California Sea Lion at Cottom Point
Cottam Point is another of Nanoose Bay's best dive sites.
Do however pay close attention to the tide if you are planning to dive this site, as the current can be quite strong here!
The absolute best condition to look for is a flood tide with a small amount of water exchange.
This way you usually get fresher water from the Straight of Georgia, rather than on the ebb which can bring stirred up water from Northwest Bay.
This Nanoose Bay dive site is accessed by going north from Nanaimo on Hwy 19 then turning right at Northwest Bay Road.
Follow N.W. Bay road to Claudet Road (look for the Beachcomber Marina sign) and turn right.
Claudet road will naturally turn into Marina Way, and then follow this road to Seadog Road.
The site is at the end of this short road.
Now down the steps! and when you reach the beach you will see an old narrow band of concrete running into the water.
Enter there and take a heading for the island (Mistaken Island) you can see in front of you. It will be near zero degrees.
Stay on this course over the stone flats and you will come to a large rock formation which marks the end of a small reef, where there is some wreckage from a small sunken power boat.
Make an almost 180 turn and follow the reef back to Cottam Point, to any favorable exit a little north from where you started.
There are lots of different fish on the reef and a large number of swimming scallops, but the real highlight is when you and your buddy get buzzed by a few, or even several curious sea lions.
What an awesome show they put on. Hopefully you have a camera!
We have also gone into the water as described above and then turned left or west, swimming along the shoreline until reaching the reef.
You can then just follow the reef north for as long as you want, and turn back when your SPG say's its time.
Thanks for visiting, dive safe!
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.