Canada

Diving Coastal British Columbia

Wayne Grant exploring Barkley Sound

Referred to as the Salish Sea by local aboriginal people, the coastal inland waters stretching from Puget Sound to Johnstone Strait provide a vast and diverse area for scuba divers to explore. Not only are these temperate, nutrient-rich waters teeming with colorful marine critters of all sizes, visitors can enjoy underwater activities like photography, shipwrecks, deep walls and drift diving.

Humpback Whale, British Columbia
Humpback Whale, British Columbia

Endangered humpbacks thriving off British Columbia

Once thought to be near-extinct along the B.C. coast, humpback whales now appear to be thriving in the Salish Sea. According to the Pacific Whale Watch Association (PWWA), whale numbers in the area are "unprecedented", especially around Vancouver Island’s southern tip. Although whales typically travel in groups of two or three in the Salish sea, PWWA executive director Michael Harris said 20 are now being observed, similar to conditions only found in Alaska and Hawaii.

British Columbia's Newest Wreck Celebrates First Year

One day the Annapolis will resemble surrounding dive sites

For the local diving community, it is hard to imagine a full year has already passed since the sinking of the HMCS Annapolis in Halkett Bay, off Gambier Island in British Columbia, Canada. It only seemed like yesterday when crowds of onlookers gathered to watch the sinking on 4 April 2015. In little over two minutes, the ship was on the bottom, and Howe Sound had its first substantial wreck at 371ft (113m) in length!

Mine Quest 2 Expedition

Scene from the engine room of Bell Island Mine, Newfoundland, Canada. Photo by Jill Heinerth.

Last summer, my path led me for the first time to Newfoundland, Canada, more precisely to the town of Conception Bay South. Cave explorer Jill Heinerth invited me along with Rick Stanley, the owner of Ocean Quest Adventure Resort, to dive some wrecks in the bay. On this occasion, Stanley told us about a project whose realization he has been working toward for several years.

British Columbia's Sunshine Coast

Frosted nudibranchs can be found in both Upper and Lower Sunshine Coast. Photo by Barb Roy.

With over 53 miles (86km) of scenic picturesque coastline along Highway 101 and less than 40 inches (104cm) of rainfall per year, it’s no wonder the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia in Canada is a popular getaway for travelers from around the world. Both the upper and the lower sections offer an array of great dive sites and a myriad of other fun activities on a year-round basis.

Thousand Islands Wrecks of St. Lawrence River

Within a day’s drive from New York City is a wreck junkie heaven, with numerous shipwrecks to explore along the St. Lawrence River on the US-Canadian border, in the area called the Thousand Islands. Larry Cohen and Olga Torrey give a sampling of the wrecks in the region popular with both the American and Canadian diving communities.

Pavillion Lake

I first learned about this unusual lake, nestled in Marble Canyon Provincial Park of British Columbia (BC), Canada, when some friends living in Kamloops asked me to join them for a dive at a local, clear freshwater lake. Since it was only a few hours from Vancouver, I decided to take them up on their offer and headed for the interior parts of BC.

Ron Akeson (1957-2014) - Mission Well Done

Technical Dive Instructor Ron Akeson

I don’t think a week ever went by where I didn’t hear Ron tell someone at his Bellingham dive store, “My motto in life follows the saying: growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” If you ever had the pleasure of knowing or meeting Ron Akeson, you probably understood how he viewed life, because he truly believed in trying to squeeze in every little bit of living into each and every day!

Exposure—How Long, How Deep, How Cozy?

The Royal Mail Ship, Empress of Ireland, was an ocean-going luxury liner on her way to Liverpool from Quebec City when she sank in the Saint Lawrence River, 14 minutes after colliding with a Norwegian collier in the early morning fog of 29 May 1914. She had 1,477 people on board—passengers and crew—and the accident claimed the lives of 1,012, more than 800 of them passengers.