Know Before You Go
THE GP EXPERIENCE
Nestled in the temperate rainforest on a small island in a remote corner of the Pacific coast of Canada, God’s Pocket offers a comfortable and convenient launching pad to some of the world’s best cold-water diving.
The world class dive sites of Browning Pass are just a short boat ride away from God’s Pocket Bay (aptly named for its protected waters and cozy cove). This area is home to a mind-boggling concentration and diversity of marine life.
Strong currents flow through Browning Passage for most of the day, mixing nutrients from the deep and surface waters creating the perfect environment for marine life. Giant acorn barnacles grow in huge proliferations creating massive underwater reefs. Their hard shells provide habitat for a plethora of colourful encrusting marine life. Hidden in the reef you will find decorated warbonnets, grunt sculpins, giant pacific octopus, wolfeels and too many other species of fish to count. This area is remote, and it is rare that we ever see another dive boat in this area. There are no crowds on our dives!
It is because of these strong currents this is such an incredible place to dive, but it also means we have to plan our dives carefully every day to put our divers in at the very best time, so they have the best conditions. Diving in Browning Passage is an incredible experience, but it can also be challenging for inexperienced divers. Divers can expect water temperatures between 7°-9° C (44°-48° F)
Divers looking to come visit us should be experienced in diving in cold water, current, and in their drysuits. Divers are required to have a minimum of 100 total dives and a minimum of 50 of those dives in cold water/drysuit diving. God’s Pocket does not offer an in-water guide so divers should be comfortable with independent diving planning after a thorough dive briefing from our knowledgeable crew. Some of our dives can only be safely experienced at slack tide which changes time every day, and some will be drift dives. We do not use reef hooks.
The first dive of the trip is always done in a protected and shallow bay with a soft bottom so guests can check out their gear, weights and get comfortable with our systems. Our Captains and dive crew are very experienced and know our dive sites intimately, they will plan your dives for the best conditions at the time so you can enjoy the very best Browning Passage and the surrounding area has to offer!
In between dives, guests are welcome to take advantage of being on shore by hiking some of the forest trails around Hurst Island, kayaking in the surrounding waters, relaxing on the covered sundeck or accessing our excellent marine species reference library in the cozy and bright communal clubhouse.
God’s Pocket is completely off the grid, we make and store all of our own power and we operate as lightly as possible on Hurst Island. This has several important implications.
Nature – Please be aware you are sharing space with nature and wildlife when you visit us. It is not uncommon to see eagles, herons, seagulls, crows, mink and many more animals right in the GP bay. Hurst Island and the surrounding islands are also home to coastal wolves, we are incredibly lucky to have them as our neighbours, they respect our space and we respect theirs, we have never had a negative interaction with the local wolves. To continue to be good neighbours to the wildlife we ask guests not leave food where it can be accessed by animals.
Electricity – We operate off a bank of batteries that we maintain and charge using generators, wind, and solar. This means we need to manage our power consumption actively, and prefer to err on the side of lighter use when we can. As mentioned in the logistics section, heating elements aren’t great for the battery bank – therefore personal heating elements (hair dryer, hair curler, small heaters etc) are not permitted. We are constantly looking for ways to become greener and welcome any experience and knowledge that will help us reduce our footprint even faster!
Water – We gather our mains water from a natural spring about a kilometre away, and we desalinate saltwater to make drinking water (available through a separate spigot in each bathroom), bringing it well beyond required ppm levels with our 900psi reverse osmosis unit. Both systems go through several levels of filtration, and both are blasted with UV filtration, as well. Needless to say we work hard for our water, and there is a limited supply! We ask you to be very conscious about usage, and limit showers and flushes as much as possible. No need to limit your drinking water intake though – stay hydrated!!
Septic – We run a septic system that also needs care. This means not flushing anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet! We also ask that you limit the amount of toilet paper that is flushed & provide a fresh natural waste bag to place your used wipes when it’s agreeable.
Garbage – All the garbage needs to come off the island at some point. We don’t want to leave anything drifting off into the amazing environment of the forest or bay. We have a set of sorted recycling bins, compost buckets and garbage bins, and ask your help in making sure that all garbage gets deposited in those, so we can take it with us to Port Hardy.
In order to keep accessing such a magical part of the planet we need to continue to act with respect to the wildlife and ecosystems around us. We thank our guests in advance for joining us in these actions.