Meet Our Team
Antoine – Owner
Originally from Switzerland, Antoine came to live in Canada to pursue his schooling in commerce and marketing. After completing his degree he decided to follow his passion to become a commercial helicopter pilot. He worked commercially as a pilot in the US, eventually starting a company that provided heli-medevac services in Panama. Antoine met Claus during their commerce degree and they have been friends and teammates (playing hockey) ever since. When the opportunity to purchase God’s Pocket arose, they jumped at the chance to become business partners in a company that offered a change of pace and a set of new challenges. Antoine loves seeing his Swiss culture influence the style of GP, being surrounded by the unfiltered nature and especially loves getting out on the lodge’s boat MV Ratfish to explore the waters around Hurst Island. Antoine works hard behind the scenes, ensuring all of the necessary building blocks are in place so that the GP crew can deliver incredible experiences for guests. His favourite experience so far has been getting to know and learn from so many dynamic, interesting, and incredibly knowledgeable crew members.
Claus – Owner
Claus fell in love with GP from the very first moment he visited the lodge; as Bill & Annie steered the Hurst Isle around the bend of the bay and the lodge magically appeared in front of him he knew he was in a very special place. He has lived and worked in some exciting places like London, New York, San Francisco, Oslo, & Vancouver, but feels that God’s Pocket is truly a unique place to live and work. As a diver, he appreciates the mind blowing biodiversity and bio-density of marine life in the waters around GP (ask him about his first dive at GP, if he hasn’t excitedly ‘whaled’ about it already!). As a nature enthusiast, he can’t get enough of the raw land and sea, and the incredible abundance of wild animals and lush green rainforests that surround the lodge. As a spiritual person, he feels a deep connection with the palpable presence of GP. As a tech geek, he loves learning all the complex systems that are needed to maintain an off-grid place like this. Claus is very excited to be able to share such a special place with guests from all over the world. He is energized by the incredible support from everyone (crew and guests alike) to learn every system, improve how everything works, and make the GP experience as amazing as it can be.
Chris Miller – Captain
Captain Chris is a dive live-aboard legend on the BC coast. He has been diving since 1975 working as a commercial diver for many years before getting his Captains ticket in 1997. Chris and his wife Belinda ran their live-aboard dive boat, the MV Sea Venture, for many years bringing divers from all over the world to experience the incredible diving around Vancouver Island and has lots of excellent stories from this time (make sure to ask him!). His favourite area to dive and to bring divers is in the waters around Port Hardy and Browning Passage. Chris remembers his first visit to God’s Pocket in 1990 with a group of divers from Winnipeg and he has been coming back ever since. Captain Chris is thrilled to be back working at God’s Pocket, sharing the beauty of the lodge along with his intricate knowledge of all the incredible dive sites in and around Browning Passage. His favourite dive site is 7 Tree and he is looking forward to being a part of the next chapter in the evolution of the lodge with Claus and Antoine.
Belinda “B” Miller – Chef
Chef Belinda, aka “B”, has always enjoyed cooking for people but her true love was ignited in 1998 when she was working in the office of a dive company and was abruptly called out of the office to cook on the dive boat MV Sea Venture. B hit the decks running and hasn’t permanently returned to being land locked since. Captain Chris and Belinda fell in love working on the Sea Venture and in 1999 they took over operations. They spent many years sharing the wonders of the water (above and below) with divers from all over the world (ask B for some amazing stories from their many adventures on the Sea Venture!) while providing high quality hospitality and delicious home cooked meals. Belinda and Chris had the pleasure of working with Bill and Annie at God’s Pocket in 2004, and ever since then it has held a very special place in her heart. Belinda loves being surrounded by the incredible nature on Hurst Island while she whips up her famous delicious, home-cooked meals for guests.
Tiare Boyes – Divemaster
Tiare has worked as a Divemaster in Browning Pass for almost a decade, first aboard the dive boat Nautilus Swell in 2013 and then started with God’s Pocket in 2014. Her intricate knowledge of the dive sites and marine life that call Browning Pass home is as deep as her love for kelp forests.
Tiare also works as a freelance photographer, with underwater film projects, as a sustainable seafood harvester and is a recycled buoy artist, turning Ocean garbage into art. Tiare’s art is inspired by the life in Browning Pass and the kelp forests on Seven Tree, Ruth’s Rocks and Buttertart feature in almost every one of her creations. Tiare’s favourite dive site in the area is Fantasy Island. She has been visiting the same individual wolfeels there (nicknamed named Waldorf, Statler, Stephen and Mongo) for almost a decade and feels a strong affection for such handsome fish. Tiare loves working at God’s Pocket because it is a place where crew and guest alike come because they share a love for the deep cold Pacific ecosystems.
Bryan Hillyer – Divemaster
Bryan is a SCUBA instructor based out of Vancouver who has been working in the SCUBA industry since 2019. He has been diving since 2016. His love for diving began when he was traveling in Australia and it has taken him to many places around the world to explore different underwater environments such as Belize, Mexico, Honduras, and Fiji. Although Bryan has traveled a lot, he thinks none of it compares to the beauty of Browning Passage and the surrounding waters. He is going into his second season of working as a Divemaster at God’s Pocket and every time he is in the water his mind is blown by the life there.
Bryan’s favourite dive site in the area is Snowfall; dropping in and seeing at first glance a beautiful blanket of white anemones covering the entire Ocean floor is a wow experience he will never forget.
Aside from the excellent diving, Bryan’s favourite part of working at God’s Pocket is hearing the plethora of dive stories from all the divers that come through the lodge.
Nadine – Guest Services
Nadine is excited to start her first season up at God’s Pocket working in the guest services roll at the lodge. She is looking forward to meeting the crew and all of the guests booked to dive with us in the spring of 2022. She is thrilled to explore more of the coast of Western Canada and the North Pacific Ocean and is looking forward to the opportunity to learn more about this unique part of the world.
Originally from Montreal, Nadine hit the road at 23 and has been traveling ever since. When living in Australia she completed her diploma in Outdoor Recreation where she discovered the ocean in a whole new way. Since then, she has been passionate about the Ocean and has had the opportunity to dive and kayak in incredible places all over the world.
Nadine has worked in outdoor adventure lodges in Ontario, BC, Australia and New Zealand and is looking forward to working at God’s Pocket!
Al Spilde- Captian
Captain Al is a living legend in the dive industry. His underwater career began in 1969 when he got hooked on diving and by 1973 he was working as a commercial diver. In 1978 he opened a dive shop in Kamloops and ran a commercial diving company, eventually opening two more dive shops in Vernon and Kelowna. Captain Al bought his first charter boat in 1985, the MV Sea Venture and started taking guests diving all over the Pacific coast of Canada. Later Captain Al bought the MV Mamaro and ran the MV Lady Goodiver. In 2000 he sold all his boat and went to get his 500 tonne master’s ticket. For two years Captain Al worked on the MV Nautilus Explorer running dive charters from Southeast Alaska down to the Salish Sea. He helped move the Explorer down to Mexico and worked down there for several years. In 2005 he helped convert the MV Swell into a passenger vessel. Al went back to work in Mexico for the Nautilus dive company running the Explorer and the Undersea Hunter for a few years. Between Mexico contracts, Al worked on the Uchuck, a vessel he remembers fondly as likely the only remaining working vessel to have an engine order telegraph in Canada. Captain Al started working with God’s Pocket in 2019 and has returned ever since to run trips and help with system upgrades and maintenance. Al is a wealth of information about diving on the Pacific Coast of North America and is filled with many incredible stories. He has enjoyed every minute working in the dive industry and doesn’t understand why not everyone wants to learn to dive because it is such an incredible experience.
Captain Al asserts that the diving in the waters around God’s Pocket is the best cold-water diving in the world and might even be better than many warm water dives. His favourite dive site is Fantasy Island because he loves visiting the charismatic wolf eels who live there.
Amber – Guest Services
Amber has been working for God’s Pocket since 2013 working in many positions including as a caretaker in the offseason as well as front end/housekeeping. Currently, she is working in the (remote) office (from her 27’ sailboat) running the scheduling and trip organization for the lodge.
Amber loves diving and finds being in the water both fascinating and peaceful. She has lived aboard her sailboat for 13 years and is raising her daughter with a deep love of the Ocean and all its creatures. Amber loves working at God’s Pocket because that is where her heart is, any chance to be up here she will jump at. She enjoys the challenges of working at an off-grid lodge and loves to hear the sound of wolves howling in the distance on still evenings which makes her feel at home. She finds the quiet solitude of Hurst Island very calming and loves working as the housekeeper because she gets to meet interesting people from all over the world. Amber loves to hear guests’ stories, where they have come from and what they have done in their lives and enjoys the abundance of laughter both guests and crew bring to God’s Pocket.
Suze Hall – Divemaster
Suze has been working at God’s Pocket since 2020 as Divemaster and housekeeper. Her love of diving began in 2013, across the pond in the UK when she joined her University dive club in Leeds. She remembers her first dive in a leaky, cold drysuit in a quarry on a chilly December day; and it absolutely rocked her world. She went on to run the dive training program at her University and eventually became the Club Chair for a number of years before she moved to Canada to pursue her love of all things that live in the cold, vibrant waters of the BC coast. Suze also works as a whale researcher at Orca Lab, a non-profit research centre in Blackney Pass and is our resident whale expert. She loves working at God’s Pocket for many reasons, she loves the amazing guests, the crew, the unparalleled diving and the chance to learn so much from our incredibly knowledgeable captains. Her favourite divesite is Buttertart aka. Rock of Life, as it has three dives in one site, from the colourful, exposed wall teaming with life, to the kelp forest that grows tall and abundant, right up to the eelgrass which shelters some of the most intriguing critters (like rock greenlings!). When Suze isn’t listening to the hydrophones with Orca Lab or working at God’s Pocket you can find her sailing the coast on her sailboat, exploring the many little bays with her favourite humans. Fun fact about Suze: she can speak several dialects of orca and she will do so readily in exchange for snacks (preferably pretzels).
Ted Beauchamp – Caretaker
Ted spent his formative years in Kitimat, working in many capacities in the concrete industry. In 2010 he bought his beloved Gitana, a 34” sailing vessel and struck out to explore every inch of the BC coast. His travels brought him to God’s Pocket in 2010 where he met Bill and Annie. In 2018 he stopped by the Pocket and met Antoine and accepted a job as caretaker in the off season. Now in his 3rd season of caretaking the lodge, Ted has a passion for hiking and getting to know every inch of Hurst Island. Ted has put a lot of hard work into maintaining the trails on the island and has discovered many hidden gems. He is also a mushroom hunter extraordinaire with a keen eye for the forest delicacies, he is an expert log salvager and can spot beach treasure from miles away. Ted can fix just about anything, is a fantastic cook and has an uncanny knack for finding the very best spots for sunset cocktails.
Russell Crowe – Bay Supervisor
Russell is the patriarch of a large family of Corvus caurinus. He particularly enjoys hunting for crabs at low tide, has a firm parenting style and is a loving lifelong partner to his mate Sheryl. Russell’s hobbies include intimidating humming birds, cleaning up the cookie crumbs guests drop on the deck of the hurst Isle and trying to get into the compost buckets.
Sheryl Crowe – Bay Supervisor
Sheryl is the matriarch of a large family that make their home in God’s Pocket bay. Sheryl (aka Sweetie) is a professional at mind control and making guests feel like they should share their snacks with her (don’t give into her adorable eyes!). In her spare time she likes to hunt for gunnels on the break water and to be groomed by her mate Russell.
A Note from God’s Pocket Special Advisors
Annie and Bill- GP Special Advisors
Owning an off grid SCUBA Resort in the middle of nowhere in ‘temperate’ waters is not on everyone’s wish list. However, for me, Bill Weeks, it was one of the best moves I ever made.
The work involved in keeping a place like that running well and not composting back to the earth was at many times overwhelming. Frequently I said to myself “Bill, what the fuck are you doing”.
BUT, the payoffs of having a fabulous loving supportive Spouse/Partner; Amazing Crew who now I consider family; the guests who became lifelong friends; the amazing things in nature that I witnessed every day; leaves me with absolutely zero regrets and much pride.
When it came time to ‘Pass the torch’ we were so grateful for Claus and Antoine. Their ideas were so much aligned with ours that it was a no brainer. Also, they said that we could visit anytime we wanted and be part of the groups. That sealed the deal.
What a joy for us to see much of the Crew as peeps who we know from our years there. This alone speaks volumes of what a very special place God’s Pocket is.
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