Latest Dive ReviewsOct 29, 2016 - Isle de Phoque
"We didn't quite make it to the Ille de Phoque, unfortunately. The swells were reported to be 3m, and 20-25kn winds coming in by 1pm. So we made a decision to go to Vischer Island instead. This is a much shorter drive, and also boat trip, so we would get on site earlier, and hoped to get our dives in before the wind arrived. Or at least the first one.
The Boomer bay boat ramp was quiet when we arrived around 7:45am, but the parking was full. The day was sunny, calm and beautiful, and thus it remained all the way to the Island. There was no surf on the beach at the Marion Narrows, and I don't know where the swell was, but it wasn't where we were.
The four boys kitted up and I dropped them on the outside of the Island. They were diving in two buddy pairs, although Luke planned to surface when his air was getting low, and Eric would continue his (rebreather) dive solo.
It was a glorious day out there. Calm, sunny and no swell.
I picked the three OC divers up, and I dropped in a few minutes later for my first dive. I landed in 30m, with poor visibility all the way down. The bottom was only visible in the last few metres. This is a lovely site though. The corals are prolific, good fish life, and large boulders litter the bottom, making for an interesting and fun topography. This somewhat compensated for the poor visibility.
Our plan for the second dive was with the seals, who live on the northern side of the island. They were ashore in numbers as we had arrived, but when we went around for our second dive almost all were in the water, scattered over a large area. One sole lazy bones was basking on the rocks.
There were a couple in the water nearby, so three of the boys decided to jump in. They had a poor visibility dive, and a brief encounter with a couple of the seals, but it was nothing to write home about.
The wind started really picking up from the North East whilst they were diving. It was very windy by the time they were back on the boat. Eric and I had been less than excited about a poor visibility dive with no seals, so the wind decided us to abort our second dive.
We were back at the ramp, and out of the water, by 1:15pm. Now that's what I call slick.
Despite poor visibility (the bane of this winter's diving), and no seals in the water, it was a wonderful day out on the water, in a magnificent location, with a great bunch of blokes.
By Janine McKinnon
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