|COVID-Delayed Annual God's Pocket Report|
Posted by Max Bottomtime on October 25, 2021 at 17:42:05:|
Our annual trip to God's Pocket was a bit more difficult this year. Delayed a year because of the pandemic, we were only allowed into Canada if we were fully vaccinated and had a negative COVID test within 72 hours of travel. We also had to get a negative test to return to the U.S. The Border Patrol agent at the Vancouver even tried to get us to pay a tariff for our camera housings. Merry dealt with him until he let us slide. It was as if we were trying to get into Cabo San Lucas.
Masks were required inside the dive boat, and we had to show proof of vaccination and drivers' license to go into the restaurants in Port Hardy. Other than that, most things were familiar. There were some improvements made to the resort since our last visit. Water pressure and plenty of hot water in the shower were a great surprise. A new membrane system on the boat provided consistent 32% nitrox in every fill. We didn't have to haul several K-bottles up the ramp after the trip.
The crew was excellent. Captain Al is the most experienced captain, having trained many of our previous captains. Suze was the hardest working Divemaster/Deck Boss I've met. We never had to wait for our cameras or the elevator. Sage and Amber kept the resort running while we enjoyed the reefs. Meals were not what we were accustomed to at God's Pocket, but my palate was expanded. I'd never eaten kale, bull kelp, or Spätzle before.
We had rain-soaked dives the first week. Swells and wind kept us from reaching the further sites, but we found plenty at the old familiar ones. The second week had a bit of wind, enough to cancel our boat dives on the final day. Al and Suze worked the elevator while we made day dives in God's Pocket Bay, another treat.
I went hiking to Harlequin Bay during one of the rare breaks between the rain. After returning from the bay in record time, I decided to continue on the trails to the west end of God's Pocket Bay. The trails were washed out in a few areas and I missed the switchback to the resort trail. I spent the next two hours climbing the upper trail three times before finally finding my way home. I was hot, muddy, and embarrassed when I got back to our room.
More photos from the trip are at the link.
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