Chemainus and Ladysmith
Dive Sites


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Both Chemainus and Ladysmith (just south of Nanaimo) on Vancouver Island have some pretty spectacular scuba diving.

Chemainus has a purposely sunk jet plane, in the form of a retired
boeing 737
that was sunk to create an artificial reef.
The Jet makes for a cool swim through as well as some nice photo op's!

There are also some nice walls and reefs to explore, or perhaps you would just like to try your luck at crabbing.

Ladysmith has access to a historical shipwreck site, which is the final resting place of the converted sailing vessel, the Robert Kerr.

This ship was also known as the ship that saved Vancouver, as back in June of 1886, the residents took refuge aboard the ship, as the town burned around them.
Later on the old sailing ship was converted to a coal barge, and it was during this period (Mar.4/1911), that the old girl was towed into the reef where she now rests.

Elliot beach is another nice Ladysmith dive site, which can be done from an excellent beach access.
This dive is neither deep nor technical, but certainly a decent dive for all levels.

There are as mentioned some pretty cool dives in this area, but here is the best saved for last.

The best diving in Chemainus and Ladysmith is in Porlier Pass!

This fast piece of water that runs between Valdes Is. and Galiano Island, is some of the best cold water diving you will find in the Pacific Northwest.
Access is by boat only from either Chemainus or Ladysmith, and trust me when I say, you will not be disappointed.

Go to Dive Site Directory From Chemainus and Ladysmith

The colours through the Porlier Pass, and the amount of marine life on the walls is simply astounding. Watch your buoyancy closely, as you  literally go by  hundreds, and even thousands of Sea Urchins (you don't want to ventilate your suit or yourself).
Keep your eye out for a basket star, as this is one of the few places you are likely to find these strange aquatic life forms.

This is a high current area for the advanced diver, and requires some advanced planning, and a "current" guide to safely dive here.
(This years Canadian Tide and Current Tables, Volume 5, Juan de Fuca Straight and Straight of Georgia).

Porlier Pass has a few of the best dive sites on all of Vancouver Island,
like Alcala Point for example.

But no matter what, the most important thing about this beautiful dive location is how incredibly dangerous the currents can be!
If you don't know the currents, or are not with someone who does, you might want to consider saving these special dive sites for another day.

Have fun and please dive safe!


Some other pages that may interest you

V.I. Marine Life

Cold Water Scuba Diving


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Tides & currents

Here is an excellent link to
tide and current charts
for Nanaimo, BC.
At the bottom of displayed
chart you will see two links,
"other tide stations" or
"other current stations"
follow these links for
information from California
and right up to Alaska.