the scuba zone - west coast diving 2017
West Coast Diving - 2017
This is a log of my dives and pictures from Vancouver Island for 2017.
 
Maple Bay (2017-06-18 11:15) *Open Circuit*

Nice dive today. The visibility was quite good but still a lot of debris in the water.

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Maple Bay (2017-06-11 11:15) *Open Circuit* & Piranna Scooter

Nice dive today although the visibility wasn't as great as we first hoped. We were also on the tail end of a very, very low ebb tide the entire dive.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Maple Bay (2017-06-04 11:15) *Open Circuit* & Piranna Scooter

Really nice dive today. Headed to the wall, then over to the far bottle field both swimming and using the scooter. Afer a nice look we headed back to the government dock. Vis was pretty good, making it a great 90 min dive.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Chemainus Dry Docks (2017-05-28 11:30) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter*

Vis in the shallows was pretty good, and on one side of the first dry dock as well as the topside. Vis was also OK on the reef, but going from dock 1 to dock 2 was terrible vis, and it was terrible on dock 2 as well. Still, a really good dive.

The G16 worked perfectly all dive with the new strobe cord. I was also trying out Eneloop batteries which are supposed to be really fancy, and they worked perfectly as well. Not much on the Odrvm footage due to the vis.

Chemainus Dry Docks Chemainus Dry Docks Chemainus Dry Docks Chemainus Dry Docks
 
Maple Bay (2017-05-22 10:45) *Open Circuit*

Dove today with the 7D and housing. Visibility was really good, with incoming tide; in the order of 20+ ft. I took lots of photos again.

Overall, an excellent dive.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Maple Bay (2017-05-14 10:45) *Open Circuit*

Dove today with the 7D and housing. Visibility was much better, in the order of 15+ ft. I took lots of photos again.

Overall, an excellent dive.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Maple Bay (2017-05-10 11:10) *Open Circuit*

Dove today with the 7D and housing. Visibility was terrible again, but not the worst this spring. You could see 10-15 ft but there was a lot of 'stuff' in the water again. Only macro photography really worked well.

Still, a great dive.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Maple Bay (2017-05-07 10:30) *Open Circuit*

Another dive with the Canon G16 and the NEW sync cord plus the charged, new batteries. Everything worked perfectly, which means the old cord was the problem. My best guess is that it was an intermittant connection on the TTL power wire, allowing it to work on land but failing after time underwater (pressure related?). Anyway, that is sorted so I'm a happy camper.

Again visibiltiy was excellent at 20+ feet. There were lots of critters out making it a fun photo dive. Overall an awesome dive.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Maple Bay (2017-05-04 14:50) *Open Circuit*

Today I dove with the Canon G16 again to test the strobe functionality with the old sync cord and new, freshly charged rechargeable batteries. Again the strobe failed about halfway through the dive, calling for some more tests with various batteries and the new cord. These should confirm my suspicions that the cord, while funnctional, is flakey at least when carrying power from the strobe to the TTL circuit.

However, visibiltiy was excellent today at 20 feet, and with the sunny day the lack of strobe was not a problem in the shallows. I was even able to take some wide angle shots of the dock pilings and my buddy. Overall an awesome dive.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Maple Bay (2017-04-30 11:30) *Open Circuit*

Today I dove with the Canon G16 again to test the strobe functionality with the old sync cord and the alkaline batteries that have been used once a few dives ago (with the new sync cord, where they worked great the whole dive). I also dove with my rebuilt reg set, which was great. Unfortunately the camera wasn't. The strobe failed again about halfway through the dive. In this case however, I am certain it's the batteries. It looks like alkaline batteries are good for only one dive. This was confirmed after the dive when I checked them several hours later to find three of the four were less than half power. Sad, because they are quite expensive.

Still, visibiltiy was easily 15+ feet again, and with the sunny day the lack of strobe was not a problem in the shallows. Overall an awesome dive.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Maple Bay (2017-04-28 10:50) *Open Circuit*

Today was another camera dive using Canon 7D-L "big rig". This was to be a "fun dive" as I figured out the camera issues on prior dives, so today would be concentrating on "getting the shot", especially controlling light with the manual flash. Visibility was great compared to the past many weeks, with 15ft+ at all times. Still some "stuff" in the water preventing longer distance shots, but great for close-up and for "just seeing". Overall, an awesome dive.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Chemainus Dry Docks (2017-04-23 11:00) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter*

Perhaps the WORST visibility EVER!!! While it was about 5ft in the shallows as I scootered from the boat ramp to the float, heading down to the dry dock #1 it became progressively worse until I could not scooter and had to swim the last third of the way. By the block it was maybe 6in and I almost hit the block swimming. Navigating the docks was a challenge that could only be done swimming. Exiting the water all I could taste was "sushi" from the green, green ocean.

Chemainus Dry Docks Chemainus Dry Docks
 
Maple Bay (2017-04-21 10:45) *Open Circuit*

Today was another camera test dive, using 7D-L (macro) in manual flash mode. Having solved the issue with camera placement and jammed buttons on land during the week, I verified that all was working properly before heading out. In the water, visibility was terrible; worse than the past two dives. While you could *see* about 5 feet, you could only take a decent photo at about 6in max. Beyond that it was just junk in the water and floating debris. However, the camera operated flawlessly, so I was happy. Overall, a very good dive.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Maple Bay (2017-04-17 11:20) *Open Circuit*

Today was another camera test dive, using 7D-L (macro) in manual flash mode. This time the star button was engaged the entire dive, meaning no menus or photo review. Most annoying and frustrating. Vis was a bit better, between 5-10 ft and lots to see. Once home I checked the camera and housing, and found the problem - the cable from hot-shoe to bulkhead has a bulky connector in the middle, and this was pressed against the front of the camera, causing the camera to tilt just enough to press the star button when the housing was closed. I was able to verify that if the cable is better routed, there is no issue.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Maple Bay (2017-04-14 11:00) *Open Circuit*

Today was another camera test dive, using 7D-L (macro) in manual flash mode. Except for a very annoying "*" button that would freeze the shutter for 3 seconds each time it was pressed, everything worked extremely well. It was a fun dive in spite of 5+ ft. visibility.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Chemainus (dry docks) (2017-04-09 10:30) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter*

A decent dive. Visibility was poor again, but better than the last dry dock trip. Fun diving on the scooters to the reef and back.

Chemainus (dry docks) Chemainus (dry docks) Chemainus (dry docks) Chemainus (dry docks) Chemainus (dry docks)
 
Maple Bay (2017-04-02 10:40) *Open Circuit*

Today was a camera test dive. With a new strobe sync cord, I was hoping the camera would be back to it's old self. I was almost right. It worked perfectly in the pre-dive, and for the first half of the dive. Then it started to act up, with the TTL function becoming increasingly flakey. Finally I turned off the strobe and played with natural light and the Sola 1200.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay

Maple Bay Video Maple Bay Video 

 
Chemainus (Dry Docks) (2017-03-26 11:15) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter*

Another 'OK' dive to the dry docks and the reef. Unfortunately visibility was under 4 ft most of the time which did affect what we could see on the dive. This time the water was so full of mucky stuff that it seemed like I'd eaten a 4 course sushi dinner when I got out of the water!

 
Chemainus (Dry Docks) (2017-03-19 11:45) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter*

An 'OK' dive to the dry docks and the reef. Unfortunately visibility was under 4 ft most of the time which did affect what we could see on the dive.

 
Chemainus (Dry Docks) (2017-03-11 11:20) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter*

Great dive. We found the reef again and it goes quite a ways. Unfortunately the G16 strobe again failed to operate at depth so any decent photos are lit by the sola alone.

Chemainus Chemainus
 
Chemainus (Dry Docks) (2017-03-05 11:50) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter*

An interesting day diving on the Chemainus dry docks today. We had snow again last night, and today was cool but otherwise OK. After gearing up we headed to the drydocks, but visibility was terrible everywhere. I did manage to find the reef again, but vis was so bad that no photos were taken. Still, a good dive.

 
Chemainus (Dry Docks) (2017-02-26 11:15) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter*

A great day diving on the Chemainus dry docks today. It was sunny but there was a very cold wind on shore, but just fine underwater. From dry dock #1 we headed due North and quickly found the small wall / reef that has been reported by others. It's a nice little 10 ft wall quite near the dry dock. Overall a great dive.

 
Maple Bay - Spring St. Reef (2017-02-19 11:15) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter*

Another great dive from the Maple Bay park to Spring St. reef and back to the bottle field. As a bonus, I passed the 400 hour mark on my Prism Topaz. It is a marvelous rebreather.

Maple Bay Maple Bay

Maple Bay - Spring St. Reef Video Maple Bay - Spring St. Reef Video 

 
Maple Bay - Spring St. Reef (2017-02-12 11:15) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter*

Today was a nice sunny day, but there was snow and ice still on the steep path to the water. With careful steps we walked down to the water and entered. After a 17 minute scooter at 24 fsw on med-low speed, we surfaced to see the appropiate landmarks around the Spring St. entry. Heading deeper, it took 1.5 min to find the start of the reef/wall. Once on the wall we kept mostly to 75fsw and saw lingcod egg masses. Reaching the end of the wall we headed back to shore. From this end it takes 4 min to reach shore near the entry. After that it was a nice 11 min scooter back to the pilings of the pub wharf and then back to shore. Overall a great dive.

Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Maple Bay - Spring St. Reef (2017-01-29 11:15) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter*

Starting from the Maple Bay beach park in the rain (again), we headed out to search for the Spring St. reef. This time we headed further along the shore and into the little bay by Spring St., then back at 50ft until we found the reef. It's actually a very nice wall that extends from 50ft to 90ft with lots of cool cracks and stuff. Lots of rockfish and other life. Overall, a really great dive.

Maple Bay
 
Maple Bay - Spring St. Reef (2017-01-22 11:30) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter*

Starting from the Maple Bay beach park in the rain, we headed out to search for the Spring St. reef, but came up short. Still, it was a great dive.

 
Chemainus (2017-01-15 11:30) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter*

I dove the dry docks again today on what was a very nice sunny day. I met Mark Hiebert while gearing up and again on the dry docks. I scootered all four docks and had a great dive.

 
Maple Bay (2017-01-11 12:30) *Open Circuit*

Well, the weather persons got it partly wrong again. It was supposed to be sunny and 0C. It was sunny, but 0C was a long way above the actual temp at the dive site. It was freezing!

However, the parking lot was dry as we parked and then geared up. I tried out my newly made neoprene case for the close-up lens to my G16 in it's Ikelite housing. Last night I decided I wanted to be able to remove the close-up lens and not get it scratched, so designed and hand sewed a nice case out of some scrap neoprene. It ended up fitting perfectly and worked equally perfectly on today's dive.

The dive was very cold, and not many critters braved the cold water. We saw a few grunt sculpins, as well as a very shy painted greenling, but no baby octos. Still, and great dive.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Chemainus (2017-01-08 11:30) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter*

It was cloudy but not below zero today, so we headed out to the Chemainus dry docks on our scooters. I took my rebreather as we wanted to do some maintenance on the lines as well. The dive was great, and line maintenance went as planned. When we got out it was a blizard of big, wet heavy snow. Still, a great dive.

Chemainus Video Chemainus Video 

 
Maple Bay (2017-01-01 10:50) *Open Circuit*

A New Year's day dive is a tradition on the west coast. We chose Maple Bay as it's good parking and a very nice photo dive. Today was windy and very cold, proving again that weather forecasts can be wrong. The parking lot was very icy and even walking was dicey at times.

After gearing up we headed out and had a good dive. Vis was decent if not spectacular and there were enough critters to keep us entertained. Overall a good dive. It would have been excellent if we weren't so very cold.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 

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