the scuba zone - west coast diving 2015
West Coast Diving - Quadra Island - April 2015

I spent three days diving with Bill Coltart of Pacific Pro Dive & Marine Adventures from April 6-8, 2015 with Greg Mossfeldt, T.L. Kokot, Steve Aaen and Bill O'Brien. Bill's boat is the Ata'tude, a 30ft. aluminum costal cruiser that is simply superb! We dove the walls around Quadra Island for most of the three days, but with one very nice trip to Lund, B.C. to dive the wreck of the M.V. Gulfstream. While at Lund we partook of the baked goods at Nancy's Bakery before heading back for a final dive at Quadra.

I took my Prism Topaz rebreather with me as well as two bailout bottles (a 40 with 50% and an 80 with 21/35). I dove the Prism on all the dives and had a great time, especially on the deep wreck of the M.V. Gulf Stream.

Copper Cliffs (2015-04-06)

Day one, and I had just arrived on Quadra Island by ferry from Campbell River to discover that we were meeting at Bill's boat on the dock in about 10 minutes. I quickly stowed my land gear, got into my drysuit and with T.L.'s help got the dive gear down to the dock. Once the gear was stowed on the boat we were off. It was warm and sunny, but due to the fast currents we went to Copper Cliffs to do a mild current dive on the wall.

Quadra Island never disappoints. On the west coast, where there is current, there is an abundance of life. At copper cliffs there was an abundance of Pugeot Sound King crabs on the wall, as well as huge barnacles feeding. Just an awesome dive.

Copper Cliffs Copper Cliffs Copper Cliffs Copper Cliffs Copper Cliffs Copper Cliffs Copper Cliffs

Copper Cliffs Video Copper Cliffs Video 

Row and Be Damned (2015-04-06)

After a decent surface interval, we headed to Row and Be Damned, a moderate current dive much of the time. Today did not disappoint. The current never really dropped off, and as soon as we descended we were off on a wild ride! At about half the normal dive time, a large upwelling in the current swept two of us to the surface. It was so tiring trying to keep off the sea urchins while ripping along that we were tired and decided to get back on the boat.

Dives like this are really better suited to single tank diving, both due to the shortness of the dive (due to currents) and the ease with which open circuit can adapt to quickly changing depths. Maybe next trip...

Row and Be Damned
April Point (2015-04-07)

Day two, after a great night's sleep in the Whiskey Point Lodge, we had breakfast and prepared the gear for the day's diving. Bill picked us up at the dock at 10am, and we headed to April Point. Unlike yesterday's second dive, this was a very gentle current with tons of life on the wall. I found trumpet sponges, lots of anenomes, a very interesting sponge that looked like brain folds, and... a wolf eel! The wolf eel was peeking out of a very tiny hole in the rocks, and an anenome over the hole looked much like a little white cap on his head. Again, a very awesome dive.

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April Point Video April Point Video 

Steep Island (2015-04-07)

After a nice surface interval just watching the great scenery from the boat, we geared up for our second dive. Again, the wall was full of life. Near the start of the dive, near 90fsw, there was a large cavern surrounded by an abundance of tube worms. Later, floating along the wall I spotted a small octopus in a little crevass. I also saw many more Pugeot Sound King Crabs. Another awesome dive.

Steep Island Steep Island Steep Island Steep Island Steep Island
Lund B.C. (Dinner Rock) - Wreck of the M.V. Gulf Stream (2015-04-08)

Today was something special. After another great night at the Whiskey Point Lodge and a good breakfast, we boarded the boat and headed to the mainland near Powell River - specifically Dinner Rock near Lund, B.C. and the wreck of the M.V. Gulf Stream. It's about and hours travel, but Bill's boat makes the trip in comfort and style.

The M.V. Gulf Stream is a passenger ship that ran aground on Dinner Rock in 1947. Of the 36 passengers, 5 were killed. The ship lays on it's side about 50ft from shore (Dinner Rock). The wreck lies in 120 feet of water at the buoy near the stern, and 160 feet at the bow. The wooden deck has decayed and the contents of the ship have spilled out on the ocean floor. From the deep side, you can look inside the ship and see the beams. The ship is now home to a wide variety of life, from Pugeot Sound King crabs to 3 and 4 foot lingcod. It is a very, very cool dive.

Once we arrived at Dinner Rock, we moored to the buoy, geared up and splashed. We descended to the "pipe" where the line is tied on the wreck, and there a plaque has been set in concrete outlining the history of the wreck. We toured the wreck several times, taking photos and video. My camera was acting up due to the depth (the on/off button stuck) so I was limited in what I could take for pictures. However, it was a most amazing dive. Once we toured the wreck a few times (and wracked up a bit of decompression obligation), we headed over to the wall and gradually worked our way up and to the right as we cleared our deco. An awesome dive.

M.V. Gulf Stream M.V. Gulf Stream M.V. Gulf Stream M.V. Gulf Stream M.V. Gulf Stream M.V. Gulf Stream Returning from Lund

M.V. Gulf Stream Video M.V. Gulf Stream Video 

Whiskey Point (2015-04-08)

After the M.V. Gulf Stream, we headed in to Lund to have lunch at Nancy's Bakery. It was delightful. Afterward, we boarded the boat and headed back to Quadra Island for our final dive at Whiskey Point.

This too turned out to be quite the current ride, but as we were more prepared for it today we all rode the current without incident and had a great time. Near the start at depth, Bill and Steve found a small octopus which was great to see. It was another wonderful dive.

Whiskey Point Whiskey Point Whiskey Point Whiskey Point Whiskey Point Whiskey Point Whiskey Point

Whiskey Point Video Whiskey Point Video 


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