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Dive Review of Abyssal Dive Charters and Lodge/Whiskey Point Resort in
Canada/Vancouver Island, B.C.

Abyssal Dive Charters and Lodge/Whiskey Point Resort: "Quadra Island Diving", May, 2018,

by Larry L Bonnett, YT, CA (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 10749 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 2 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This is a group who have dived together for many years. We arrange our own travel to Quadra Island (a short ferry ride from Campbell River on Vancouver Island) and stay at Whiskey Point Resort. Even though we have to look after our own meals (no restaurants at the resort), we prefer this camaraderie to staying at a normal hotel in Campbell River (can be arranged by the dive operator).

We meet Earl Lowe of Abyssal Diving at the Quathiaski Cove docks (a short walk or very short drive down the hill) at the pre-arranged time (depends on the tides each day). Most dive sites are only a few minutes away although some can be quite a run some days. The boat is a custom, purpose built dive boat with a hard top but is open on the sides and is very good for its purpose. Divers giant stride off the sides and climb tree-type ladders back aboard at the end of their dive. The boat drifts along with the divers and travels to every diver as they pop up from their dive. Because of the currents in this area, the dives are not escorted but every buddy pair are free to do their own thing but are urged to follow the general profile as recommended during the dive briefing. Earl is very knowledgeable about all the dive sites in this area and will be very close by when you pop up at the end of your dive.

While this area is known for its strong tidal currents, I have taken many beginner divers along and they have done well. Divers must be self reliant and listen carefully to the dive briefings and every dive site offers different dive profiles for divers of all experience levels. If you are comfortable diving and are comfortable with your own dive skills, you can enjoy this diving.

There is so much life in this area (because of the tidal currents), almost every diver will be astounded at the colours, fish and invertebrate life here. Exciting critters range from the very small macro life (small nudibranchs, cup corals, etc.) through all the sponges, corals, various fish species, anemones, many nudibranchs (some huge ones) to large fish, such as ling cod, Puget Sound king crab, red Irish lords, various rockfish, small and huge sea stars to huge critters such as cruising Stellar sea lions. In between dives, we have seen Orcas (Killer Whales) and Humpback Whales. On occasion, we have seen, and swam with, dolphins - what an amazing experience.

There are so many varied dive sites in this area that it is a battle to narrow down those we can dive in a week. We always try to do a 'muck' dive around the docks in Quathiaski Cove to see the huge, giant Pacific swimming nudibranchs and other life which lives in this mucky area. Maximum depth in this area is about 20 - 30 feet with much of the dive under 20 feet, so air is not a problem - having to go pee becomes the limiting factor when in a dry suit!

Websites Abyssal Dive Charters and Lodge   Whiskey Point Resort

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving B.C. Coast, Caribbean, Red Sea, Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, East coast of Canada, Alaska, etc.
Closest Airport Campbell River, B.C. and Vancouver, B.C. Getting There Fly into Vancouver, B.C. (YVR) and drive to Campbell River or catch a commuter flight at Vancouver to Campbell River on Vancouver Island.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 48-51°F / 9-11°C Wetsuit Thickness 6
Water Visibility 30-50 Ft/ 9-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Having a dive buddy is highly recommended for every diver.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments As this boat goes out for single dives two or three times a day, you set up your camera in your room and bring it with you on each dive. There is a water-filled tub on board for your cameras and the boat crew is knowledgeable of cameras. Bring strobes and decide on macro or wide angle lenses - both will provide an abundance of excellent photos.
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Report currently has 1 Helpful vote

Subscriber's Comments

By William Golley in BC, CA at Nov 29, 2018 12:12 EST  
I dove with Earl for the first time two months ago and I have to echo Larry's comments. Campbell River is one of the most spectacular sites in BC I have seen and I live and dive here regularly. Earl is an expert on the local waters and will put you in perfectly on the slack for an optimal dive in these high current areas. For off slack times he has many back eddy sites where the exploring is still safe but very colourful and interesting.
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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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