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

Abyssal Dive Charters and Lodge, Feb, 2006,

by Larry Deweese, TX, US . Report 2677.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments For the last few years I’ve 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 don’t 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 wouldn’t recommend it. I have always gone in February when the viz is the best and water temps are typically in the low 40’s. 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 you’ll 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 can’t be seen anywhere else in the world.

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

Weather cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 41-43°F / 5-6°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 20-80 Ft/ 6-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions none
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments I don't take under water pictures.
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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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