Several scuba divers from the Marker Buoy Club headed from Seattle to Vancouver BC a week ago to dive in Howe Sound. Our host for this short excursion was Sea Dragon Charters http://www.seadragoncharters.com. Sea Dragon Charters operates one boat out of Horseshoe Bay in North Vancouver and a second boat out of Nanaimo, BC.
From the Seadragon's boat we dove on vertical walls next to Gambier Island and Anvil Island. After dropping through 50 fsw we achieved about 10 feet of vis. Particulate in the water was in such big chunks that it dominated all of my photos. I'll look forward to going there again with better vis because the potential for photography is excellent for all kinds of fish and especially invertebrates.
On Sunday, a few in our group traveled to Porteau Cove about 10 miles north of Horseshoe Bay. The Cove sits right along the highway to Whistler with a well marked highway exit, ample car parking and great access to the water for any diver. This is a quick 10 mile drive from Horseshoe Bay. Depending on your personal schedule, there are two new log cabins that can be rented from the Provincial Park. The cabins, available for rent year-around, were recently built as a legacy investment of the Winter Olympics. They are beautiful structures and well worth thinking about for a weekend of diving. Check this out at http://www.seatoskyparks.com.
A few in our group put their gear on and dove at Porteau Cove and, although visibility continued to be a challenge, they confirmed that it is a great site. There are two boats in the park and several mature structure to investigate. The popularity of this site started with scuba divers over 40 years ago. Some years later the Provincial Parks Department saw the potential and made some strategic investments that have allowed boaters and scuba divers to both enjoy this beautiful section of Howe Sound. I took several photos that will give you a good idea of what to expect if you decide to dive here. Take a look at these photos and the next time you go to Horseshoe Bay don't forget to check-out diving at Porteau Cove. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimboon/sets/72157629879100461/