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Dive Review of Clavella Adventures/Browning Pass Hidewaway in
Canada/Porty Hardy, Vancouver Island

Clavella Adventures/Browning Pass Hidewaway, Aug, 2002,

by Peter Belden, CA, USA . Report 291.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving La Paz, Curacao, Grand Turk, Monterey CA, Moorea, Ixtapa, Coronados Island, Cozumel, Belize, Maui, Little Cayman, Channel Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas currents
Water Temp 43 to 43 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 20 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Only safe to dive at three specific times each day when currents are slack.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales >2
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We saw several orcas from the skiff on one day as well as a Humpback whale, fantastic! Before we reserved our spots John explained that getting in the water with orcas up in BC would require us to focus on jumping in after orcas 10-20 times a day and would eat away all our time leaving none for diving. It's a low probability activity and with low viz it's hard to get close enough to see orcas under water. So this was a dive trip not an orcas trip. We had hoped to get in the water with some pacific white sided dolphins which is a more common occurance but there were none to be seen at all.

We did find one large pacific octopus which was fun and several seals but had unusually bad luck and saw no wolf eels. We got a special treat in finding a rat fish. John deBoeck (owner/captain) knows everything about the area and tracked down the orcas for us on one of our 5 days with him. We saw bald eagles topside on almost every dive. This is a wonderful, remote, quiet, cold, and roughing it kind of trip.

The accomodations are a very rustic floating lodge heated by a wood burning stove located in a protected cove in the middle of nowhere. We saw no other people the whole time and had the whole place to ourselves, the 5 of us plus John, his friend, and a cook. The food was fantastic, 3-4 meals a day homecooked just for the 5 of us by a full time cook!!! Drysuit is essential and currents are present so this is a trip for advanced divers. There was no underwater guide or divemaster. John waited topside in the skiff.

Invertebrate life was very large, metridiums, diversity of starfish and sea urchins plus many lingcod, rockfish, and scorpionfish. Huge 2-3 foot long crabs. We had hoped to do a side trip with another operator to seek out the 7 gill sharks but most were not departing on week days. I recommend BC/Vancouver/Port Hardy as a destination and John deBoeck (Clavella) is clearly the way to go. The boat Clavella itself is a bit old and beat up, and so we were very glad to have the lodge option. Diving was from a skiff and all sites were within 5 minutes. Some kelp, some walls, some big rocks covered with anemones.
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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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