China Creek in Port Alberni BC, has two exceptional dives that are both easily accessed from a beautiful beach with southern exposure.
At China Creek you can drive in for the day, or camp overnight. Either way, these are a couple of great dives that are quite enjoyable, and have depths for all skill levels.
I would recommend doing these two Port Alberni dives as they are certainly worthwhile, and interesting enough to do more than once!
The "Wall Dive" here is to the left as you stand on the far end of the beach and look south down the Alberni inlet. (Near camp sites #54 & 55)
It is pretty obvious if you are there, as the shear rock face on your left just continues on down to well beyond recreational diving depths.
How to do this dive
For the Wall Dive simply head out straight out from the beach and make your way to 40ft (12m) deep, and then make a 90 degree left turn.
You should almost immediately find an old sunken boom boat to explore, then when you are done just carry on the same heading keeping the wall on your left. When you have expended roughly a third of your air simply turn around and head back.
Lots of fish and various marine creatures grace the wall, as well as the odd octopus.
The "Migrant Ship" dive is off at roughly a west heading if you are starting from the end of the beach as described above.
How to do this dive
The easy way to find the wreck is to take a bearing perpendicular to the beach and head straight out to a depth of 60 to 70 feet or (20 m).
Now turn right 90 degrees, (west) and stay on the 70ft depth contour, it is about a 7 or 8 minute swim to the ship depending on your speed.
Do not be concerned about missing the boat as it is about 130feet in length and laying down the slope, (perpendicular to the beach).
The stern begins at about 60ft (18m) deep and the bow reaches to over 100ft (30m) in depth.
Be cautious! This is a rusty old hulk!
The wreck is a great dive with a fair amount of marine life on it.
Octopus like to make it their home and hunting ground do to the large amount of dungeness crab around. As divers, you probably know this is one of the cephalopods favorite foods.
Wolf eels can also be found occasionally, along with several other types of fish species and Anemones.
Have fun and dive safe, cheers!
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.