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

August, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Peter Belden, CA, USA
Report Number 291
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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

Water Temp
43   to 43    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Only safe to dive at three specific times each day when currents are slack.
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
4 stars    
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

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

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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