Well, last year, it seemed everyone that I met, or talked to, was heading off to Hornby Island Diving for an unforgettable experience with the seasonal locals just moments from their dock and dive resort!
After seeing some phenomenal photos and video from others trips, I decided to join my friend Jody’s trip. I’m pretty sure I was the first to just outright pay for the trip at the first chance, rather than over payments throughout the year. I was going to go!
Leading up, one of the main reasons for acquiring Sputnik-N was solely for this trip, to have a great wide angle lens on a real camera to do some real video!
Sadly, it was still back at it’s homeland of Montreal when I left for the trip 🙁
So, out come my GoPro Hero4 Blacks to the rescue! I had quite a few parts left over from sending the housing away to make up some arms for mounting a rear facing camera high above me, as well as mounting some Sola 4000 video lights onto my tray.
Another obstacle that posed a large problem was the weather. The weekend before, and the entire week unto the trip, there were large snow falls and windstorms plaguing most of the PNW, reaching into Alberta and throughout the Prairies. With still having the SUV beast out of commission, the rental van that I have isn’t close to being up to snuff for winter mountain pass driving, even on the best days. So I decided at the last minute to fly from Calgary out to Nanaimo and hitchhike up the highway to the ferries.
A quick shout out to others in our party lead to a ride, as well as our awesome local GUE community was able to source tanks and weights with very little issue!
After arriving in a very bumpy flight on the latest version of a DASH-8 jet, I was greeted to large amounts of wet, bright white snow, wet ground, grey covered skies and falling rain. Typical (aside from the snow) island weather for the time of the year.
Bobby and Jennifer were great to accommodate my last minute request of a place to sit and a spot for my luggage …. a large roller with my exposure suit, backplate and fins (running 3 lbs under the limit), a small roller with the cameras and regulators, and my backpack with some clothes for the weekend, and a set of steel 12L.
We had a fun drive up the island, chatting about cadavers, medical procedures, pulling the plug and other stories to make anyone squeemish. Followed by a few short ferry crossings and island roads to get to our final destination … Hornby Island Diving.
There was always a rumour going around with the previous group ahead of us that we might be cancelled. The roads were nearly impassible, power was out more times than not, and all the snow. But luckily, someone was nice to us, the roads were ploughed free of snow, and all the fallen trees were moved to the sides and cut up. Power was restored, so the small but mighty generator could take a rest, and paths were clear around the docks and resort!
Our group was fairly small (everyone had their own room), but beastly. Ranging from all kinds of divers, singles, doubles, rebreathers, photogs, vidiots and curious gawkers.
A scrumptious dinner and some evening chats, we were bushed from all the travel and excitement getting here, we retired for the evening…. dreaming of all the adventures we may have over the next few days of diving …….