Date Reviewed:August 2001
Location:Browning Pass
Access:Boat dive
Site Description:Rocky ravines and moderate slopes, some kelp beds
Main Attraction:Awesome beauty

Snowfall. This word conveys tranquility to me, as does this dive site. In good vis, Snowfall is an easy and beautiful dive. It is located in a portion of Browning Pass that is somewhat less current intensive than most of the other common dive sites. When vacationing up here during the last two years, our dive charter has taken us to this site first. It is a great way to be introduced to the magnificence that Browning Pass offers divers.

The first time I dove this site (last year), I was greeted by 3 to 5 foot vis (due to a freak plankton bloom) and never got below 30 fsw. It must say it was miserable. All I saw were sea urchins and white metridium. I could tell there was incredible life here, but I just couldn't get a good perspective of it due to the lousy vis.

This year (2001) was entirely different. I wasn't especially looking forward to this dive, as it was a huge disappointment the year before. However, diving it this time I was greeted by 50 foot vis, and had a spectacular dive. The dive site consists of uneven rock structure that gently slopes away in some area, and more aggressively in other. Small channels are occasionally cut through the rock, providing some nice hiding places for all sorts of marine critters. While diving here, I never had to go below 70 fsw to be totally overwhelmed by the variety and beauty that this site offers.

In talking with Bill (our dive charter), he suspects Snowfall earned it's name due to the abundance of small white metridium. Most of the rock at this site is evenly covered by a blanket of these anemones, like a freshly fallen snow. Almost poetic.

Along the rock structure, there are all sorts of nook, crannies, crevices, and ledges to explore. Jon found a small Giant Pacific Octopus (maybe 24" across) on our dive here, along with some Puget Sound King Crabs. Adding color to the white blanket of metridium is an assortment of anemones, soft corals, and sponges. Kelp Greenlings scatter out from cover in front as you swim along, and rockfish of several varieties hang out leisurely along the reef and above in the water column. Schooling Yellowtail Rockfish may be found holding position in the kelp laden portions of the reef, and China Rockfish can be spotted seeking cover in some of the rock fissures. If you look carefully, you can find numerous small crabs, stars, sculpins, and nudibranchs living amongst the anemones. To me, this dive is extremely relaxing, and enjoyable, which is what diving should be all about.

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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