Scuba Diving Vancouver Island

Scuba Diving is a popular outdoor pursuit on Vancouver Island.  Vancouver Island boasts some of the best cold water shore diving in the world with dozens of shore diving sites along the coast.  ScubaBC.ca is a scuba diving resource for divers coming to British Columbia and Vancouver Island to dive.  The website includes comprehensive listings of dive shops, dive charter companies, dive instructors, and various shore diving sites.

Some of Vancouver Islands more popular shore diving sites are:

Madrona Point Scuba Diving Site - Madrona is one of the most popular (and famous) shore diving sites on Vancouver Island.  If you want to see a Giant Pacific Octopus inside or outside of it's den or a mated pair of Wolf Eels, this is probably one of the best dive sites for that.  Madrona Point is located in Nanoose Bay, and has a small parking area for vehicles.  It's just a short walk to the beach where you'll find multiple points of entry.  The most popular dive here would be what locals call "The Big Wall".

The big wall can be found about 100 meters to the North of the right hand point.  You'll see a white buoy floating off-shore that marks the location of the start of the wall and it heads out in a westerly direction.  If you've never dove the site before it's often best to just surface swim out to the buoy, follow the line down and then from the bottom it's just a short 10-20m swim to reach the start of the wall.  If you trust your navigation skills you can set a compass bearing from roughly 0 degrees (aim for the buoy) and swim out underwater, it's about a 5-10 minute swim.  When visibility is really good, swimming underwater isn't an issue.  If the visibility is bad, many experienced divers have gotten lost here and found themselves doing a deep sandy bottom dive with not too much to see!

Oak Leaf Park Scuba Diving Site -Oak Leaf Community Park is a relatively new dive site as it's only been made accessible from the shore due to development in the area over the last few years.  There is ample parking here along with a small bathroom too.  A short 2 to 3 minute walk down the trail will lead you to a few different points of entry.  There are really two main draws here at Oak Leaf the first being the main wall, and the other being the big bay, which is a very popular night diving spot, especially for macro photography enthusiasts.

The main wall can be accessed from the right hand beach ( small little cove) and following the rocky formations on your left out and around the point.  It's a beautiful underwater wall with plenty of life along it.  You'll see large rockfish of various species, Giant Pacific Octopus hang out here, there is plenty of invertebrate life, and you may even get buzzed by a sea lion or two.

The big bay is a shallow dive, perfect for the beginner diver or anyone looking to get some good macro photos or videos.  There is an abundance of little marine critters in the big bay including opalescent squid, pacific spiny lumpsuckers, baby octopus, stubby squid, hermit crabs, nudibranchs, and more.

You can find more Vancouver Island Shore Dives here

 


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