North Vancouver Island and surrounding areas diving

Tell us your tale of coming nose-to-nose with a 6 gill [--this big--], or about your vacation to turquoise warm waters. Share your adventures here!
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YellowEye
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North Vancouver Island and surrounding areas diving

Post by YellowEye »

Hi!
Jess and I just got back from a couple epic trips up to the Northern Section of Vancouver Island. We dove with Sun Fun Divers, UB Diving, and Abyssal Charters. Here's a map of the main places we went:
map.png
Not shown on this map, diving in Campbell River with Abyssal Charters. Campbell River is on the east side of VI about half way up the island.

The main purpose of the trips was to dive Nakwakto Rapids and explore some of the further out sites that God's Pocket does not go to. If you haven't heard of Nakwakto Rapids, read up on it! It's a major bucket list dive!

Some links to read up on it and see the currents in action:
https://luxebeatmag.com/liquid-rush-ben ... to-rapids/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsVwqflBJTY
(also search this website)

We chose the best tides of the year for these missions. I'd call it a success! We had 4 dives on Nakwakto, 4 dives near Nakwakto, 2 at the deserters, and several a bit further out from Browning Pass (including fantasy Island and Hunt Rock).

We were able to achieve these dives using the fast small boats that UB diving and Sun Fun have. Brandon Cole our group leader has 35 years diving this area so did most of the planning. (note: Sun Fun is pretty experienced in the area. UB diving is a less experienced operator in that area but they're learning).

Each day we'd make one run out, with 2 dives typically about 6-8 hours apart, waiting for slack. We only did a couple of lesser off slack dives. The drive from Port Hardy to Nakwakto is about 40 miles so you can see it's a full day! Each day we'd come back to Port Hardy or Port McNeill and cook our own meals or go out. The lodging was on our own, so you can see this is a more complex operation than just going to the luxury of God's Pocket.

Sun Fun Diving did all the chartering for the Broughton Arhipelago area. This is right in their back yard. I highly recommend every body check out Sun Fun diving on your way to/from God's Pocket some time. I can't say enough about it. The area is equally good to god's pocket, but different.
Hard corrals at Barry Island
Hard corrals at Barry Island
A sea nettle, at a site ub diving calls gooseneck wall
A sea nettle, at a site ub diving calls gooseneck wall
Some Goosenecks and anemones at gooseneck wall. They're only in the shallows here.
Some Goosenecks and anemones at gooseneck wall. They're only in the shallows here.
Seven tree Island
Seven tree Island
NE Pearse in the Broughton group
NE Pearse in the Broughton group
Several dives in the roughton Group are covered in basket stars
Several dives in the roughton Group are covered in basket stars
The shallows at Browning Wall
The shallows at Browning Wall
Rock of life / butter tart in Browning Pass
Rock of life / butter tart in Browning Pass
China rockfish at fantasy island
China rockfish at fantasy island
McKinnon Point near Nakwakto
McKinnon Point near Nakwakto
McKinnon Point near Nakwakto
McKinnon Point near Nakwakto
Anne's wall, also near Nakwakto
Anne's wall, also near Nakwakto
Fields of gooseneck barnacles at Nakwakto Rapids east side
Fields of gooseneck barnacles at Nakwakto Rapids east side
Nakwakto Rapids West side
Nakwakto Rapids West side
More later!
Last edited by YellowEye on Mon Sep 26, 2022 7:17 am, edited 2 times in total.
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60south
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Re: North Vancouver Island and surrounding areas diving

Post by 60south »

Awesome!
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Jan K
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Re: North Vancouver Island and surrounding areas diving

Post by Jan K »

What a wonderful set of photos from area we know so little about.
Thank you for sharing !
http://JanKocian.smugmug.com

I take photos because I like it, not because I'm good at it. :) by Unknown
Sharkb8
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Re: North Vancouver Island and surrounding areas diving

Post by Sharkb8 »

Epic snaps from some epic diving! Amazing stuff as always. Can't wait for more of them, and for snaps from Jess!!!
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Gdog
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Re: North Vancouver Island and surrounding areas diving

Post by Gdog »

Very cool report, photos are awesome! What a trip!
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Tom Nic
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Re: North Vancouver Island and surrounding areas diving

Post by Tom Nic »

Thank you, thank you for sharing this dream of a lifetime diving trip! Vocabularic Superlatives fail me....

Ah... my heart.
Last edited by Tom Nic on Wed Sep 28, 2022 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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brandoncole
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Re: North Vancouver Island and surrounding areas diving

Post by brandoncole »

Stunning images, Sebastes ruberrimus! I wish we were still up there diving...

I'll seriously consider repeating in 2024.
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ScubaJess
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Re: North Vancouver Island and surrounding areas diving

Post by ScubaJess »

Hello Everyone,
Happy Thanksgiving Eve!
I finally have some time to upload some snaps from our crazy amazing adventures up north!

Nakwato Rapids aka Tremble Island is the island of dreams! It's so beautiful, fascinating and slightly terrifying 😂

Here are some of my snaps from Port Hardy and Port McNeil BC. It was so much fun diving with Brandon and Melissa Cole 💖💖💖 and the 3 Irish lord's and we made so many new friends! Both boats we went on were fantastic! I can't wait to go back! 🤩🤿

Have a fun and safe Holiday Season!

PS Fantastic snaps YE! It was so much fun diving with you!
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Moody brooding anemone family at butter tart
Moody brooding anemone family at butter tart
Dive flag painted top snail with eggs
Dive flag painted top snail with eggs
Red Lipped Barnacles at Nakwato Rapids BC
Red Lipped Barnacles at Nakwato Rapids BC
Cute crab exploring Browning Wall
Cute crab exploring Browning Wall
Underwater fireworks show at Port McNeil BC
Underwater fireworks show at Port McNeil BC
I love China rockfish!
I love China rockfish!
I had fun watching Brandon Cole take pics of this cool Nudibranch. It was so delightful diving with him and Melissa. They are true Dive legends!
I had fun watching Brandon Cole take pics of this cool Nudibranch. It was so delightful diving with him and Melissa. They are true Dive legends!
Red gunnel at Port McNeil BC
Red gunnel at Port McNeil BC
My favorite hermit crab! Isn't he so CUTE! Ann's Wall Near Nakwato Rapids BC
My favorite hermit crab! Isn't he so CUTE! Ann's Wall Near Nakwato Rapids BC
Pomegranate Nudibranch enjoying the delicious raspberry hydroids at Port McNeil BC
Pomegranate Nudibranch enjoying the delicious raspberry hydroids at Port McNeil BC
Port McNeil is so pretty
Port McNeil is so pretty
Red Lipped Barnacles closeup aka alien mouth
Red Lipped Barnacles closeup aka alien mouth
Live Long And Prosper!!!

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Jan K
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Re: North Vancouver Island and surrounding areas diving

Post by Jan K »

wonderful images ScubaJess ! :supz: :notworthy:
http://JanKocian.smugmug.com

I take photos because I like it, not because I'm good at it. :) by Unknown
Sharkb8
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Re: North Vancouver Island and surrounding areas diving

Post by Sharkb8 »

Beautiful photos Jess!!! Thanks for sharing :norris: :brute: :mermaid: :spatman: :luv:
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