the scuba zone - west coast diving 2019
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West Coast Diving - 2019
This is a log of my dives and pictures from Vancouver Island for 2019.
 
Chemainus (2019-11-17 11:30) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter & Olympus TG-6 & Inon S2000 strobe*

I wanted to dive Chemainus today as it was super high tide and vis reports everywhere are looking good. I was not disappointed as visibility was easily 25ft+ everywhere. I had a great dive running all four docks as well as both walls. One odd thing I saw was on dock #4, where a white silt cloud was visible pouring out of all of the hatches. It was weird - like a smoke chimney.

Overall a nice long dive to all four docks plus both walls.

Chemainus Chemainus

Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video 

 
Maple Bay (2019-11-10 11:00) *Open Circuit & Canon 7D*

Decent visibility today. I chose to dive Maple Bay as my Salvo 21W HID is offically out of commission (dead battery) and my replacement Big Blue VTL2500P did not arrive last week. I'm using the Sola 1200 as a replacement. It's OK after some reconditioning treatment in a sink of water last week (charge-burn-charge-burn-charge)

The overall dive was uneventful. Visibility was decent if a bit silty at depth on the wall, but above 30 ft it was pretty bad. The shallows were OK on the way back and so I had a nice long 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 Video Maple Bay Video 

 
Chemainus (2019-11-03 11:00) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter & Olympus TG-6 & Inon S2000 strobe*

After last week's less than stellar dive, I decided to head back to Chemainus, hoping for good visibility. The tide was nice and high with a cloudy day, and visibility was not as bad as it has been. Still, only 10ft on the docks with a lot of silt in the water.

The rebreather and scooter all worked perfectly, as did the TG6. However the Salvo died again at the 20 minute mark. During the week I replaced a bad battery connector as well as completing a full charge just prior to leaving for the dive site. After the dive the battery voltage was 13.5v, so suspicion now falls to the ballast. I don't suspect the wiring as the light continues to try and fire underwater after it's shut off if I cycle the switch. The bulb is getting power, it's just not firing.

Still, a nice long dive to all four docks plus both walls.

Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus

Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video 

 
Tyee - Dolphin (2019-10-26 10:30) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter & Olympus TG-6*

I joined a couple of club dives at Tyee today. Visibility was not all that spectacular, but decent. There was a lot of silt in the water, probably from the recent storms. Low tide straddled the dive times, so crappy entry and even worse exit. I really hate low tide at Tyee. I did see the big wolf eel and much of Dolphin wall before my canister light died again. I brought the Sola as backup but it was acting up as well. Overall still a decent dive.

Tyee - Dolphin Tyee - Dolphin Tyee - Dolphin Tyee - Dolphin Tyee - Dolphin Tyee - Dolphin Tyee - Dolphin

Tyee - Dolphin Video Tyee - Dolphin Video 

 
Maple Bay (2019-10-19 11:00) *Open Circuit & Canon 7D*

I joined a club dive (Tim & Becky) with my big camera. Visibility wasn't the greatest, but certainly not the worst for Maple Bay. Overall a very nice 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 Video Maple Bay Video 

 
Chemainus (2019-10-12 11:00) *Prism Topaz Rebreather & Piranna Scooter & Olympus TG-6 & Inon S2000 strobe*

Another horrible vis day. I took the rebreather for a shake-down dive as it's not been wet since March. Everything worked well on the Prism, but my Salvo dive light shut off after about 20min (on the top of dock #4). It would not re-fire, so I did the rest of the dive in the dark. I was able to follow lines so visited all the docks as well as the small wall, but visibility on the small wall was so horrible I just turned around and went back to dock 1.

Overall an OK dive as the rebreather worked perfectly. The scooter and camera also worked well, but it would have been nice to have a light. So far no idea what's wrong with the light - either the ballast or the battery but I'll have to investigate further.

Chemainus Chemainus

Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video 

 
Elliot Point (2019-10-05 12:00) *Open Circuit & Olympus TG-6*

It was a nice day for a dive. I went to Elliot Point with the Duncan dive shop group, and had a very nice dive on the small walls. Visibility was decent but not super.

We were followed from the start of gearing up until we entered the water by a very friendly dive kitten. He/She even waited at water's edge and greeted us after the dive, going so far as to frolick in the dive gear...

Elliot Point Kitten Elliot Point Kitten

Elliot Point Elliot Point
 
Chemainus (2019-09-29 10:00) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter & Olympus TG-6 & Inon S2000 strobe*

Drove to the boat ramp parking lot, got out and walked to the end of the boat ramp. It was very windy, quite choppy with outgoing tide, and I could not see anything due to massive silt in the water - not just at the beach but even out deeper. I called the dive and drove home.

 
Chemainus (2019-09-22 11:30) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter & Olympus TG-6 & Inon S2000 strobe*

Another one of those "worst vis ever" days. Visibility in the shallows was at most 1 ft. It got a tiny bit better on the dry docks, but never more than 5 ft. I followed the line to the small wall and it was bad, so ended up spending most of my time going around the base of the various docks. For all intents and purposes, it was a night dive. I did get a few decent photos, but the video was unusable due to the darkness.

Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus

Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video 

Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video (compass) Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video (compass) 

 
Chemainus (2019-09-15 11:30) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter & Olympus TG-6 & Inon S2000 strobe*

Vis was better today than last week, which was nice. I added a second go-pro clone to the scooter, this one on the handle mount and pointed at the compass. It was my standard dry dock dive, all 4 dry docks plus the small wall and deep wall, with a detour back to dock #1 for some photos.

I found a square metal block with rope attached at the start of the small wall, so took it to the line from dock #1 to the wall where I placed it higher up on the wall and then tied it back to the grate that secures the main line. Now the line can be seen more easily when scootering higher on the wall.

The wolf eel was again absent from the deep wall, but lots of rock fish were there. Overall a really nice dive.

Chemainus Chemainus

Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video 

Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video with Compass Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video with Compass 

 
Chemainus (2019-09-08 11:30) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter & Olympus TG-6 & Inon S2000 strobe*

Still crummy vis, but decent enough to navigate. Went through all 4 dry docks and the small and deep walls today. Overall a very nice dive. The camera worked perfectly, though I did add a tether to the strobe 'just in case' (it wasn't needed).

Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus

Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video 

 
Chemainus (2019-09-01 11:00) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter & Olympus TG-6 & Inon S2000 strobe*

Not the best dive today. Visibility looked great at the boat ramp, but almost immediately after entry it went to less than 10 ft with tons of whale snot. On the dry docks it got even worse. To make matters worse, the strobe came loose from it's mount, so I had to swim in carrying the camera by my mask to keep an eye on the strobe lest it fall off. Amazingly, it did fall off, but only after the dive when I set it down on the truck tailgate. So in summary, crappy visibility and a gear issue that caused me to swim home from the dry docks. Oh yea - and due to the crappy visibility there's no scooter video and almost no photos. I took quite a few, but they are all horrible due to the visibility.

Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus
 
Chemainus (2019-08-25 11:00) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter & Olympus TG-6 & (new)Inon S2000 strobe*

Great dive today, althought the visibility went from 10ft at the start to about 2 feet by the end.

Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus

Chemainus Dry Docks Video Chemainus Dry Docks Video 

Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video 

 
Chemainus (2019-08-11 11:00) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter & Olympus TG-6*

Another excellent dive today. Cool and raining overnight, but nice and calm at the boat ramp. Tide was again super-low but coming in.

Ran from ramp to dock #1, then to 2, then 3/4. Under the back of 4 and up the crack of doom. Along the 3/4 joint to the front whare I stowed the scooter to take some photos, which weren't great. Lots of crud in the water again.

From 4 front to back along the join, then along the back and over to 2. Along 2 until I got to the back corner where I headed down. Nobody home today in the warbonnet den. Then over to the small wall and along to the line.

Followed the line back to 1, where I took some video. Then back along the line to the small wall and eventually to the deep wall. Noone home in wolfie's den, so headed home. Overall an excellent dive.

Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus

Chemainus Dry Docks Video Chemainus Dry Docks Video 

Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video Chemainus Dry Docks Scooter Video 

 
Chemainus (2019-08-04 11:00) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter & Olympus TG-6*

Another excellent dive today. Hot and sunny again, but nice underwater. Scootered to the drydocks and spent time trying out the Olympus camera with a Kraken 3000 ring light/strobe on the top of dock #4.

Then over to dock #2 before heading off to the walls and some video of wolfie before heading back home.

Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus

Chemainus Dry Docks Video Chemainus Dry Docks Video 

 
Chemainus (2019-07-28 10:40) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter & Olympus TG-6*

A really excellent dive today. It was windy and choppy at the boat ramp, with a very low tide, but I figured it might just get better underwater. I was right; as soon as I descended the visibilty was about 15ft. Scootered to the line, then drydock #1 and took some natural light video off the front of the first dock.

Then off to drydock #2, past the front and the big tire and on to docks 3/4. There I scootered up the 'crack of doom' to the top of docks 3 & 4, where there were a pair of fried egg jellyfish trapped in the ropes. After videoing them, I swam to the front where there were lots of small rock cod, a kelp greenling and a buffalo sculpin as well as many smaller creatures.

After returning down the crack of doom, I headed over to dock #2 where the warbonnet is no longer in the rear opening. I headed past the back of #2 and then swung over to the shallow wall. Visibility was good here as well, but more snot in the water as one gets shallow.

At the end of the shallow wall I headed over to the deep wall, but missed (again). I managed to swing back over the shallow wall and tried again. Success!

Saw Wolfie and took some video, then headed back in on a directional course to the boat ramp. Overall an awesome dive!

Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus

Chemainus Dry Docks Video Chemainus Dry Docks Video 

Chemainus Wolf Eel Video Chemainus Wolf Eel Video 

 
Chemainus (2019-07-21 10:40) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter & Olympus TG-6*

Good dive today on the dry docks and wall. Visibility was about 5ft everywhere, but a lot of crap in the water. Definitely more at 20ft (shallows, on the wall) compared to on the docks. Number One had some nice life on it today.

Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus

Chemainus Video Chemainus Video 

 
Maple Bay (2019-07-13 10:40) *Open Circuit & Olympus TG-6*

Diving Maple Bay with my new Olympus TG-6 camera and PT-059 underwater housing. This was purchased to be a scooter camera due to its small size and ability to clip in the slipstream when scootering. It's also a very nice camera with integrated flash and super-macro capability.

As for the dive itself, visibility was crap - 2ft above 40ft, and maybe 5ft below. Still, I got a few good shots. Overall a good dive except I think my neck seal was leaking (again).

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Chemainus (2019-07-06 11:00) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter & Canon G16*

Good dive today on the dry docks and wall. Only one photo.

Chemainus
 
Maple Bay (2019-06-29 11:10) *Open Circuit & Canon G16*

Good dive today. Saw a few small octos.

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

Maple Bay Octos Video Maple Bay Octos Video 

 
Chemainus (2019-06-23 11:10) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter & Canon G16*

Good dive today on the dry docks and wall.

Chemainus Chemainus
 
Chemainus (2019-06-17 11:10) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter & Canon G16*

It was a very hot day, and the park was full with two busses of grade school kids, teachers & parents. We did the longer tour of the docks and walls, including the wolf eel who had moved again. Visibility was a decent 10 feet, but there was a ton of whale snot in the water, making photography a challenge. There were also far too many red jellies on the last dry dock. Still, a good dive.

Chemainus
 
Chemainus (2019-06-09 11:10) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter & Canon G16*

Good day for a dive, not too hot but still sunny. We did the same circuit as last week. The wolf eel had moved from one den to another. Overall a great dive.

Chemainus Chemainus

Chemainus sailfish Video Chemainus sailfish Video 

Chemainus wolf eel Video Chemainus wolf eel Video 

 
Chemainus (2019-06-02 14:15) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter*

Vis was poorer today than the past few weeks, but still good enough to allow a full scooter run of all four of the dry docks, the small wall and the deep wall. We saw a small (female?) wolf eel on the deep wall. So very, very cool!

Chemainus Video Chemainus Video 

 
Chemainus (2019-05-26 11:00) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter*

Vis was not as good today as in past weeks, but still good enough to allow a full scooter run of all four of the dry docks, the small wall and the deep wall.

 
Chemainus (2019-05-19 11:30) *Open circuit & Canon G16*

Lovely day, again looks to be good visibiity. We headed to the dry docks swimming all the way. From dock one we swam to dock two, a quick detour to dock 3/4 and up the gap, then back to dock 2 to check out the warbonnet. We then headed over to the reef. We swam along the reef to the tie-in back to dock one, and headed back. No squid on the eggs today.

Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus
 
Chemainus (2019-05-12 11:15) *Open circuit & Canon G16*

Lovely day, looks to be good visibiity. We headed to the dry docks swimming all the way. From dock one we swam to dock two, checked out the warbonnet and then headed over to the reef. We swam along the reef to the tie-in back to dock one, and headed back. On the way in we saw dozens of slipper squid mating and laying eggs. Very cool. An awesome 100 minute dive.

Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus

Chemainus Video Chemainus Video 

 
Maple Bay (2019-05-05 10:30) *Open Circuit & Canon 7D*

Phil reported great vis at Maple Bay on Saturday May 4, so we decided to try and repeat the success on Sunday. It was sunny and warm, and the vis was indeed 25ft+ everywhere but the very shallows. It was a bit silty, but good for most photos. Overall a very good dive.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Maple Bay (2019-04-22 10:50) *Open Circuit & Canon 7D*

It was raining and the vis wasn't great, but a dive is a dive. In the end the dive was saved by the appearance of a small ruby octo in the shallows.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Chemainus (2019-04-14 11:15) *Prism Topaz & Canon G16*

Lovely day, decent visibility on the docks, but terrible vis on the reef and in the shallows. Nice overall dive, you could actually see the dry docks and various bottom features during the dive. Decent hooded nudibranchs in the eel grass at the end of the dive but vis so bad that it wasn't worth taking photos.

Chemainus
 
Chemainus (2019-04-07 10:45) *Prism Topaz & Canon G16*

Lovely day, better visibility than last week. Nice overall dive, you could actually see the dry docks and various bottom features during the dive. Excellent hooded nudibranchs in the eel grass at the end of the dive.

Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus \ Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus
 
Chemainus (2019-03-31 9:45) *Prism Topaz & Canon G16*

Lovely day, horrible visibility. Whale snot as far as the eye can see at depth, and that wasn't far - maybe 4 ft max visibility. Basically a night dive on the dry docks - we had to keep looking up and over just to be sure we weren't swimming under the docks as it was so dark.

Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus

Chemainus Video Chemainus Video 

 
Maple Bay (2019-03-16 12:00) *Open Circuit & Canon 7D*

Open circuit dive at Maple Bay today with the big camera. Pretty crappy visibility, and not a lot to see or photograph. Still, good to go diving.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Chemainus (2019-03-10 11:00) *Prism Topaz & Piranna Scooter*

Lovely day, horrible visibility. The herring run is in full force and the visibility shows it. We didn't go to the wall because there would have been nothing to see. We did manage to see a baby ruby octo by one dry dock so the dive had one highlight.

Chemainus Video Chemainus Video 

 
Maple Bay (2019-02-24 12:00) *Open Circuit & Canon G16*

The winds were high at Chemainus (again) this week, so we decided to go to Maple Bay instead. It was calm, but the water was very, very cold. Visibility was OK but not great. Overall a good dive.

Maple Bay Maple Bay Maple Bay
 
Chemainus (2019-02-17 11:00) *Open Circuit, Canon G16 & Piranna Scooter*

A repeat of last week's dive. Again, great fun. Took the camera but not much to see.

Chemainus
 
Chemainus (2019-02-10 11:00) *Prism Topaz, Canon G16 & Piranna Scooter*

A repeat of last week's dive. Again, great fun. Took the camera but not much to see.

 
Chemainus (2019-02-03 11:00) *Prism Topaz & Piranna Scooter*

A repeat of last week's dive. Again, great fun. The long scooter in from the deep wall to the boat ramp is probably the most fun part these days.

Chemainus
 
Chemainus (2019-01-27 10:30) *Prism Topaz & Piranna Scooter*

A repeat of last week's dive. Again, great fun.

Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus Chemainus
 
Chemainus (2019-01-13 11:30) *Prism Topaz & Piranna Scooter*

Another great dive today. Again we explored the farther, deeper wall, then headed in from the end straight to shore. Lots of fun.

 
Chemainus (2019-01-06 10:50) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter*

Great dive on the sunken dry docks and reef today. We explored beyond the end of the small wall and found a larger, deeper wall. Very cool.

Chemainus Chemainus

Chemainus Video Chemainus Video 

 
Chemainus (2019-01-01 10:50) *Open Circuit & Piranna Scooter*

It was a great day for a New Year's dive. The sun was 'almost' out at Chemainus, tides were middle and the ocean was calm. After gearing up, headed out on the scooter to the dry docks. After surveying all four, headed over to the small wall just off #2. After traversing the wall, back to shore for coffe. Overall an excellent dive.

Chemainus Video Chemainus Video 

 

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