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Campbell River, BC
March 14-16, 2003
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DynaMike's
at Quadra Island

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Hunters Gather Great BC Diving
Old Kwahuitel story: Some men in the village had gone by canoe to hunt. Late in the day, as they were coming home, they saw Southeast Man (Melhas) blow. They paddled and paddled, but were being blown back into the rocks. Suddenly a giant octopus (Tok Wah) appeared, reached out of the water and seized their canoe and pulled them safely back to their village.
Well, the wind blew, the rain came, and our twin gods of Yamaha powered us to some great diving in Quadra Island, near Campbell River, BC the weekend of March 15th. There were ten men up from Seattle, making the nearly 7 hour journey via car and ferries to hunt up some world-class cold water diving.

This was the fifth yearly trip I’ve run up to dive with Mike Richmond of DynaMike Dive Charters. Mike is the original old man of the sea in Campbell River having found most of the dive sites and was instrumental in creating the diving no-take laws that have preserved these fragile and spectacular sites. Mike used to own Abyssal Charters and sold it a few years back. After a non-compete contract was up, he built his new lodge and boat.

The lodge has a downstairs for guests that includes 5 bedrooms, all hand-built from timber cut on his property. Its warm, wood-lined charm is basic, not luxurious, but complete in every way, with wood pellet stoves, a large hot tub and a heated equipment shed and compressor room. Completing its homey charm is Mike’s wife Darlene, who makes fantastic meals. We feasted on roast beef, home-made soups, BBQ salmon and wonderful deserts.

Having now dove many of the sites off Quadra five or six times now over the years, I still never get tired of them. We were on a two and a half day plan of diving about every 6 hours at the slacks in this high current area. So we ate and dove, eat and dove, sat in the hot tub, drank beer and a few even smoked sea-gars.

The first morning we dove the massive 360’ long destroyer wreck HMCS Columbia, which isn’t current sensitive, so we wouldn’t have to get up too early. Braving the wind, Mike got us up there and after suiting up in a lee, he dropped us without difficulty on the buoy and downline. Winter has its ways up there and there wasn’t as much growth as the first time I dove it several years ago. But the visibility was good at around 50-60’ and we poked around on it and enjoyed checking out its gun turrets, bridge and peering into its recesses from the outside. It’s gotten quite silty inside and Mike advised against penetrating it. A couple of locals were killed on it not too long ago, having gotten stuck in the bow.
Click on photos to view larger image and caption. Numbers refer to dive log #.
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