Expedition – Bamfield Pre-Testing

The dive research expedition to Bamfield is broken into four stages. Today was the initial baseline testing of the divers (or pre-testing) before they begin the dive series. At the end of the next three weeks we will collect data as well. In the mean time we will get the divers familarized with the research equipment and get our own practice using it.

Taking the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo.

Luisa is here helping out with data collection and we are staying with the course instructor Sherri. Luisa and I caught the ferry from Vancouver Monday morning and made it to Bamfield around 4:00pm. The drive is nice, partially on highway and mostly on well maintained (but still bumpy) logging roads. The town of Bamfield is quite small; split in two around a bay. East Bamfield contains the schoolhouse (8 students), the resturant, and the Marine Station (where we are working). West Bamfield is only accessible by boat (5 min row from our dock) and is the preferred location for staff to live. East Bamfield also has the post office, coast guard station, and the store.

Bamfield Marine Science Center from West Bamfield. Luisa tying down the rowboat. Today was a Tsunami drill – Luisa trying to get to higher ground.

On our arrival, we were treated to several tours of the Marine Station. We saw the lab space that we would be working with and then scoped out some of the other facilities including the touch tank full of anenomes, sea slugs, cucumbers, and more. We finished the evening by introducing ourselves and the research project to the students with a quick presention.


A gallery of gross sea creatures. Some in the wild and some in the touch tank.


Tuesday morning we got up early to meet the research coordinator who helped us find some supplies we had forgotten and got everything arranged just as the divers showed up for testing. Luisa cruised through the ultrasounds on the boys and the blood draws went fairly smooth for me. I nailed 8 out of 10. Gotta improve my stats though.


Divers gearing up for a swim in the 8 degree water. Full dry suits and SCUBA gear. Dive profile from the first dive of the series.

Tuesday afternoon we got a break and time for a workout while the divers did a practice dive to get ready for the rest of the week. We finished the day with a row over to West Bamfield to pick up snacks and check out one of the beaches.


Sea stacks on Brady Beach.

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