Best of Underwater  (Ocean) from last year.

Another year has come and gone. I didn’t do as much ocean diving last year as I normally do but I spent a ton of time in various rivers system around Vancover Island and beyond.  Three notable ocean diving trips were to the Sea of Cortez in Mexico in March, Hornby Island in June and to Browning Pass in October.

The June trip was an underwater photography workshop I conducted and was hosted by the incredible people at Hornby Island Diving. Rob and Amanda sure treated us well and to some mind blowing diving. I had always heard of Hornby Island as a place to see Sealions and 6 Gill Sharks.  But what I found was an incredibly rich area for Rockfish. I was very pleasantly surprised by the sheer size of some of them, the total numbers and amount of species. I was especially impressed by the Tiger Rockfish. They were quite happy to pose for the camera instead of their typical behavior of hiding in a crevice with only the back end showing.

October saw the fall pilgrimage to the Hideaway in Browning Pass for some typically astounding British Columbia diving. Besides the last days diving being blown out by hurricane force winds we had a blast. The crew that Stuart Seldon arranged to come from Ontario and Vancouver were the usual fun group.

Another crazy fun adventure I organized this year was offshore expedition to find and dive with Blue Sharks. We managed to get in one morning with them 15 miles off the west coast of Vancouver Island near Tahsis.  We had some bad luck with weather and two trips were cut short. But not before some heart pounding experiences being circled by these fast swimming beautiful pelagic sharks. A nice surprise on this trip was the regular Scuba diving in Tahsis Inlet. It exceeded my expectations for sure.

I look forward to what 2016 brings in the way of underwater adventures.

So here are my Top 10 underwater ocean images from last year.  (in no particular order) I have lots of favorites but these ones held the most meaning to me.

Opaque Nudibranch at Hornby Island, BC. Opaque Nudibranch at Hornby Island.

cabo pulmo jack schoolSchooling Jacks in the Cabo Pulmo Marine park in the Sea of Cortez.

whale sharkWhale Shark in the Sea of Cortez near La Paz 

proliferating anemone on kelp stalk Proliferating Nudibranchs in Browning Pass, near Port hardy BC.

yellowtail rockfish schooling on wreckYellowtail Rockfish on the wreck of the Themis at the entrance of Browning Pass.

Blue Shark 15 miles off the west coast of Vancouver Island.Blue Shark checking me out 15 miles offshore near Tahsis, BC.

black eye goby swimming Black Eyed Goby at Hornby Island, BC

lingcod face and teethCloseup of a Huge Lingcods face at Hornby Island, BC

Tiger Rockfish at Hornby Island. BCInquisitive Tiger Rockfish at Hornby Island.

DSC_5125-Pano-EditWreck of the Capilano between Savary and Harwood Island BC

I have to add another image here. Although not the best technically, for me it captures a great few days of “hunting”  My goal this time at Browning Passage was to find and film the elusive Rock Greenling. I managed to find them on 3 occasions this time which is a lot. They hang out in very shallow water on rocky, surf pounded shorelines. This pic shows one in its typical habitat at 3 feet of depth amongst the boa kelp and bladed kelp it prefers. I even found one guarding eggs. I will make a specific post about this shy, colourful fish at later date.

rock greenling in kelp

Happy New Year  2016.