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Diving in Victoria: The G.B.Church March 27, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log, Shipwrecks.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The wreck of the Motor Vessel G. B. Church is near to our first dive of Sunday, March 30, 2008 on the H.M.C.S. Mackenzie. The Church was sunk in 1991 as part of an artificial reef project, which was several years earlier than the Mackenzie, and it shows in the increased quantity of marine life occupying the wreck.

vicd2b-railingsThe wall-to-wall animal life is spectacular. While there is a huge number of white plumose anemones everywhere to be seen, the Starfish, Sea Slugs, Rock fish and Ling Cod are also all over the place. The Ling Cod were larger than any I’d seen before, and mostly ignored us as we glided over the deck.

Like the day before, the cold 7C (43F) water and the age of my battery conspired to limit the number of photographs I could take on the second dive. The overcast conditions of winter in Victoria didn’t help either, and half of the photographs I took didn’t turn out at all. I might start looking for a decent flash unit if I can convince myself it would be usable on a manual setting with my little pocket camera.

I had a little too much buoyancy on the safety stop on the Mackenzie dive and was up to 38 pounds of weight by this one. In retrospect I doubt I was paying enough attention to getting 100% of the air out of my BC on ascent. With my Seaquest Raider it can be difficult to get the last little bit out, and the best option I’ve now found is to invert and use the bottom dump valves. I think this is worth about two pounds of lift which is about 54 cubic inches of air (2 x 1728/64).

Even though the dive maxed out a only 76 feet, we managed 29 minutes bottom time plus a 3 minute safety stop while drawing my tank down to 500 PSI. We were out of the water at 11:20 AM and then on our way back to Victoria where I had a nice lunch and a hot bath to get warm again after spending so long outside in the cold and rain.




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