Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Canada
Beaver Island Bed and Breakfast/Pender Chief Charters
5/7/99 to 5/9/99
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We left Seattle at 2 pm headed for the border. Take the truck
route if your driving this way. We had a two car wait at the border. We loaded
the ferry at about 6:00. It was a little late. The ferry ride is very scenic.
Glaciers stretch down the jagged mountains, and bald Eagles soar along the
jagged rocks that line horseshoe bay. Once you load the ferry, you are about two
hours to the Beaver Island Inn. We stopped at The Old Boot in Sechelt for some
dinner. The food is good, inexpensive, and the portions are huge. The
service was very slow, but that's a good thing when your hanging out with
friends. There is a dive store (the dive locker) just down the street in
case you want to pick up some gear. We continues on about 40 minutes after
dinner, and arrived at the inn just after dark.
Inn consists of a two bedroom cabin, a three bedroom cabin, and a main lodge
where dinner and breakfast are served. In addition to your hosts, Chris and
Diane, there are potbellied pigs, pigmy goats, dogs, cats, roosters, chickens,
and a parrot living at the inn. With the exception of the parrot, they all live
entire inn is very clean and well laid out. The landscaping is also very
attractive. The main lodge was built from the ground up by Chris and Diane. They
have done an amazing job with this property. The decor in the cabins has your
typical bed and breakfast feel to it, but itís not overdone like some BnBs are.
There are a lot of interesting books in the book shelves. Many of which focus on
activities around the island or diving.
two bedroom cabin consists of a double room with private bath, and a queen room
with a small table, bath, and kitchenette. There is a small hallway which
connects to a gear room. The room is a heated garage where you can store your
diving gear. It is well set up for hanging all of your gear including dry suits.
We stayed in the queen room. The bed was a bit uncomfortable, but not too bad.
three bedroom cabin consisted of an enclosed porch, TV and VCR, kitchen, common
bathroom, living room with a hide-a-bed, two double rooms, and one room with two
singles. There is a picnic table with outdoor furniture located just outside the
front door of the three bedroom cabin. This is a nice place to hang out in the
sun and enjoy a couple brews after a day of diving.
The main lodge includes a large dining room with hardwood
floors which open up to a large deck with a BBQ. The dining room and deck look
out over the harbor. All of the cooking takes place in a large commercial sized
Chris is the chef, and he is quite good. There is no going
hungry when staying at the Beaver Island Inn. There is always a variety of food,
and there is always a lot of it. Second helpings were gladly served. For
breakfast we had eggs, sausage, bacon, blueberry pastries, blueberry pancakes,
muffins, fruit salad, orange juice, coffee, and tea. For dinner we had barbecued
teriyaki salmon, tandori chicken, green salad, pasta salad, potato salad, rolls,
and potatoes. For dessert was an incredible cherry cheesecake. We always left
the table way too full. Everything was very good. Bring your own wine or beer.
They donít have a liquor license.
is the boat captain and a dive master as well. The only bad part of the trip was hauling
the gear down the dock to the boat. Its quite a long
dock. I would recommend that you bring a hand truck or a cart of some sort. His boat
is the Pender Chief. It is an old
1920 vintage tug boat. It has a very low profile to the water. There is a small heated
wheelhouse which can accommodate 4 to 6 divers. The back portion is covered and has a
bench, tank rack, and bungee straps for your tanks and BCs. There is also some under the
deck storage for more tanks and gear. The front portion of the boat is large and
uncovered. There is a front cabin which serves as a changing area and also provides more
Four divers can set up in the front portion of the boat if
the weather is decent. We had ten divers the first day. My wife and I chose to suit up in
the front area. This helped provide more room for the people in the sheltered back
portion. It was a bit tight with ten divers, but it was fine as long as everyone was
patient. You could do twelve if the weather was really nice and everyone got along OK. Six
would be fine in all types of weather. There is a large fin ladder which drops off the
stern. I found it very easy to get back into the boat fully geared. My small force fins
probably helped a little. Chris will also help you take
your BC off in the water if you prefer to climb the ladder without the extra weight. The
boat is not fast, so it takes some time to get to the dive sites. Lunch is served in
between dives and includes sandwiches, juice, fruit, cookies/pastries, hot chocolate, and
homemade soup. Chris is very patient, and lets you dive at your own pace. If you want to
go to a particular site, Im sure he would be willing to accommodate your requests.
He is very knowledgeable on diving in the area. Once your in the water, you and your buddy
are on your own. Its your responsibility to dive a safe profile and within your
capabilities. We dove twice on Saturday and once on Sunday. The dives were incredible.
Bluff, Agamemnon Channel
This dive is a wall dive that starts at the surface and
goes down to 400 plus feet. Between 20 and 40 feet there are white anemones that cover the
rocks. Coralline algae and sponge covers rock with purple and orange. Starfish are abundant
as are various cod, sea pen, urchins,
greenlings, blennies, crab, etc. Between 40 and 80 feet, more red, pink and purple
anemones begin to appear. The fish get larger, and the anemones are more colorful and
dense. From 0 to 70 feet the visibility ranged from 10 to 30 feet. At about 70 feet, the
water cleared up considerably. I would estimate that the visibility was easily 60 ft. It
was the best visibility I had ever seen in cold water. Between 80 and 120 feet the walls
were covered with huge cloud sponges
and chimney sponges. Some of the sponges appeared to be 5 ft in diameter. The current was
non-existent. It is a bit dark at 80 plus feet, so bring your light. This was an
incredible dive. Im sure there is the possibility of seeing wolf eel and octopus,
but we didnt see any. This dive is very similar to 2nd
Power Lines. I think the life is more abundant at 2nd Power Lines
Moon Bay, Agamemnon
This dive is a gradual stepped wall dive
going down to about 80 ft. The fish, anemone and coral life is pretty typical for the
area. Various cod, anemones, urchin, crab, etc. There is quite a lot to see,
and includes a wall packed with white plumose anemones. The visibility was about 20-30ft.
The current was minimal. This is a pretty good 2nd dive. Im sure there is
the possibility of seeing wolf eel and octopus, but we didnt see any.
Lines, Agamemnon Channel
This dive is a wall dive that starts
immediately at the surface and goes down to 400 plus
feet. Between 20 and 70 feet there is a good amount of the typical marine life. Its
very colorful and dense. Coralline algae and sponge covers rock with purple and orange.
Starfish are abundant as are various cod, urchins, blennies, greenlings crab, etc. Between
40 and 80 feet, more red, pink and purple anemones begin to appear. The fish get larger,
and the anemones are more colorful and dense. From 0 to
70 feet the visibility was about
20 to 40 feet. At about 70 feet, the water cleared up considerably. I would estimate that
the visibility was easily 70 ft. It was the best visibility I had ever
seen in cold water.
Between 80 and 120 feet the walls were covered with huge cloud sponges and chimney sponges. There seemed to be more here than at Furney Bluff, and they were larger as well. Some of the sponges
appeared to be 6 ft in diameter. We saw some jellyfish, some weird jellyfish like creature
that had rainbow colored phosphorescent lights. The other divers we were with went down to
150 ft where they saw huge gorgonian corals. The current was non-existent. It is a bit
dark at 80 plus feet, so bring your light. This was an incredible dive. Im sure
there is the possibility of seeing wolf eel and octopus, but we didnt see any. It
was very deep, but very easy because it went straight down. No navigation
We had a great time at
Beaver Island Inn and diving with Pender Chief Charters. We are looking forward to going back soon. We
couldnt have been more pleased with the services provided by Chris and Diane. They
make the weekend a pleasure. Their prices are very reasonable.
At the time of writing, prices were approximately
$199-$280/ea (Canadian) for the entire weekend. This includes two days of boat
diving, 2 breakfasts, 2 dinners, 2 lunches on the boat, and lodging for 2
nights. Once you experience this first class operation for yourself, you
will realize why the Beaver Island Inn is one of the best bargains in the
Unfortunately, This operation is no longer in business. Too
good to be true I guess.
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