After the sale of God's Pocket Resort last year, the new ownership group had to wait for more than three months to get their permit approved. By the time the red tape unraveled, a couple hundred thousand dollars in deposits were returned. Those of us who left our deposits were finally rewarded with the best vacation of our lives. The new crew worked tirelessly to ensure we were comfortable, overfed and somehow kept Browning Pass as smooth as glass.
The new management group, Claus Eckbo, Antione Moret and Yolaine Cabana have worked hard over the winter to get the resort up and running. Yolaine serves as maid/dining room service/resort manager. Chris Miller is the deck boss on the boat while his wife Belinda somehow makes incredible meals for a dozen divers and staff in the small kitchen. B is not only the best chef we have had at God's Pocket but her deserts ruined my diet. Chris and B also worked on the Nautilus Swell in the same capacity. Captain Dan Kannon worked with Chris and Belinda on their liveaboard Sea Venture three decades ago. He has a 300T license and has captained cruise ships and 80-meter yachts around the world. He now runs the Hurst Isle masterfully, dropping us in the right spots at the right times. Thanks to Dan, I finally saw my first Grunt Sculpin early in one dive. Naturally, I had the wrong lens on my camera. Merry had better luck.
Our first week was shared with many Southern California photographers including Phill Colla, Richard Salas, Ken Ashman, Jami Leslie, and Marla Matin. Merry and I were feeling a bit intimidated when we saw the list, but we held our own. I'm still jealous of Merry's Grunt Sculpin photos.
With the great food, flat seas and wonderful crew, we wish we could stay all year. There are many weeks still available for those who wish to see not only the best cold water diving in the world but in my not so humble opinion, the best diving period. Bill and Annie left some big shoes to fill when they retired last year, but it will not be long before divers relate their tales of their days at God's Pocket with the new group. They all have many years of experience diving the area. We even dived a few sites that we had never been to during our previous trips.
We had lake-like conditions for most of our two week stay
At Fantasy Island, current kept me from reaching the wolf eels, but this GPO provided a treat insteadEpigamia magna
Springtime in Browning Pass brought lots of spawning. Anemones, snails, sea cucumbers, lingcod, and nudibranchs were spewing out the next generation.Metridium farcimen
, Plumose anemoneCalliostoma ligatum
, Blue topsnail
Sea cucumber eggs floated past like little antihistamine capsulesOnchidoris bilamellataDendronotus albusArmina californicaGorgonocephalus eucnemisLimacia cockerelliHermissenda crassicornisAcanthodoris nanaimoensis
Dan, Yolaine, Belinda, and Chris