Victoria by Night

Ghostly Plumose set the tone...

Victoria is a vibrant city by the ocean; the capital of British Columbia, a cultural centre and home to many fine pubs. Victoria is also home to numerous diving outfits, and on a recent trip to visit relatives, I took advantage of one’s free thursday night dive. The group was Beyond Deep Diving, and the location was Ogden Point. Now, for the record, I love night diving, and this is one of the best night dives I’ve had in ages. It was

Bright and beautiful.

also a great opportunity to check out my camera’s abilities in the less than tepid waters of British Columbia.

In all honesty, the only hard part about diving Ogden Point was the walk out and back along the break water to the start point. I’ve been lead to understand that it’s easier at the peek of high tide, but when the tide is out, it is a long, sometimes slippery walk and climbing down the ancient granite blocks

Quietly lurking...

can be challenging in full gear. Once we were in the water though, it was fantastic. Visibility was decent at about 4m with clarity, and you could see lights and illuminated figures out to around 10m. Water temperature dipped to a very reasonable 8˚C, and was more than manageable in a wetsuit. Having suffered equipment failure, Beyond Deep Diving was able to furnish me with a C4 light at literally the last minute, and a larger tank (I breath a lot sometimes). The dive was 44 minutes, and my maximum depth was 14.9m. Currents were nil and the old sea wall had some surprising life to it! The group that showed up to the dive were mostly regulars at the dive shop, so a sense of camaraderie was immediately apparent.

The Nikon L22 in it’s Ikelite case with a couple of moisture muncher sticks did a fantastic job when paired up with a primary dive light, easily repeating and exceeding the photos taken during my last night dive with it during it’s initially testing in Hawaii. Rockfish, nudibranchs of all sizes, various crabs, some very large lingcod, and some very dangerous looking sea cucumbers were waiting along the granite block base of the mighty sea wall. The pace of the dive was leisurely, and made exploring the cracks and nooks of the wall a low pressure event. Small amounts of kelp were no issue as we explored, and several nice pictures would have been impossible had it not been present. Over all, this camera performed extremely well, and has reached the point where I am now looking at the filters and strobe sets available for it to get the best pictures it can produce. If these are any indication, the full set up will be mind blowing.

The dive group, Beyond Deep Diving, first came to my attention when I had forgotten my weights in the Okanagan and was already on Vancouver Island and getting ready to go to Bamfield Marine Science Centre for the scientific diving course. In a rush to find anything near my grandparents place, I found them and got the weights I needed (as well as a sweet diving toque). The staff was efficient and knowledgable, and the name stuck with me after I returned from a successful course. Fast forward a few months, and I find them mentioned as an SDI instruction group and discover they had free thursday and sunday dives. With decent rates for kit rental, I was sold (I needed a tank) and a visit to their new location clinched it for me. I usually take it as a good sign when I find Fleet Divers hanging out and chatting with the staff! As I said before, the staff is good, and their operation is pretty good as well. I’d recommend diving with them any time!

About the author

Graeme is a professional diver, qualified as a PADI and SDI Divemaster, DCBC 40m Unrestricted Commercial Scuba Diver, 30m Restricted Surface Supply diver, and CAUS Scientific Diver Lv.2. Graeme has an Associate Degree of Arts in Environmental Studies, where he focused on archaeology and physical geography, and an Advanced GIS certificate.