Annual God's Pocket Early Report

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Posted by Max Bottomtime on May 02, 2018 at 16:13:00:

Merry and I travel to British Columbia each Summer to dive in the beautiful Browning Pass. During the past two trips the plankton bloom got progressively heavier. Merry suggested we try for an April trip when conditions might be better. Was she ever right! Visibility was over sixty feet at most sites. Even the bay at God’s Pocket was incredibly clear. I was able to convince the others in our group to forego an afternoon boat dive so we could make a rare daytime dip in the bay. It was amazing to be able to see the layout of the bottom bathed in sunlight. We made a couple of night dives as well and enjoyed knowing where we were during the dive. We were having such a great time when Richard Salas, our group organizer said there were two spots open for the following week. Quickly doing the math we jumped at the chance to stay at God’s Pocket for another week without having to fly and haul gear.

Our first week was cold and rainy but incredibly clear underwater. Water temperatures ranged from 46° to 48°. The Sun came out for week two, warming our bodies but bringing in plankton and a soup of jellies, salps and By-the-Wind Sailors by the hundreds. Despite the lower visibility, diving this part of the World is better than anywhere we have ever been. Richard signed us up for the Galapagos Islands in 2020. From what I’ve seen in nature films it may compare favorably with God’s Pocket.

My local dry glove supplier

Not our dive boat

A local acrobat

Merry will try Richard’s technique

Tim and Christa brought goodies from Minnesota

After settling into our cabins it was time to get back in the water. As usual, marine life here is plentiful as well as colorful. Even Hoodie Nudi Bay, our yearly checkout dive site was clear and full of life. A special treat this year was finding dozens of Puget Sound King Crabs everywhere including a few mating pairs. Captain Bill and Divemaster Tom ensured that we dropped into the perfect spot every time. The only problem I had was a broken drysuit zipper with two days of diving left. I still made most of those dives in a flooded suit. It was worth the cold and discomfort to spend a few more hours on the reefs and walls of this World Class dive mecca. Back on land, Annie and her staff of Ollie and Yolane kept the fun going with plenty of food and laughs.

Bill and Annie have built God’s Pocket into one of the best dive destinations in the world. They will be retiring at the end of July. There are a couple of offers on the table for the resort and it looks as if our August trip will still be on under new management. Special thanks to Bill and Annie for all your years of hard work, long hours and joy you have shared. You have enriched the lives of many.

Wall diving at its finest

Bull kelp makes an excellent ascent line for safety stops

Serpula Columbiana

Wrinkled amphissa, Amphissa Columbiana

Calliostoma annulatum

Northern Staghorn Bryozoan, Heteropora pacifica

Pink-mouth hydroid, Ectopleura marina

Northwest Ugly Clam, Entodesma navicular

Rock crab with eggs

Acantholithodes hispidus

Puget Sound King Crab, Lopholithodes mandtii

Wolf eel, Anarrhichthys ocellatus

Red Irish lord, Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus eating a Spotted Ratfish, Hydrolagus colliei

Northern Ronquil, Ronquilus jordani

Chirolophis nugatory, juvenile Mosshead Warbonnet

Buffalo Sculpin, Enophrys bison

Gersemia rubiformis

Tube anemone

Crimson anemone, Cribrinopsis fernaldi

Urticina grebelnyi, Painted Anemone

Urticina piscivora

Metridium farcimen

Ptilosarcus gurneyi

Sunflower Star, Pycnopodia helianthoides

Rose star, Crossaster papposus

Hippasteria phrygiana, Spiny Red Sea Star

Octopus Rodeo

Giant Pacific Octopus, Enteroctopus doflein

Tritonia festiva with Gersemia rubiformis

Rostanga pulchra

Himatina trophina

< img src="https://farm1.staticflickr.com/863/40956626795_3f4ddcb028_b.jpg">
Hermissenda crassicornis

Janolus fuscus

Eubranchus sanjuanensis

Eubranchus rustyus

Dirona albolineata

Dendronotus rufus

Dendronotus albus

Acanthodoris nanaimoensis on a sea cucumber

Acanthodoris nanaimoensis with eggs

Acanthodoris pilosa

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