There aren't many days when the current is weak enough to make me feel comfortable shore diving in Gabriola Pass. Today (Jan. 16, 2010) there was there a decent slack that also happened to be in the middle of the day on a weekend. During the whole drive up to Nanaimo and the ferry ride over to Gabriola I was feeling a bit glum and bitter. It was a darkly-overcast morning with pouring rain. All the rivers on Vancouver Island were pumping their chocolate milk into the ocean and I was resigning myself to a dark, gloomy, swim-with-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face kind of dive. I drove to the end of the road near Gabriola Pass and put on my gear while sloshing around in the mud. As I was walking down to the water the rain stopped, the clouds parted, the sun blazed down, the choirs of angels sang out and I descended in 40-50 feet of visibility. When it's nice and clear like this, the topography here is stunning. I swam along the stepping walls and could see the boulder bottom of the pass stretching out below me. The last few times I was here I saw a fuzzy coating of orange hydroids over much of the bottom. This time I didn't notice any, but maybe I was just distracted by the overall spectacle. After the dive as I was walking back up the beach, I saw a group of sealions with clouds of misty breath swimming through the pass.