Just got back from an awesome scuba diving trip to Port Hardy at Browning Pass Hideaway dive resort from August 27th to 30th! While scuba diving, all the walls were covered in a multitude of life. Even between scuba dives, we saw a large variety of animals on the surface!
John, the captain, started us on the two-hour journey by boat to the Hideaway dive resort. Hideaway is a large floating lodge in a bay, less than a ten minute boat ride from terrific scuba diving sites. The dive resort hosted a small, efficient crew while we were scuba diving there. John was the overall manager, in charge of organizing the scuba diving trips and driving the scuba diving boat. Christie did a variety of scuba diving tasks, including filling scuba tanks, helping with the scuba equipment, and sometimes running the dive boat. Don was the cook, making hot meals that tasted amazing after a day of scuba diving.
Out of everyone, I have to thank Alisa and Tyler Preston the most for organizing this scuba diving trip. Without their recruiting of other scuba divers, we wouldn’t have had a full dive trip, due to a few scuba divers dropping out on short notice. Also, they brought a lot of extra gear, so that people wouldn’t have to scuba dive with leaky hoses or slightly wet drysuits. Of course, I have to thank John for providing a warm, comfortable lodge and allowing us to scuba dive many great sites every day. Christie made sure the scuba tanks were filled and that our scuba diving needs were looked after. Don always provided hearty meals right when we scuba divers needed it.
Most of the scuba divers did around 11 dives in four days. Each of these dives was outstanding. A scuba diver could not touch a wall without touching numerous animals. Everywhere we looked while scuba diving, we saw anemones, coral, sponges, shrimp, crabs, rockfish, ratfish, octopi, wolf eels, warbonnets, and many thousands more animals. John was relatively good at getting us to the scuba diving sites on time at slack tide, but there were some interesting currents in which we did dives.
While on the surface interval between scuba diving, we saw hundreds of eagles, sea gulls, cormorants, and diving birds. We saw a pod of at least three orcas. Many seals popped their heads up, and sea lions often played around the scuba diving boat. In the distance, we saw Dall’s porpoises, a sea otter, and even a humpback whale.
It’s going to be hard to go back to the scuba diving in Victoria. While scuba diving in Victoria is great, nothing really compares to the amount of life seen while scuba diving at Browning Pass in Port Hardy.