My 100th Dive (aka Naked Dive) At Shaw's Cove

July 30th, 2019

After putting it off for years I completed my scuba open water certification in December of 2018 and have spent the intervening months joyously diving pretty much every chance I get. I hit 25 dives in January, 50 in April, 75 in June, and after the recent Indonesia diving trip I was sitting at 95. Which after the big summer multi-sport road trip became 98. Then it was only logical to do a shore dive the morning I came back into town leaving me at the ever important 100th dive milestone.

In addition to being a nice satisfying number some people will tell you that the 100th dive is supposed to be done naked to celebrate the milestone. This seems to mostly be done in tropical areas and if Instagram is to be believed there seems to be a bit more female divers than males taking part (though that could possibly be due to the fact cold water is a bit more friendly to the female physique vs say your average pudgy white male.)

Several friends who have been diving for years hadn't heard of the whole 100th dive = naked dive thing but there's plenty of validation on the internet and I'm not one to buck a tradition. That is as long as I find it amusing.

And since I wasn't about to stop diving for any length of time until I could make it someplace tropical that left a southern California shore dive. So on a Tuesday morning Jen Blackie and myself headed out to my favorite local spot Shaw's Cove to get things done.

Diving Vancouver Island HMCS Saskatchewan and Clark Rock

July 23rd, 2019

This was at the tail end of our big summer road trip which included a visit to Banff and Jasper in Canada. When we were planning I happened to search on Canadian diving opportunities I found that Jacques Cousteau called Vancouver Island a world class diving destination. So there was nothing else to be done but make a special detour over to see for ourselves!

We'd called Nanaimo Dive Outfitters before the trip and they'd been able to rent us all the gear we need and take us out on their boat the Shepherd despite the fact it was a Tuesday morning and we'd be the only ones on it.

On their recommendation we'd scheduled a wreck dive of the HMCS Saskatchewan followed by a dive at Clark Rock to see the famously grumpy looking wolf eels.

Sayward Forest Canoe Route Vancouver Island Canada

July 20th to 22nd, 2019
Sayward Canoe Route
Day 1: 9.5 miles Gosling to Goose
Day 2: 14.3 miles Goose to Grey
Day 3: 8.4 miles Grey to Gosling
[Pics] [CalTopo] [Map]

The Sayward Canoe Route is a 48 -ish mile loop on Vancouver Island Canada involving 12 lakes connected with 13 portage sections where you have to transport your craft along trails and gravel roads. (This is actually much harder than it sounds!) It’s most commonly done in 3-5 days but we decided to hit it a little more aggressively and started at 4 pm on a Saturday at the southern end of Gosling Lake heading counter clockwise and finished about 2 pm Monday.

We ended up doing this route almost by accident. When planning our big 17 day road trip I'd come across mention of how amazing the cold water diving was off Vancouver Island and so we started to look for complimentary activities to justify the sizable drive out west from Banff. And since we had been itching to get out on another major paddle adventure after the awesome experience out in the San Juan Islands last summer this jumped out immediately when we came across it.

This was one of the major activities during out 17 day road trip across 8 western states and 2 Canadian provinces.  The previous few days had been spent in Banff and Jasper which were spectacular but our initial peakbagging plans had been scaled back due to the constant rain / snow.

Warm Water Scuba Diving At Homestead Crater Utah

July 10th, 2019
Homestead Crater, Utah

I am fortunate to live in Southern California where I have multiple accessible diving options even if the water can be a bit on the chilly side. But that doesn't stop me from wanting to check out the diving options whenever I'm traveling.

It has been surprising how many different places you can find out and about that offer diving. Lakes, quarries, rivers, aquariums, and every now and then something a bit more unique like Homestead Crater.

Homestead Crater's claim to fame is that it is the only warm water diving destination in the continental US.  It's located near Midway Utah and is found inside a large mineral dome which has a hole up top allowing sunlight to stream down into a 65 ft deep fresh water column. And it's hot, really bloody hot!

Fifth Water Hot Spring Utah

July 10th, 2019
4.5 miles, 1,400'
[Pics] [Caltopo] [Map]

Fifth Water Hot Spring is about 650 miles from home for me but happened to be located reasonably close to our planned route to Yellowstone and near the Homestead Crater dive site we wanted offering the perfect opportunity to check it out.

It's one of those photogenic sites you see online whenever you look up hot springs and it's located close to Provo and is a short enough hike that it's known to be quite popular pretty much all seasons and days of the week.

Playing Tourist On Mount Batur Bali Indonesia

June 29th, 2019
Mount Batur (5,633')
6.2 miles, 2,200'
[Pics] [CalTopo] [Map]

This hike was done during our 11 day dive-centric vacation to Indonesia. While most of the trip was spent on a liveaboard diving our butts off but we did have a day or two on either side to play tourist and since I've done very little international traveling I was eager to get a peak.

Normally I would go for the country or island high point but in Bali that would be Mount Agung which was off limits due to the minor issue that it's been actively erupting since 2017. So we ended up settling for Batur.

This is also one of those areas like Kilimanjaro where you're basically required to have a guide despite the basic nature of the hike. (Read here what someone went through trying to do it solo and you can read reviews on TripAdvisor of people claiming to have been assaulted.)

We didn't care enough to mess with any of that and found a guide outfit that would pick us up at 2 am, get us up the peak, and promised to return us to Denpasar early enough to pick up our dive luggage and catch our boat which was leaving around 1 pm. And they threw in a trip to a local coffee plantation.

And the price for all of this? $55 a person for a total of 1.5 million Rupiah via Bali Trekking Tour. Ouch.