Boat Dive of Bowyer Island and the HMCS AnnapolisThu 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 but the weather was promising. It was a generous opportunity; how could I say no?
Our dive team of the day consisted of Don, Jaap, Luca and myself.
Our first dive was a reef off the Southern tip of Bowyer Island where the Underwater Council of BC has set up a mooring buoy for dive boats. Since we were there mid-week, we didn't have to compete for the buoy during slack current time. The underwater environment was characterized by thousands of white plumouse anemones covering the solid rock reef. I also managed to see a teeny sunflower star. It was a promising sight after the mass sea star die-off of 2013 that hit sunflower stars the hardest.
After the first dive, we changed back into dry clothes, had lunch and then cruised over to the wreck (artificial reef) of the HMCS Annapolis nearby in Halkett Bay, Gambier Island. Then it was time to get back into our wetsuits and the cold water.
We were all a bit spent from the morning dive but we managed to hit the funnels, the bridge and the hangar before needing to get out.
Huge thanks go to Don for having us out on his boat, Jaap for getting us to and from Ladner and providing sandwiches, and Luca for bringing a bunch of banana bread.
Here are photos from the day's dives: