A Howe Sound Weekend

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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A Howe Sound Weekend

Post by YellowEye » Tue Nov 12, 2019 7:34 am

ScubaJess, SM, VJW and I went up to Howe Sound, just north of Vancouver for the weekend. If you haven't been there, it is an absolutely beautiful fjord, which has an amazingly remote feel considering it is so close to the Vancouver Metro area. If you've ever drove up to Whistler, you'd have passed it on your left. Mountains tower up right against the sea.

We dove thru Sea Dragon Charters on the Topline. We met up with Steve T and Maz, two of the better UW photographers in the Vancouver area. We also got to dive with our friend and photographer Jennifer T from WA and met a bunch of other nice people on the boat.

Not a lot of current passes thru the area. Diving is on dusty rocks and along dramatic walls. If you've dove WhiteCliff/Kelvin, it's variations on that theme. We didn't see tons of invertebrates or colors as say Quadra Island, or even Keystone, but there was some cool stuff.

I'm not usually a depth junky but part of the highlight of those dives was going down and looking at the boot sponges + quillback rockfish on the massive walls -- so alien like and different than our usual diving. The best place to find critters was on the cloud sponges at Hackett. Another highlight was swimming amongst huge schools of yellow tails and shiners on some of the walls.

It was amazing how in some places brittle stars absolutely covered everything...

Viz was great at depth, a bit murky in the shallows

Overall, a very fun adventure! Food/beer after at the nearby Troller's Pub.
Squat lobsters, grunt sculpins, shrimp, and one warbonnet were found inhabiting the sponges at Hackett Wall.
Brittle stars galore
A grunt on eggs
This is about as dense as the life gets there
SM found this octo
Cool alien-like salps
Hope you all had a great weekend!

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Re: A Howe Sound Weekend

Post by Sharkb8 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 4:48 pm

Glad you guys had fun! Hopefully Jess got her fill of squat lobsters. What other sites did you guys dive? Halkett Wall has cool topography for sure but is pretty meh for critters. The sites around Bowyer Island and all the cloud sponge sites are a lot more interesting.

Jen T on the boat also?! Who would have ever thought...? :rofl: (She is ALWAYS there when I head up!)
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Re: A Howe Sound Weekend

Post by YellowEye » Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:17 pm

Ha! Jen T. Yes! And Steve on a Saturday??? OMG!

I don't remember the name of the other sites. One was by a short light house, not sure if we hit Bowyer. They were all pretty bare.

By the way, we hit the Train Wreck Bar that you recommended up in Burlington on the way up there. Thanks for the recommendation, it was very good. And wow, their fireball whiskey pumpkin pie!!! Yum! We'll hit that place for sure when we hit the Anacortes/DP area in the future.

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Re: A Howe Sound Weekend

Post by ScubaJess » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:28 pm

Fantastic report YE! :notworthy: :partydance: :taco:
I had so much fun & delicious pumpkin pie over the weekend!

Thanks to Ross (SharkB8) for the heads-up about the cool dive bar called Train Wreck in Burlington. We stopped there for dinner on the way up and tried the fireball pumpkin pie! :luv: it was amazing! Then in Vancouver on the way to the dive boat we stopped at a super cute pie shop & bakery both days called Savary Island Pie Company. I highly recommend it! :joshsmith:

As for the diving... It was beautiful, fantastic viz and topside was stunning. I just wish there was a bit more life below the surface. The squat lobsters and rockfish were really nice & I was happy to see so many sea stars!

We had so many friends on the boat and made a bunch of new ones! I love Canada!!! :)
Here are a few of my snaps. :eric: :popcorn: :taco: :partyman: :partydance:
Collage 2019-11-12 08_35_31.jpg
Cute topsnail
Collage 2019-11-12 08_36_12~2.jpg
Was nice to see a zoanthid forest
Collage 2019-11-12 08_34_34~2.jpg
Baby sea star
Collage 2019-11-12 08_33_32~2.jpg
Some kind of cup coral
Collage 2019-11-12 08_32_52~2.jpg
Brittle stars were all over the place
Live Long And Prosper!!!

Stay Warm underwater with the Weezle Extreme Plus undergarment! Please let me know if you would like to order one or have any questions. :luv: :partydance: :eric: :taco:

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Re: A Howe Sound Weekend

Post by Vjw » Wed Nov 13, 2019 2:23 pm

Searching for little critters in the beautiful sponges was fun, and seeing the hundreds of moving brittle stars was really cool! Nice find on the grunt sculpin on eggs. Saw some grunts but missed the one on eggs. Got a new camera and housing set up and had fun and frustration with it for the first time! Feeling so thankful to get to dive with you guys and meet new divers too! :joshsmith:

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