The Small Wall at Madrona Point in Nanoose Bay is absolutely one of the best beginner shore dive sites on Vancouver Island!
If scuba diving is your thing, this is a must visit site!
Located just one half hour north of Nanaimo in the beautiful Nanoose Bay / Parksville area, it has excellent shore access, with several attractions and depths for all level of divers.
It's easy to see why this is such a great dive location.
Be prepared to see lots of fish, Anemones, Octopus, Sea Lions, Seals, and maybe even killer whales!
We will focus on the Small Wall and the Mid Wall at Madrona Point
on this page, though there are three or even four separate dives available at this great dive location.
Take the path to the beach and then go to your left. Keep going until you run out of real estate, and when you do, you will find the entrance for the Small Wall!
See Map below.
Depending on the tide, you will see a natural trench that makes for a relatively easy entry, or if you would rather, a giant step works just fine!
Once you submerge, just keep the wall on your right and enjoy.
(keep an eye out for Octopus hiding in the cracks, as evidenced by the discarded Crab shells that often litter the area below their lair)
When you reach the end of the Small wall you can either turn around and
retrace your route, exiting at the trench, or continue on, maintaining
your depth profile until your SPG tells you it's time to end the dive.
If you choose the latter, just turn South and you will not be far to the exit we call the "Big V".
An excellent variation of this dive is to head directly from the end of the Small Wall to the Mid Wall.
Simply take a heading of 10 or 15 degrees (from the end of the Small Wall) and swim for about 5-10 minutes.
Staying at the 50 foot depth contour will also give a good directional reference.
The Mid Wall at Madrona Point is an excellent place to find Octopus, but being a short wall, if the visibility is poor, the wall can be easily missed.
Make sure you have ample air if you are doing this add on dive!
When ready to head back, a south heading will quickly get you back to the exit known as the "Big V".
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.