Nanoose Bay has some of the best dive sites on Vancouver Island!
With Madrona Points multiple site location being the best of the bunch.
With multiple dives at this one location, good shore access, and plenty of challenges for all skill levels, it is easy to see why this Nanoose dive site is so highly rated!
Madrona Point has so much information I suggest you follow this link "Madrona Point Overview" to a page and Map devoted to describing this awesome dive site!
Just down from Madrona Pt. is another dive site called Wall Beach.
It has excellent shore access and is easy to dive in most conditions.
It is an interesting site, that always has the good possibility of a Sea Lion encounter, as there are many living near by.
The Nanoose Bay dive sites are all about a half hour drive North of Nanaimo BC, off of Hwy 19 (or the Old Island Hwy).
A right turn onto Northwest Bay Road at the Petro Canada Gas Bar gets you to all of the access roads for the dive sites listed.
Another great dive site in the Nanoose Bay area is called by either name of Tyee Cove or Seducers Cove, and is an excellent site that is well known amongst the local diving community.
It is the one location you can dive no matter what mother nature throws at you.
It recently has had some upgrades to make it more Diver Friendly, such as the installation of a Washroom and a Change room.
This site is used by all, whether for fun scheduled club dives (both day and night), training courses, or just some friends getting together.
Dolphin Beach Dive Site is another dive site just a short distance down the road from Tyee Cove. This is a great dive and a favorite of many, but the shore access is a little challenging.
If you do plan on doing this dive the one absolute you need is a minimum of a 10ft tide, and preferably on the Rise.
But don't let me dissuade you though, this is a great dive site!
There are also a few more dive sites in Nanoose Bay just a 10 minute drive north.
The Jib dive site is one of them and is another site that can be accessed on pretty much any tide.
It also has easy beach access and depths for all levels of diver.
Cottam Point I consider to be an advance level dive.
The depth is not an issue but there is often strong current here if you dive other than a slack tide. Be aware!
The dive is best done on a low slack, just after the tide starts to rise, and with minimal water exchange!
At all of these sites there is lots of marine life!
You might see such things as Wolf eels, Puget Sound King crabs, Brittle Stars, Feather Stars, Boot Sponges, Nudibranchs, Swimming Scallops, and lots of varieties fish.
There is also a strong possibility of a visit by an inquisitive Sea Lion or two.
They really seem to like Cottam Point for some reason!
Dive safe, cheers!
Wall Beach> (all levels, shore access)
Tyee Cove>, (all levels, shore access)
Dolphin Beach>, (all levels, shore access)
Cottam Point>, (advanced level, shore access)
The Jib>, (all levels, shore access)
Yeo Islands>, (all levels, boat access)
Map is strictly for reference.
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.