Browning Wall

Date Reviewed:August 2001
Location:Browning Pass
Access:boat dive
Site Description:wall dive
Main Attraction:Incredible invertebrate life

Underneath that low green bush in about 45 feet of water is a shelf with mess of Grunt Sculpins.

This is the Mecca of cold water wall dives. It is not the longest or deepest wall in the world, but in my opinion it is the most beautiful, hands down. The wall is shear, and actually starts about 100 feet above the water line. As the name suggests, it is located in Browning Pass. I would guess the wall is about 300 yards long, and its the depth varies from about 180 to 230 feet.

This wall is just covered with what I call "Browning Pass carpet" which is a conglomerations of some of the most beautiful invertebrate marine life you will ever see. Sponges, anemones, soft corals, nudibranchs, urchins, crabs, starfish, bryozoans, and other life forms blanket the wall and come in almost every shade of the rainbow, although brilliant reds, oranges, yellows, purples, and white are the most common colors. On the wall, you will often encounter Longfin Sculpins, Red Irish Lords, Puget Sound King Crabs, the occasional octopus, and various varieties of rockfish (Puget Sound, Yellowtail, China, and Quillback to name a few). Large Orange Peel Nudibranchs, Giant Barnacles, and large sprawling Basket Stars are common. Deadman's Finger Sponges and large scallops stick out form the wall at different locations. An occasional Lingcod can sometimes be found resting on ledges. Small crabs of seemingly unlimited variety can be found if you look closely. The marine life here just seems to go on and on. Wrap all this together on a dive that boasts 50 to 80 feet of vis, and you have a gem. If you dive here around slack, you get a very nice drift. If you get to dive this site, don't just drift by it. Take some time to examine the small life here. Find and interesting looking patch and spend five minutes just admiring the microcosm of life that every square foot of this wall hosts. You will be amazed at what you find.

Above about 15 fsw, the dive changes a bit. You can find Bull Kelp attached to the rocky ledges, and a much different marine environment to examine. Huge Green Surf Anemones, Colorful Red and Purple Sea Urchins and darting Kelp Greenling are the main attraction here, although there are countless other species to entertain you during your safety stop.

This is undoubtedly my favorite cold water wall dive. It is truly a spectacular dive for anyone who enjoys a diversity of marine life. Whenever we dive in this part of the world, we always do so with Bill Weeks and Annie Ceschi of God's Pocket Resort. I have never tried a different dive operator up here, and have no reason to do so. As far as I and thirteen of my diving friends are concerned, Bill has perfected the Port Hardy dive vacation. We have stayed with God's Pocket Resort the last two years and see no end in sight for return trips. Awesome diving, overwhelming hospitality, world class food and service (thanks Grant and Jeannie!), and Bill and Annie's great personalities (not to mention Lewis!) keep us coming back. Bill truly loves what he does and has the utmost respect for all the wildlife in this area, making a vacation here very special. What more could you ask for? If you are extremely lucky, you will get an opportunity to dive the Browning Pass area with God's Pocket Resort. Diving with Bill and Annie is the most enjoyable diving I have done - anywhere in the world. See God's Pocket for more info, and tell 'em Keith and Jon sent you!

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