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.

Underwater Nanaimo

I am often asked, “Where is the best place to photograph underwater critters in British Columbia?” Well, there is certainly no simple answer to this question and I usually end up replying something like this; “Unless there is a plankton bloom, bad weather or visibility is poor, there are no bad places to dive in BC, therefore you can see critters on every dive!”

British Columbia: Diving Canada's Freshwater Interior

Although British Columbia’s (BC) coastal area offers numerous shipwrecks, colorful walls and reefs full of life, there are also a considerable amount of freshwater lakes and rivers to explore within what is known as BC’s Interior Region of Canada. Actually, you might be surprised at what you will find to do and see above and below the water.

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.