There's good reason why famed underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau described the waters off the coast of British Columbia as the best temperate diving in the world. This lush, rainforested region boasts over 20 thousand kilometers of coastline that is home to some of the most varied and colourful sea-life in North America. In fact, these North Pacific waters sustain over 5 thousand of invertebrates, 400 species of fish and forests of kelp and algae. In recent years, diving has continued to grow in popularity, emerging as a mainstream recreational activity. And with such a protected coastline, this amazing activity has now become just as safe and accessible to novices as it is to seasoned dive-masters. These waters teem with exotic sea-life. Whether Wolf eels, Dungeness crabs, lingcod, sponges, Stellar sea lions or harbor seals, the residents of these friendly waters will likely be as curious to see you as you'll be to see them.
Fantastic scuba diving spots exist all over British Columbia: Victoria, Saanich Inlet, the Gulf Island, Campbell River, Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Howe Sound, Indian Arm, Sechelt Peninsula, Powell River, Bella Coola… the list goes on. But the mid-Vancouver Island city of Nanaimo is widely considered to be some of the best diving in the province. Sport Diver Magazine touted Nanaimo as "one of the most hardcore and enthusiastic dive communities in the world!" And with its gorgeous kelp gardens, giant and gentle Pacific Octopi, beautiful Six-Gill sharks and playful Harbour seals, it's easy to see the allure. But there's more to the Nanaimo diving experience...
Nanaimo is unique in having three world-class artificial reefs. Over 75 thousand divers have enjoyed the awesome spectacle that is the wreck of The Saskatchewan that was sunk in the late nineties. As if that's not enough, the Cape Breton (the second largest diver-prepared artificial reef in the world) sits pristinely on the ocean floor as does the RivTow Lion, an ideal novice dive destination that sits only 70 feet below the surface with the funnel at 36 feet and the main deck at 45 feet.
Other underwater wonders exist all along the BC coast. If you're diving at Saltery Bay's Mermaid Cove, the ghostly statue of a mermaid, the Emerald Princess, emerges from the dark, deep green depths 55 feet below the surface - as surreal as it is hauntingly beautiful.
Dive in BC this vacation. There's so much more below the surface...