Ogden Point Freedive 2019

Sat 07 September 2019 by Tom Lightfoot

On September 7th I took the ferry across to Victoria to dive the Ogden Point Breakwater with Tony, Jaime and Kayla. Despite the dire weather forecast, the water was flat calm and there was no current. Except for a bit of overcast, it was a great day for a dive. The visibility was pretty good too.

Here is a video that I took of a couple of dives in the kelp forest that runs the …

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Kelvin Grove Freedive

Sun 18 November 2018 by Tom Lightfoot

It usually rains all month in November. At least that's how I recall it. This particular November had some periods of very nice weather and November 18th was particularly nice. I went out to Kelvin Grove with Luca and Nick to enjoy the good weather.

Even before we got in the water, we could tell that the visibility was as good as the weather. When we got in, we discovered that we could see things …

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Ten Mile Point Freedive

Mon 17 July 2017 by Tom Lightfoot

My next opportunity to get over to Victoria for a freedive was on July 17. Looking at the tides for that day, things looked ideal for diving Ten Mile Point. That location is one of the most current-exposed shore dive spots in the Victoria area. As a result of that current, there is LOTS of marine life stuck on the rocks, feeding on all of the plankton as it floats by. The down side of …

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Ogden Point Freedive

Fri 07 July 2017 by Tom Lightfoot

It had been years since I last dove Victoria's Ogden Point breakwater. Growing up there, the breakwater was the default option when we couldn't think of any place better to go. Now that I'm living on the mainland, it has become a destination. The fringing kelp forest and attendant diversity of marine life is something that we just don't get on the other side of the strait.

Getting over to Victoria without a car is …

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Boat Dive of Bowyer Island and the HMCS Annapolis

Thu 18 May 2017 by Tom Lightfoot

I got the call from Jaap only the day before this dive. Don was just getting his boat into the water for the season and wanted to do a shake-down cruise. Did I want to come? The plan was to take the boat from home base in Ladner all the way up to Howe Sound, dive Bowyer Island, have lunch and then dive the Annapolis before heading back to Ladner. It was a long trek …

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Shore dive at Furry Creek

Mon 13 March 2017 by Tom Lightfoot

Monday, March 13th was my second dive of the year but the Vanapneist hard core had been diving regularly for the past couple of months. A diver from Alberta named Nils was in town for a few days and wanted to get an opportunity to get into the water. Jaap suggested Furry Creek, which is just a bit north of Porteau Cove. I had never been to Furry Creek before so I was eager to …

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Shore Dive at Porteau Cove

Tue 21 February 2017 by Tom Lightfoot

On Tuesday, February 21, Don and I went for a shore dive at Porteau Cove. This was the first dive of the year for me and one of the first breaks in what had been a very harsh winter. It turned out that the weather that day was fabulous. The visibility was pretty spectacular as well.

Porteau Cove is a great place to dive in January, February and March if the weather is good. Besides …

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Playful Seal at Ansell Point

Mon 05 December 2016 by Tom Lightfoot

On Sunday, December 4, Jaime, Olli, Jaap and I went in for a dive at Ansell Point. The water was very cold and the visibility wasn't very good. What saved the dive was a very playful seal that hung out with us almost all of the time that we were in the water.

Here's a video clip from that day:

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2016 Mayne Island Eelgrass Survey

Mon 21 November 2016 by Tom Lightfoot

On the weekend of July 23-24, the Vancouver Apneist Freediving Club helped to survey the eelgrass beds of Gallagher Bay, Mayne Island. This is the eighth year that the club has been helping the Mayne Island Conservancy to map the island's eelgrass beds.

Eelgrass is an important habitat for many fish and invertebrate species. It also is an important carbon sink and also works to reduce ocean acidification.

The dive club's role in the surveys …

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Saltery Bay Freedive/Cycle Trip

Sat 12 November 2016 by Tom Lightfoot

Early on in the diving season Jaap proposed a diving/camping trip to Saltery Bay, just south of Powell River. I wasn't too keen on this idea because I hadn't been camping in probably 20 years. Also, the chill, dampness and poor sleep that inevitably come with camping don't lend themselves very well to a good dive experience. I ended up committing to cycling up to Comox to visit the folks on that same weekend …

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Freediving Portland Island

Thu 03 November 2016 by Tom Lightfoot

Back in August, my freediving friends Rick and Jaap hatched a plan: to take Rick's Zodiac from Swartz Bay to Portland Island, camp on the island and go out diving on the nearby GB Church during the day. Then they invited me and a few others to join them for a weekend in early September.

Camping isn't really my favorite activity but the overall weekend sounded like a lot of fun. We ended up with …

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Freediving the HMCS Annapolis

Tue 01 November 2016 by Tom Lightfoot

I'm going to go back in time a bit here to cover the backlog of some of the more interesting dives over this past year.

The HMCS Annapolis is the most recent and most local of the artificial reefs put down by the Artificial Reef Society of BC. It was sunk in April of 2015 in Halkett Bay in the SE corner of Gambier Island.

New members of the freediving community Don and Penny very …

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2016 Vanapneist Underwater Pumpkin Carving Contest

Sun 30 October 2016 by Tom Lightfoot

Today the Vancouver Apneist Freediving Club had what may be the ninth annual underwater pumpkin carving contest. Jaime and Luca were my fellow carvers and Olli took my camera to take a few photos.

The term 'contest' is probably a bit of a mis-nomer. We didn't declare a winner. However, Luca had the biggest pumpkin, used the biggest, scariest knife and carved his pumpkin at the deepest depth. (almost 9m) It was fun to watch …

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My Freediving History

Tue 25 October 2016 by Tom Lightfoot

Freediving means different things to different people. The common denominator for all is that it involves going underwater while holding one's breath. Beyond that it can mean advanced snorkelling, breath-hold spearfishing, or trying for depth records.

The Early Days

As for myself, you could say that I have been practicing freediving for almost forty years, although I never thought of it that way. I just thought of it as snorkelling or skin diving, even though …

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