Port Hardy-British Columbia, Canada-God’s Pocket resort-August 6-12, 2017

Port Hardy-British Columbia, Canada-God’s Pocket resort

August 6-12, 2017

images (4)Scuba Diving magazine ranked British Columbia’s waters as offering the best diving in North America and diving in BC was also named to National Geographic’s 2014 Ultimate Adventure Bucket List. Also, The Jacques Cousteau Society rated British Columbia second only to the Red Sea for clarity and diversity of marine life. Dive sites in BC include famous walls, reefs, current-swept passages and shipwrecks and we can explore all these and more by staying at the God’s Pocket Resort on Hurst Island.

images (2)The variety, abundance and colors of BC’s ocean life will amaze any diver: giant Pacific octopus, wolf eels, schools of rockfish, colorful nudibranchs and anemones, soft coral and giant sponge formations are common sights. The diving may be a bit more challenging and cold but one trip to dive British Columbia will NEVER be enough!

Cost

  • $2450.00-Diver

Deposit and important dates

What is included?

  • “Hurst Isle” boat ride to and from God’s Pocket Resort
  • Meals, Baked Goods, and hot and cold drinks. (they do not provide sodas, alcohol or “junk” food. You can purchase these in Port Hardy and you are welcome to bring your own.)
  • 7 days/6 nights accommodation and housekeeping service
  • All linens and towels
  • Up to 3 boat dives per diving day
  • Dives at the dock
  • Air fills
  • Steel 85 tanks
  • Weights and Belts
  • Group pre party
  • Hosted tour

What is not include?

  • Airfare
  • Rental cars
  • Ferry fees
  • Extra hotel nights
  • Trip insurance
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Nitrox – $10.50 CDN plus taxes per fill

The Itinerary

images (3)Due to the logistics more then likely the group will be traveling separately till we meet up at Port Hardy at 4:00 pm Sunday, August 6th for the boat ride to the resort. There will be some traveling together and our recommendation would be to have a rental car reserved in advanced and fly into the Nanaimo Airport (YDC) on Vancouver Island on Saturday, August 5th. Because the ride from Nanaimo to Port Hardy to catch the 4:00 pm boat ride to God’s Pocket on Sunday is 4-6 hours we highly recommend to spend Saturday night in local hotel. The hotel we have stayed at several times and would recommend and who still has the same owners after 15 years is the Buccaneer Inn. If you end up driving from the Vancouver area on the mainland take the Horseshoe Bay ferry out of the North Vancouver area and rental caryou will depart on Vancouver Island a short distance from the Buccaneer Inn. On Sunday enjoy the ride through the forrest and small towns on your way to Port Hardy and allow some extra time to stop and see the beauty of BC. For the week between August 6th -12th we will be at the resort on Hurst Isle enjoying a nice leisurely time. During the week there is no way to go back to Port Hardy unless an emergency arises. On Saturday, August 12th we will be brought back to Port Hardy at 8:00 am and from there you can make your way back to Nanaimo. We would also suggest another night stay before flying out on Sunday, August 13th.

Check here for some very useful info in planning your trip.

Here is a sample itinerary of the week-

  • Day 1) Pick up in Port Hardy at 4pm. Depart for God’s Pocket at 4:30 – 5 pm. Arrive God’s Pocket and settle in. Orientation for the week set up gear and relax with supper and a fire on the deck.
  • Day 2) 3 boat dives. Hiking / kayaking / napping for surface interval. Night Dive off Dock
  • Day 3) 3 boat dives. Hiking / kayaking / napping for surface interval. Night Dive off Dock
  • Day 4) 2 Boat dives. Pack up and take lunch to the beach. A little sight seeing en route. Boat Night Dive.
  • Day 5) 3 boat dives. Use the afternoon to rinse and hang gear to dry. After supper pack up gear and relax for the evening.
  • Day 6) Load boat at 7:15 am. Continental breakfast at 7:30 am. Depart God’s Pocket at 8:00 am and get to Port Hardy before 9:00 am. On the road by 9:30 am at the latest.

God’s Pocket Resort

58489_126351277414975_8247430_nGod’s Pocket Resort is the only resident of beautiful Hurst Island, British Columbia, on the east (inside) of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. Nestled in an enchanting cove off Christie Passage, 12 miles north of Port Hardy, we offer a tranquil setting in which to relax after a day of the best cold water scuba diving in the world. God’s Pocket Resort, operating for over 25 years, is a land-based diving location for cold water divers of all levels. Accessible only by boat, it ís a secluded wilderness spot surrounded by forested islands and the waterways of the Queen Charlotte Strait. A visit to God’s Pocket provides not only spectacular cold water diving, but also an opportunity for kayaking, hiking, shore walks, wildlife viewing, including  whale watching.

The resort includes 2 cabins – 4 side-by-side rooms per cabin, enough for 16 people. Rooms are based on double occupancy and have a bathroom with toilet, sink, and shower. Daily housekeeping is provided. The resort also has a larger common room – called the Clubhouse – for reading, hanging out, or watching movies.

58564_126358457414257_1974956_nThree meals a day are provided, all made from scratch, served family style in the dining hall. Baked goods and hot drinks are available any time of day if you need a little something. They make every effort to accommodate food preferences and allergies. If you are vegetarian alternate items will be prepared on nights that they serve meat. There is also a ‘boat box’ that goes on every dive, and holds hot drinks (coffee, tea, hot chocolate) and homemade snacks for hungry or thirsty divers. PLEASE NOTE: They do not provide sodas, alcohol or ‘junk’ food. These can be purchased in Port Hardy and you are welcome to bring your own.

449ef3a6ade550648b3b4ff7b840bf70The Queen Charlotte Straights are home to a variety of marine mammals. Year round, you can see Orcas, Minke Whales, Dalls Porpoise, Harbour Porpoise, Sea Otters, Steller Sea Lions and Harbour Seals. During the summer months, Humpback Whales make the area waters their home and they can often be seen  feeding right in front of the bay!They also have California Sea Lions and Pacific White-Sided Dolphins. Hurst Island also provides excellent bird watching. Eagles often perch at the mouth of the bay. Cormorants, Oyster Catchers, Harlequin Ducks, Rhinoceros Auklets, many different Seagulls can be spoted from the deck. For the hikers you can explore God’s Pocket Provincial Park by foot! Follow the flagged routes or go off the beaten path. From scenic mountain tops to beautiful secluded bays, Hurst Island has a variety of terrain for those looking to go for an evening walk or a two hour journey.

 

The Diving

imagesThe diving in the Port Hardy area can be more challenging but very much worth the effort. The diving they do there is based on quality not quantity. If tides and weather allow 3 excellent choices in the day, they will do 3 boat dives. If conditions are questionable, they will limit you to two excellent choices. The resort is about 5 minutes from Browning Pass and the world famous Browning Wall. Other dive sites they frequent (weather and currents depending) include: Barry Islet, Dillon Rock, Nakwakto Rapids, Hunt Rock and various sites in Bates Pass, to name a few. They regularly scout new sites so the choice of dive spots is extensive, which means that no matter what the wind and tides are doing there will always be a site that is suitable for the conditions.

images (1)Dock dives are popular at night, as well as in between dives. In front of the resort, the water is usually 40-60 feet deep. Shallow water is nice as your bottom time is limited more by cold tolerance than by nitrogen loading! Divers in the bay often report seeing Giant Nudibranchs, Puget Sound King Crabs, young rockfish, anemones, shrimp, and all sorts of other underwater life. Recently, several Giant Pacific Octopus have been making the bay their home and have been seen hunting among the pilings as we walk up the ramps from the boat. It’s SO great to get in the water in the evening and watch the creatures feeding.

download (1)With all the variety you can never be bored and soon will think to yourself “why haven’t I done this sooner” There are also some wrecks in the area we can hopefully dive. For photographers you will have a hard time deciding wide angle or macro. Most dives will be live boat drifts along the walls. The 40′ aluminum dive boat is currently licensed for 12 and you can either get back on using the hydraulic lift or by climbing a ladder.

More info here on diving British Columbia.

Who is this trip for?

This trip is best suited for good intermediate to advanced divers or above with good buoyancy control and a good level of fitness. Most all dives will be multi-level with the dive sites to be determined by “BEST CONDITIONS” based on the weather while we are there. Surface signal tubes are always recommended and dive accident insurance and trip insurance is highly recommend!

Trip Insurance

travel insuranceChannel Islands Dive Adventures urges you to consider purchasing travel insurance for your trip. In order to maintain our reasonable rate & high level of service, we do not automatically insure your trip against the adverse effects of weather or other factors that are beyond our control. Your vacation represents a very large investment, and unforeseen circumstances such as injury or sickness, airline issues, and family emergencies can easily affect your ability to travel. Get all the info needed to sign-up for DAN or DiveAssure here!

Questions-Please contact Ken at (805) 469-7288 or email at info@channelislandsdiveadventures.com