BC is considered one of the top diving destinations in the world. Famed underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau once claimed that the province's waters were "…the best temperate water diving in the world and second only to the Red Sea." More recently, Rodale's Readers' Choice Awards have consistently ranked Canada's West Coast waters as the best in North America, and for good reason. Below the surface exists a colourful world of amazing sealife. From Wolf eels, sponges and anemones to Stellar sea lions and harbor seals, this is one place that won't leave divers disappointed.
While the coast of BC is known for fantastic diving points, the waters off the city of Nanaimo are by far the most ideal for breathtaking subterranean flora and fauna. A dive here typically includes drifting through the kelp gardens, playing with the giant Pacific Octopi, swimming with the beautiful Six-Gill sharks and cavorting with the rambunctious Harbour Seals, not to mention some amazing wall descents!
But what really makes Nanaimo's diving unique is the presence of three world-class artificial reefs. The most popular (with over 75,000 dives) is the wreck of The Saskatchewan which was sunk in 1997. Check out the Cape Breton, the second largest diver-prepared artificial reef in the world. This ship was sunk in 2001 and sits perfectly on the ocean floor with a top depth of 35 feet and a bottom depth of 142 feet. The most recent addition to Nanaimo's artificial reefs is the RivTow Lion, an ideal dive for beginners, sitting at 70 feet with the funnel at 36 feet and the main deck at 45 feet.
Other fantastic locations around the province provide top-notch diving as well, whether you're a seasoned pro or just getting your feet wet. From the Sunshine Coast to Vancouver, from Victoria to the rest of Vancouver Island, there are outlets with all the facilities and gear you need to experience the deep like you've never seen it before. And they have the vessels, too -- 8-person 29-foot custom diving vessels, rigid hulled Zodiacs and everything in between.
British Columbia might have multiple wonders on its gorgeous shores and across its great expanse, but if you're brave enough to peak beneath the surface, a whole new world awaits you. Pull on your flippers and prime your tanks…
BC might be beautiful to some, but if you're adventurous enough, it can actually be a real dive!