Wall Beach in Nanoose Bay is a nice shore dive with a good entry, and it is special because it is frequented by Sea Lions, specifically during the winter months.
Getting there from Nanaimo:
It is an easy site to find, just go North of Nanaimo on Hwy 19, and then turn right at the Petro Canada Gas Bar onto Northwest Bay Road.
Follow this road for about 5 or 6 minutes, then turn right on Wall Beach Road. A short way down turn right on Seahaven Road, (it becomes a good gravel road) and follow it to the end where you can park. There is a short trail to the beach.
This is a great site for the newly certified as well as the advanced level diver. This is a very decent dive with excellent shore access from a rocky beach. The best and easiest time to dive here, is on a high slack tide.
Away from the beach on a heading of 350 to 0 degrees (anything west of this leaves you a shallow muddy bottom dive). Once you find the wall (after a short swim), just follow the wall East until your air supply dictates its time to turn back. Your return heading will be approximately 210 degrees.
As was mentioned this site is a great place to find Sea Lions, especially from October to March, as a large colony stays at the Northwest Bay log sort, not far away. Sometimes there are even 4 or 6 of these large marine mammals at a time. A little intimidating, but also very cool!
At this site there are various species of fish, an occasional Octopus or Wolf eel, and lots of small creatures in the shallows.
I have had at least one amazing Octopus encounter at Wall Beach, while diving with Dean Driver back in 2019, check out his Youtube footage at the link below, (you will have to copy and paste it!) or above right!
This is a great opportunity to get some video footage of the Sea Lions buzzing around your dive buddies. I think you will find this is always good for some follow up entertainment, or maybe even some footage to get notoriety on You Tube.
This dive site can be be considered available to all levels of experience, and I believe Free Divers will also enjoy this location!
Cheers, and 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.
Below is the Octopus we encountered while diving this site back in 2019. Poor guy is missing a limb!
Copy and paste the link below to see the video footage!