Location: Wedding Cake and Rita’s Rock, Deserter Islands, Port Hardy, British Columbia
Comments: It’s nice to be back and diving in the Deserter Islands. The “Deserters” are located in Queen Charlotte Strait, half-way between Browning Pass and Seymour Inlet. I have never been able to find any reference to the origin of the name in John T. Walbran’s extensive notes on coast names or in any other materials. It is commonly believed by historians that Captain Vancouver’s grounding of 1792 and subsequent loss of his anchor occurred at the east end of the islands. Can you imagine what a thrill it would be to stumble across that anchor during a dive! I can’t imagine that the grounding would have been enough to have caused any of his crew to “desert” though.
Diving conditions are good although the visibility is still somewhat “bloomy” after a couple of weeks of clear skies and sunshine. Our guests are very happy and quite a few folks have commented that the wall at Rita’s Rock is better and even more interesting (varied?) than the world-famous Browning Wall (which was rated as the number one dive site in North America 2two years running by Rodales Scuba Diving).
The only thing lacking in the Deserters is a nice beach with lots of wood for a bonfire and crab feast so we improvised and turned our brand new sundeck into a pseudo beach party complete with a dungeness crab feast. My daughter Emily and son Charlie led the fray in roasting marshmallows over a propane fire pit on the helideck!!