Peter Cove is adjacent to Wallace Point at the south end of North Pender Island. Earlier this week I was over there for a day trip so I used the shore access at the south side of the cove for some snorkelling on a sunny day.
This first video shows the site. I made it after the dive so there are still water droplets on the optical window of the housing.
The next one is a panorama taken from along the right hand side of the cove where I was still in the shade.
This last one shows some of the marine life that I saw. Everything in the video was so close to the surface that no diving was required.
- 01:09 Neoturris breviconis jelly at exactly the time of year when these are most commonly reported
- 02:16 Leopard dorid nudibranch
- 02:47 Lined chiton
- 03:01 Encrusting sponge
- 03:16 Northern Feather duster tube worm
- 03:52 Urchins
- 03:54 White Plumose anemone
- 04:08 Comb jelly
- 04:29 Hudson’s dorid nudibranch
I spent most of my time along the right hand side of the cove after entering at the shore access along Plumper Way. Toward the end I crossed over to the northwest side. I doubt that I was ever in water deeper than 3 metres. There was no boat traffic but, because I was alone and wearing only scuba fins and using only a small tow float, I did not swim over to any of the islets.
The subsurface video includes a glimpse of the mask I was using. It’s the same one that I have shown previously to document my experiments with stick-on corrective lenses. For me, at least, this is a very bad choice for any breath-hold diving but it worked out well on this occasion. I normally only dive to take a closer look at things on the bottom that I spot from the surface. Since the visibility was poor, I could not clearly see anything deeper than about 2 metres so no diving was required.
The Aqualung Atlantis mask, with its oval faceplate, is much like the Nemrod one I first used for scuba diving about 40 years ago. This was still a common design back then but the big problem with it was that to pinch one’s nose for equalization it was necessary to reach under the bottom of the faceplate to place two fingers in the pockets of the skirt beside the diver’s nostrils. That might be practical in warm water but with thick neoprene gloves I have never managed to do it without letting water into the mask.
Fortunately for me, I never actually had to do that because when scuba diving I only ever descended slowly and horizontally or feet-first so I was able to get away with hands-free equalization. However, a properly weighted person has to descend head-first and fairly quickly for breath-hold dives. Most people are simply not able to equalize their ears when inverted unless they pinch their noses so it is not at all surprising that masks like this are not used for freediving.
So why do I sometimes use the Atlantis mask?
One reason is that, for experimental purposes, the faceplate lets me attach stick-on lenses where ever I want, including in the ideal position for close-up reading of my wrist computer or camera screen. The other reason is that I just like its intangible open feel. Despite repeated A/B comparisons, I have never found that my normal low-volume, two-lens freediving mask has any worse field-of-view than the Atlantis, I just prefer looking through the latter. Admittedly, though, I might be under the influence of a tiny bit of nostalgia.