will install.  I was diving the Hollis Explorer with 40 % NITROX in my cylinder which allowed me a 100 foot MOD for my dives.  With the automated DCP engaged this allowed me to keep a high PO2 which allowed me a longer bottom time while still remaining within the No Decompression Limit. I found it challenging with the solenoid firing at depth to remain at a constant depth without venting the loop through my my mask.  This will take more practice to make it a natural maneuver without thinking through how to keep level.  But with everything practice makes perfect.

I want to address the comments I have read on Scuba Boards about the scrubber life.  There is a thread that has been going on for sometime

Two Explorer Divers
Two Explorer Divers

reference the scrubber life on the Hollis Explorer not operating as advertised and I have to disagree totally.  As it was explained to me, the scrubber indicator on the handset will indicate 90 minutes at the beginning the dive but if you pay close enough attention the the handset you will see that it does not count down based on minutes of the dive.  For example my last dive was 87 minutes in length and when I exited the water it indicated I still had 74 minutes of scrubber life, which would allow me more then enough time for a second dive.   I am totally sold on the Hollis Explorer, this is a fantastic eSCR rebreather that is well made, and easy to set up predive and then dive!  We took the training through Bill Coltart who is a very knowledgeable and professional instructor!!  Bill thank you for the Hollis Explorer Course, I look forward to diving with you again soon!!

Hollis Explorer Rebreather

Hollis Explorer eSCR
Hollis Explorer eSCR

UWE has decided to purchase the Hollis Explorer Rebreather as their choice for their Recreational Rebreather.  Having been certified on the Drager Dolphin Rebreather many years ago, and not having used it in a long time, I have been wanting to dive a rebreather as one of my many methods for diving.  I was thinking of buying and training on the Hollis Prism 2 breathers, but I could not justify the eCCR purchase as I have not had the opportunity to do many technical dives in the past couple of years.  Though I do love photography, and a rebreather certainly makes sense to dive for the quiet affect.

Hollis Explorer
Hollis Explorer

I can see the Hollis Explorer eSCR as a smart choice, easier set up, easier predive, minimal bubbles, with extended times underwater.  Also, the price point is pretty attractive for sure.  My Explorer should be in any time now, though my training does not begin until early April, I am already working on the course material, and intend getting to know the user manual like never before.  I certainly am open to learning more and more about diving and I think this is the best route for me.

I plan on keeping a journal on my training and posting the various dive profiles I will encounter during my training as well as my fun dives.  I am heading to Gods Pocket Resort in May, and my goal is to be fully competent by then so I can dive it and put it through the paces while up at the Pocket.

Be sure to check back and see how my training is going.  I will post open and honest opinions on here so everyone will know how the Rebreather works.

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!!

PADI’s Bring a Friend Diving…..

DSD Family dayUWE and Ocean Quest was out at Greentree Pool conducting a PADI’s Bring a Friend Diving ….. experience.  We had an excellent turn out with 10 people that joined us in the pool trying  scuba diving!!  After a few pieces of paper work and a quick 10 minute briefing it was in to the pool.  We suited everyone up in the water, and went over a couple of the cool little rules that are part of diving and under the water everyone went.

Once everyone made it under the water we had a great opportunity to just putter around and see what diving is all about.  Interested in trying diving…be sure to let us know!!

AOW

Advanced Open Water Ocean Quest
Advanced Open Water Ocean Quest

UWE and Ocean Quest are very excited to announce we have three new Advanced Open Water divers.  Lenka, Brian and Holland joined us to complete their AOW.  Our class started on the Monday night where we went to work on some classroom presentations covering the importance of proper fin kicks, awareness breathing gas management as well as buoyancy.

We then proceeded in the the pool at UBC, where we took the classroom information and put it to practice in the water, where we took the time to video tape everyone’s swimming and buoyancy.  This is such a valuable way to learn proper diving, as the student actually gets to see a video debrief of their trip, movements and hand signals as they use them.  We have been receiving very positive feed back with this method of training.

The weekend had the group out conducting the PPB, Deep, Navigation, Night and Wreck dives at the various locations around the Vancouver area.  Conditions where amazing with at least 80 foot visibility and the students had an amazing time.

Looking to take your AOW, looking for great instruction, well then look no further, contact Ocean Quest and lets get you diving!!