Nanaimo BC on Vancouver Island has some of the best cold water diving in the
From left to right: Cabezon on Snake Islands Wall
Anemonies in Gabriola Passage
Plumose Anemonies with Copper Rockfish
Juvenile Rock fish guardians of the HMCS Saskatchewan.
If you are already a cold water scuba diving enthusiast, or new to diving and just want to be amazed, this is a great dive destination to visit.
Nanaimo, BC is a small metropolis with three dive shops, (link to nanaimo dive shops) and all amenities for divers and tourists alike.
If you are someone who loves the outdoors, this city in the central portion of Vancouver Island, is a sportsman's (or woman's) paradise.
There are a few very good shore dives right here in town as well as several amazing boat dives.
The shear wall at Snake Island that is covered with Plumose Anemones (which is absolutely spectacular by the way), or how about the two artificial reefs, the HMCS Saskatchewan and the HMCS Cape Breton.
There is even a giant tugboat right in Departure Bay, the Rivtow Lion.
This is cold water diving at its best!
Also worth mentioning is that this centrally located city is connected to Vancouver's mainland by two major BC Ferries terminals.
Also known as the hub city, Nanaimo is very close to many other Vancouver Island communities with fantastic scuba diving opportunities, many with good to excellent shore access.
For example, just a one half hour drive North gets you to an area known as Nanoose Bay, which has some excellent dive sites that are all accessible from shore!
A short ferry ride from downtown Nanaimo gets you over to Gabriola Is. where you will find some absolutely excellent dive sites that can be accessed from shore.
But honestly once you get to Vancouver Island you will see for yourself that west coast diving offers some of the best dive sites for the avid cold water diver.
Whether from shore or boat there is adventure and challenges for all skill levels.
Just bring your enthusiasm!
Nanaimo BC Dive sites:
Dodd Narrows> - (drift dive, advanced level, boat access)
Neck Point Park> - (all levels, shore access)
Snake Island Wall> - (advanced level, boat access)
HMCS Cape Breton> - (advanced level, boat access)
HMCS Saskatchewan> - (advanced level, boat access)
Rivtow Lion> - (all levels, boat access)
Keel Cove> - (all levels, shore access)
Orlebar Point> - (advanced level, shore access)
Gabriola Passage> - (advanced level, shore access)
Breakwater Island> - (advanced level, boat access)
Clark Rock> - (all levels, boat access)
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.