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Dive Review of Abyssal Dive Charters and Lodge in
Canada/Quadra Island

February, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Larry Deweese, TX, US
Report Number 2677
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
California, Baja, Belize, Bonaire, Brazil, BC, Cozumel, Florida, Hawaii,
Roatan, Tobago, Texas, Washington
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
41   to 43    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
I don't take under water pictures.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
1 stars   
5 stars    
For the last few years Ive gone to Quadra Island, British Columbia to dive
with a few other hearty divers who share an enjoyment for diving in the
Pacific Northwest.  To get there from outside Canada you typically fly to
Vancouver, then to Campbell River, and then take the short ferry ride to
Quadra Island.  The Abyssal Lodge is located just up the hill from where
the ferry docks.  The Abyssal lodge is a very comfortable place and Earl
& Deb, the owners, certainly make you feel at home.  Earl handles the
dive operation and Deb prepares the wonderful meals and takes care of the
lodge. There are at least three bedrooms in the lodge and a bunk house
that accommodates 5 people bunk bed style.  If you want more privacy or if
you dont want to stay at the lodge there is a hotel located a short
walking distance away.  Even if you stay at the hotel you can make
arrangements to eat at the lodge if you wish.  The downstairs area of the
lodge includes a TV lounge and an area for photographers to take care of
their camera equipment and charge the batteries.  The second level of the
lodge has another TV area, the kitchen, and the dining area.  The meals are
served family style.  Earl & Deb live on the third floor of the lodge. 
There is a heated wet area where you store your dry suit and prepare for
each of the dives.
The diving around Quadra Island requires a dry suit in my opinion.  I have
seen people do it in a 7mm but I wouldnt recommend it.  I have always gone
in February when the viz is the best and water temps are typically in the
low 40s.  The viz can range from 20  80 or so.  All diving is
controlled by the tides which dictate when the water is moving and where. 
The water really moves around the island.  On one morning the first dive
might be at 8:00am and the next day the first dive might be at 10:00am, for
example.  For short boat rides Earl uses an open air 8-pack type boat and
for longer rides, like the HMS Columbia wreck dive, he uses a boat that has
a nice heated cabin.  The top side scenery is beautiful with bald eagles,
stellar sea lions, and the chance to see orca whales.  All dives are done
at slack tide but there can be a little current at some sites.  Some of the
things youll see on every dive are kelp, tube worms, starfish in more
colors than you can count, nudibranchs in every color, anemones, feather
dusters, lingcod, & rockfish.  What you hope to see are wolf eels,
harbor seals, stellar sea lions, and giant pacific octopus. Some of the
dive sites are sheer walls whereas others are shallower reefs.  Divers are
allowed to dive their own profiles.  
This is not a location for beginners but if you have a dry suit and the
right thermal protection it is a wonderful place.  Divers can see things in
the Pacific Northwest that cant be seen anywhere else in the world.    
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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