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Dive Review of God's Pocket Resort in
Canada/Vancouver Island

God's Pocket Resort, Sep, 2004,

by Sandra Cohen, WA, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 1365.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Red Sea (Sinai), Palau, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Great Barrier Reef, Belize, Little Cayman, BVI, Honduras, Washington State
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 48 to 50 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 15 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Back on boat with 300-500 PSI. No harvesting. No diving after drinking alcohol.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales 1 or 2
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 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 [None]

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 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We've been diving for several days at God's Pocket around Labor Day every year for more than a decade now, and we hope to be doing it the rest of our lives.

The coldwater diving off the north end of Vancouver Island is spectacular. Walls and ledges covered in brilliant red soft corals, bright yellow sponges, pink coralline algae, anemones, and more, with active critters everywhere. Nudibranch fans will find something exciting on every dive, as well as on the log boom in the bay where the lodging is situated. Wolf eels, octopus, and BIG ling cod are the main big critter draws. Some years, as this year, there are schools of pacific white-sided dolphins to snorkel with (about 200 in the school this year). Often we see orcas from the boat on our way to or from the resort. This year we had a very close view (from the boat) of a solitary humpbacked whale in a small cove.

The boat is comfortable, with a heated cabin you can go into no matter how wet you are. Ladder is the easiest I've ever experienced anywhere in the world. The rungs come off both sides of a central stalk that's angled nicely, so you keep your fins on and just walk up. (They'll hand cameras down once you're in the water, and take them from you before you come up, if that's what you want.) Live boat pickup wherever you happen to surface, so you never have to worry about getting back to where you started. Nitrox (and I think maybe argon) now available for extra fee.

Great dive sites in Browning Pass are only about 15-20 minutes from the resort. Other dive sites are typically within 30-60 minutes, and are chosen based on the group's interest and the tides and weather. Many dives turn out to have some current, despite efforts made to dive mostly on the slacks. Sometimes you can drift one way along a wall, then back across higher up as the tide changes. Conditions can be sunny and calm, or windy and rainy, and everything in between, all in a day or two. Two or three boat dives are offered per day, and you can jump in the bay at the resort any time to see what's growing under the dock or on the sand bottom. The bay is most interesting at night. Most people will want a dry suit, though this time 3 of the 15 in our group dove with wetsuits (which you can warm and dry in the generator shed between dives). By the way, the generator is now so quiet that you can barely hear it in the living and dining areas. With the large battery and air storage capacity now, and a small wind turbine, the generator is not on very often anyway.

In addition to the excellent diving, God's Pocket is a warm and friendly place to stay. It is on an island all by itself out of Port Hardy. You bring your own gear (except weights and tanks) and alcoholic beverages and they take care of everything else. Because you are on an isolated island, bring everything you might need in the way of spares, batteries, meds, etc. Food is plentiful, always available, and always good. Lots of veggies and fruits served, and tremendous variety of pastries and snacks, all homemade. Meals are family style at a large table where the guests and staff mingle and swap stories. No carbonated drinks or junk food provided.

Lodging for up to 16 guests is in 8 guest rooms that are like basic motel rooms, very clean, each with private bath and 2 beds (one double, one twin). Daily housekeeping. A well-stocked clubhouse contains space for camera work, charging, video-watching, satellite TV, and games. Fire pit and hot tub on the decks. Hiking trails across the island and to the high points. Kayaks available to borrow whenever you want, or bring your own out on the dive boat (which picks you up in Port Hardy). Nature is everywhere to watch or get wet in. And the staff all clearly appreciate being in the great outdoors and love it as much as the guests do.

This is not the place for people who want to dive, dive, dive, 4 or 5 times a day. It is a great place to see some wonderful sights both above and below water, relax and eat well between dives, and hang out with people who love the area and the critters.
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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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