God's Pocket, British Columbia, Part I. The Magic Continues.

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Posted by Merry on October 03, 2016 at 20:01:48:

This August, we made our 2nd trip to God's Pocket, which was actually our 3rd trip of diving in the bountiful waters off Vancouver Island. The marine life is unparalleled, mysterious and wild, and the dive sites are pristine. Something about diving here takes hold of your heart and soul, leaving one wanting to return again and again.

 photo 0.0 Hurst Isl amp Port Hardy_zpsnrdmrc1p.jpg

 photo 0.0 Gods Pocket google_zpsyafqh0ft.jpg

 photo 0.0 Panorama blue_DSC0081_zps1j4sm1wx.jpg

Our fun group.
 photo 0.01 Dive Buddies_DSC0150_zpsczvhubd1.jpg

Kevin Lee (diverkevin.com) took the plunge with us.
 photo 0.1 Kevin amp Phil_DSC0118_zpspr7by3wx.jpg

One of the nice things about the dive boat is what Richard Salas calls the "Billevator". Captain Bill Weeks designed this hydraulic elevator that swiftly and neatly lifts divers out of the water, fins and all. Here's Kevin on the elevator with camera clipped off.

 photo 0.2 Kevin elevator_DSC0078_zpsgycqxpn5.jpg

Diver Aaron Briemer
 photo 0.3 Aaron_DSC0105_zps5z2geaiq.jpg

Toronto couple, Cindy and Rick Rogers. This was Rick's 500th dive, so people clipped off various items to his tank without his knowing (a Canadian custom perhaps). Being a good sport, Rick posed with one of the decorations.
 photo 0.4 Cindy amp Rick 500_DSC0139_zpsxzxr0whw.jpg

Cheryl Smith and Jon Rix (http://www.fathomthis.ca) are veterans of God's Pocket and Browning Pass. They've been diving here for the majority of 20+ years.
 photo 0.5 Cheryl and Jon_DSC0073_zpsiakmgrtb.jpg

Diver Tom Rynalski. We're sorry that Tom's peppy wife, Cindy, wasn't diving on this trip.
 photo 0.6 Tom _DSC0107_zpssso6ikdn.jpg

Intern Amy, Captain Bill, wife Annie Ceschi, and Chef Chris were incredible hosts.
 photo 0.7 Amy-Bill-Annie-Chef Chris_DSC0154_zpsyhobaaeq.jpg

One other amiable couple at the resort, Sheryl and Russel Crow(e). Here's Russel.
 photo 0.8 Cindy amp Russel Crow _DSC0062_zpsfeyhmuzs.jpg

7-Tree Island. A magnificent wall dive on one side, with a shallow pebble and shell bottom on the other.
 photo 0.9_DSC0133 great close 7-tree_zpspx5wfuoc.jpg

Rock greenling. I won't rest until I find this fish again.
 photo 1. Rock greenling 2 DSC_5938_zpsn1qv4lh7.jpg

 photo 2.Rock greenling2 DSC_5940_zpsqnqevwid.jpg

Humongous wolf eel from Fantasy Island
 photo 3. Wolf eel DSC_5585_zps8ivrnku5.jpg

 photo 4. Wolf eel minus green DSC_5592_zpsett90s6d.jpg

Penpoint gunnel
 photo 5. Penpoint gunnel DSC_6035_zpsmofqywll.jpg

 photo 6. Penpoint gunnel DSC_6047_zpsl6ktpcdd.jpg

Scalyhead sculpin
 photo 7. Scalyhead Sculpin adjusted DSC_5641_zpsx5fzllxn.jpg

 photo 8. Sculpin DSC_5492_zpsjcp9zgvt.jpg

 photo 9. Sculpin 2 DSC_6167_zpsbf4cyp7i.jpg

Yes, this is a fish! Buffalo sculpin.
 photo 10. Buffalo sculpin dk DSC_6329_zpsori3odmj.jpg

 photo 11. Buffalo sculpin side cr DSC_6331_zpsykvj3iyn.jpg

Grunt sculpin. Quoting Dr. Milton Love, "A small cold-water and solitary fish that, with the possible exception of the Pacific spiny lumpsucker, is the cutest fish on the west coast."
 photo 12. Grunt sculpin DSC_5651_zpsxhsg0pdz.jpg

 photo 13. Grunt sculpin DSC_5654_zpskfih6rgx.jpg

 photo 14. Grunt sculpin face darker DSC_5655_zpsqktunzts.jpg

Roughback sculpin
 photo 15. Roughback sculpin DSC_5959_zpsxokd3mcm.jpg

Quillback rockfish
 photo 16. Quillback rockfish DSC_5589_zps4aeqw3oj.jpg

Red Irish Lord that changed color to match the brown and maroon background.
 photo 17. Red Irish Lord 1 DSC_5616_zpsojpvwgei.jpg

Spotted ratfish. I also won't rest until I get another shot at this unique fish.
 photo 18. Spotted ratfish dr DSC_5985_zpsqptsjrlh.jpg

Browning Wall, Northwest Passage Wall, Hussar Point, Buttertart Reef, Ruth's Rock, Landslide, R&B. At all these dive sites marine life is crowded, so much so that there is ongoing competition for space, not nutrients. For example, in this frame there are:
3 species of nudi
3 species of sponge
soft coral
plumose anemones
sea spiders
basket star

 photo 19. How crowded is it DSC_5643_zpsy9pnnoth.jpg

 photo 20. Pretty tunicate amp anemones DSC_6016_zpsbkiwpuua.jpg

Geitodoris heathi feeding on sulphur sponge.
 photo 21. Geitodoris heathi gills DSC_5528_zpseyg98vke.jpg

Rough scallop sponge
 photo 22. Bumpy pectin sponge 2 amp barnacles DSC_6006_zpsfzlupgx5.jpg

Smooth scallop sponge (left) and rough scallop sponge (right)
 photo 23. Two scallops 2 DSC_6001_zpsfvi7xayw.jpg

 photo 24. Scallop DSC_6136_zpsndqehtpj.jpg

 photo 25. Scallop DSC_6134_zps6xhlyhyf.jpg

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