Another year, and another yearly trip with Liz Tribe Diving to visit the precarious trio & pets that operate Rendezvous Dive Adventures out in Barkley Sound, BC. (Yes, I’m counting SAM in the numbers, rather than the pets. Sorry kitties!)
This trip had less drama coming over than the easter trip, where I forgot about the whole island bound easter ferry traffic!
Starting the journey in Victoria this time was nicer, although the Malhat Goldstream section started construction, which put a little halt on things at the start of the trip, but a quick stop in Port Alberni to grab some dinner (Subways finest), and a stock up of wobbly pops.
Quickly I loaded into Peters Cadillac of a dive vessel and awaited our other compadres. Everyone was in high spirits, especially when the kegs (yup, KEGS) of beer showed up!
The usual Meet & Greet and Orientation lead us to getting prepared for diving early in the morning. Dinner, drinks, laughter, setting up many cameras and batteries and much needed sleep.
Breakfasts (and all meals) are brilliantly prepared by none other, Master Chef Kathy. Fresh warm muffins, jellies, eggs, BACON, toast, juice coffee and teas.
We dropped into the diving schedule
1.1 Renete Reef
1.2 Dip Lock
1.3 Tyler Rock
2.1 Chup Point
2.2 Settle Island Wall
The viability throughout the weekend wasn’t the greatest overall, but still manageable at around 6m on average. There were lots of cool big boulders with nooks and crannies, loaded with Rock Fish on this site.
As we finished the dive, kind of where we started (or at least I thought), we sent up a blob as we couldn’t find the anchor line itself. This all went fine, although, I felt the blob hit something on the way up …. turns out I hit the anchor chain!
We were the only group to ascend to the boat, everyone else had to swim.
This a great pinnacle that goes fairly deep. Bring a lift bag and make some money recovering some big fishing lead …. 15lbers!
We did a circuit looking for some 6 Gil sharks. Couldn’t find any, but did a figure eight of the pinnacle.
Some cool things to see was a Chimera, that was really interested in my video rig. Like really interested. It was ‘attacking’ my right light and checking out the blinking lights intently. After turning around from that particular location, we found a few egg sacks on the sea floor ….
As we started to hit our min gas, we started to ascend, but at the last second, low and behold. THE ANCHOR!
After a lunch and tank fill, we headed out to Tyler Rock. At this point, we made everything a live dive for simplicity.
Tyler rock was fun. I managed to get on it this time!
Managed to see some more rockfish that I haven’t seen before (Tiger), as well as another curious Chimera. Both were males, but this one wasn’t as interested to the point of charging my lights or camera. How boring ……
Peter picked us up quickly and swiftly, only shouting many obscenities over the loudspeaker as he could at us in the very short friendly time frame.
Another evening of fantastic food, this time Pork tenderloin. Perhaps the best pork tenderloin in the world …. As Kathy made us eat everything on the table, AND THEN, out came desserts!
I was quick to find a couch to my self to sleep off a short food coma, then the rest of the evening passed quickly, and then diving comas ensued.
The next morning, last day breakfast is a little more continental, but just as scrumptious, with another pair of fantastic dives closer to the compound at Chup Point and Seddle Island. We found a fantastic shallow area at Chup with massive colonies of Plumous Anenomies, and juvenile Rock Fish.
But before breakfast even started, we were treated to some local inhabitants on the rock, a nice black bear!
We splashed in at seddle, we went back and forth along the wall, finding Decorated Warbonnets and juvenile Wolf Eels. Up until this day, I’ve never noticed a warbonnet, and even found quite a few myself!
Back to the ranch, clean up all of our messes and back aboard for the trip back to port with a very tasty soup and sandwich, along with a big container of COOKIES. I don’t think any of us made it back without having a good snooze.
We normally do a ‘rinse’ dive at Cameron Lake on the way back towards Coombs after a weekend out at Rendezvous, but with the rainy weather that came in that day, none of us wanted to get wet to go diving.
I headed back to Grannies for Sunday dinner, spent the night and headed back to work first thing in the morning across the mountains.
261 minutes of Bottom Time
8000L of breathing gas
11C at depth
Too many laughs …….
Till next time,