Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

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ScubaJess
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Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by ScubaJess » Fri Aug 30, 2019 1:10 pm

Hello Awesome NWDC Peeps,

Happy Friday!
I just got back from another epic scuba Away Mission on Vancouver Island last weekend! The diving is just so beautiful up there! :luv: Amazing visibility and tons of life! I'd love to move to the island someday.

Thanks to my amazing landing party: YellowEye, Vjw, StephenMartin, Sharkb8, Matt & Nirupam for the company! I had the best time with you guys! :luv: :partyman: :pirate: :taco:

We beamed aboard the Rockfish Divers vessel and began our 2 day mission to explore strange new reefs, to seek out new life & new sea creatures, to boldly go where no divers have gone before. It was fantastic, we also got to see orcas, a humpback whale, bald eagles, adorable seals & sea lions. The crew of Rockfish were so nice & helpful. I can't wait to go back.

Dive sites:
Swordfish Island (The cave of wonder) :)
race rocks x 2
Saanich inlet (Got to watch the Butchart Gardens, fireworks show on way in from the night dive)
Bentinck Island

Here are some of my snaps :popcorn: .
I hope you'll have a great weekend!
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Blue Proliferating Anemone
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Was soooo excited to see blue sea creatures
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Happy Pygmy Crab eating lunch
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Candy Stripe Shrimp!!!
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Fish eating anemones
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Red Irish Lord eye
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Cotton candy Anemones fireworks show at Race Rocks
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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YellowEye
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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by YellowEye » Fri Aug 30, 2019 3:36 pm

Wow! What a great weekend!

SJ and I started the weekend with a dive Friday morning at Deception Pass. Slack was quite a bit earlier than the new NOAA tables were indicating so that was an interesting find in those new tables. But the diving was great. From Deception, we to the Anacortes->Sydney ferry, which brought us in close to Victoria. That night, Nirupam and I did a night dive at 10 mile point. A great current-sensitive shore dive near victoria. It's much like a san juan dive with lots of color. We saw two decorated warbonnets.

Diving on Sat/Sunday was with Rockfish Charters. Great crew. The dive boat was the old skiff they used to use on Nautilus Explorer and Nautilus swell. It's a spacious, fast boat -- without a lot of facilities. It got us to our destinations fast and in comfort.

The first boat dive was at Swordfish Island. This is a fun dive with a nice 20-yard cave-like swim thru at the beginning. The swim thru is covered with life including red soft corral that you normally only see up in Port Hardy! Jess and I spent the first 30+ minutes of the dive hanging out in this swim thru. It was great, but we shouldn't have stayed! StphnMartin had found a huge beautiful photo-friendly octo out on the reef. Nirupam took like 500 pictures of it and got some great shots!

Next we did Race Rocks. This is an open-ocean, very current sensitive dive. It is covered with proliferating anemones of eye-popping colors, basket stars, red soft corrals, club tunicates, sponges and so much more. Parts of it are absolutely beautiful!

For the third boat dive we did in the Saanich Inlet for a night dive. This area is protected from the wind and is known for cloud sponges and boot sponges. Viz was quite poor. We saw a few cool creates like hoody nudis, juvi yellow eye and sea spiders. But it was nothing compared to our other dives. We got to see the fireworks at Butchart gardens from the marina at the end of our dive.

On Sunday we dove another west shore dive, as well as Race Rocks again!

Great Weekend! I want to go back again, maybe longer next time!!
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Some fish eating anemones in the kelp beds from the west shores of Victoria
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Egg Yolk Jelly
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A view of the Swordfish Island swim thru
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Race Rocks
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A scene from Deception Pass from Friday morning

Sharkb8
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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by Sharkb8 » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:32 pm

What an amazing weekend!!! I still can't believe I was lucky enough to join in :luv: You guys were all so much fun to dive and hang out with. I can't wait to get back up there and spend more time exploring.

I picked up a new Olympus TG6 camera days before the trip, and other then taking a couple random pictures laying in bed the night before to figure out what button did what, it was all huck and pray type photographing on my end. Luckily the camera doesn't have manual mode so I couldn't get too confused.

While Jess and Erik were having some private time in the swim through at Swordfish :rofl: the rest of us were playing with octos, king crab and candy stripe shrimp galore. Lucky for Jess there were candies on every dive so I think she wasn't too bummed to miss them.

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The big octopus that Nirupam spent the entire dive with.

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Smaller pskc hiding behind some anemones.

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Race Rocks was brain overload. So many colors and invertebrates covering everything. I could have stayed in the first bowl looking at the pretty anemones and basket stars but Matt wanted vertical, so we fought the current for a bit and found some wall. I couldn't process it all. Luckily we got low on air before my head exploded so we headed up.

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Basket star on some insane cold water biodiversity

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Anemone carpets in the first bowl

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This is real life.

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Sea strawberries.

After the great times, Matt and I were shunned from the group for the evening :neener: , so we went up to Henderson Point in Saanich inlet for an easy shore dive. We had the same bad vis and the site was pretty boring, but it was free and and I got more practice with the new camera.

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I'll post some more pictures from day 2 and our day 3 shore dive at Ogden Point next week. It's the weekend and I'm tired!
Last edited by Sharkb8 on Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
Party underwater

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Gdog
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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by Gdog » Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:55 am

Wow! fantastic report and pics! You guys killed it!

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SCUBARM79
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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by SCUBARM79 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:25 am

I wish my above water photos would look this cool! :notworthy:

Thanks for the visual adventure. I hope to be worthy to join some time.

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oldsalt
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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by oldsalt » Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:16 pm

Wow. I admire your work. In my half century of diving, I never produced pictures like yours. Race rocks stands out in my memory with the lighthouse, elephant seals, and currents. You did well to manage it. Thank you from an old man.
-Curt :rawlings:
Happy to be alive.

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YellowEye
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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by YellowEye » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:15 pm

SCUBARM79 wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 11:25 am
I wish my above water photos would look this cool! :notworthy:

Thanks for the visual adventure. I hope to be worthy to join some time.

Glad you like the photos. You're welcome to join us at a ThThTh anytime. Oftentimes, we plan dives like this on Thursdays!

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YellowEye
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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by YellowEye » Sat Aug 31, 2019 10:17 pm

oldsalt wrote:
Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:16 pm
Wow. I admire your work. In my half century of diving, I never produced pictures like yours. Race rocks stands out in my memory with the lighthouse, elephant seals, and currents. You did well to manage it. Thank you from an old man.
-Curt :rawlings:
Thanks Curt. Photos and cameras keep getting better. We definitely learned a lot from the techniques, explorations and photos from the decades past! Thanks to your earlier efforts!

The area certainly is beautiful. Elephant seals??? Wow, didn't see any of those, will have to look closer next time!

You should come by a ThThTh some time, even if not diving! Food and beer and sea stories after!

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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by Vjw » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:33 am

:joshsmith: I’m late to the party! Great trip report! From little to big creatures, race rocks dazzled!! Love all of your shots guys, especially the blue anemone, Scuba Jess!! Here’s a few screen shots I got. Nirupam needs to post his octo out in the open photos!!
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njnigam
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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by njnigam » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:32 am

Late as well :) Well, I guess this is my first trip report. Ten mile point was great! I loved the site. I managed to get one nice warbonnet photo with my old camera - which I hadn't shot in over six months. I've been enjoying my new camera too much, so I switch back for the rest of the weekend.

Anyway, as mentioned, an octo came out to play, and just stuck with me for about an hour :) It didn't seem to have any intention of leaving either, when I had to leave due to air constraints. To top it off, there was a humpback about a hundred yards away as soon as I surfaced :D I was still getting used to my new camera, but I managed to get some awesome angles of the Octopus. We had an interesting rhythm going. I would swim a few meters back and it would approach until it started touching my camera, and then we'd repeat this over and over.

Race rocks proper was super fun. We found a really pretty red irish lord in the first bowl but the highlight was definitely the proliferating anemones in the shallows. So I went back up to the shallows for the last half hour of the dive to enjoy the kelp and experiment with the anemones.

After race rocks I went up to Nanoose bay and did some shore diving with some Canadian friends from the Duncan dive club.
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njnigam
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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by njnigam » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:36 am

Some of my favorite shots are having trouble attaching unfortunately :/ For the full octopus series, you can see it here:

https://www.photosfromthesea.com/post/octopus-angles

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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by Spanky » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:58 am

njnigam wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:32 am
Anyway, as mentioned, an octo came out to play, and just stuck with me for about an hour :) It didn't seem to have any intention of leaving either, when I had to leave due to air constraints.
Dude, really great photos. The GPO photos are wonderful (I especially like that first one in the post below and the first one in your linked post). But the winner, IMHO, is the nudie on the slug. That is money!

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by Scubie Doo » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:16 pm

njnigam wrote:Some of my favorite shots are having trouble attaching unfortunately :/ For the full octopus series, you can see it here:

https://www.photosfromthesea.com/post/octopus-angles
Nice shots, the the full octopus series. What lens did you use for these shots?


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njnigam
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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by njnigam » Sun Sep 08, 2019 8:53 pm

Thanks! I shot all of these with the nikon z6 and nikon 8-15mm circular fisheye

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Scubie Doo
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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by Scubie Doo » Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:18 pm

njnigam wrote:Thanks! I shot all of these with the nikon z6 and nikon 8-15mm circular fisheye

Great lens and great shots.


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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by Sharkb8 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:51 pm

Last few photos from day two at Race Rocks

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We also dove the Ogden Point breakwater on Monday morning.

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YellowEye
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Re: Victoria, BC Race Rocks Away Mission

Post by YellowEye » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:38 pm

Nice pics Ross!!!!!!

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