See some of the best cold water diving. British Columbia Canada is rated among the top ten cold water dive destinations in the world. Come, see what Vancouver Island has to offer and don’t forget to bring your camera.
Vancouver Island has some of the best cold water diving in the world.
Nanaimo has both shore dive sites and boat charters to offer. There are several good shore diving sites just north of town in Nanoose Bay that great for all levels of divers and are nice for beginners and divers who like easy dive sites, easy entries into the water. There are a few sites that are definitely more challenging for entry, offer longer swims and deeper depths for the more experienced diver. We get a lot of tourists coming to dive the Island in the summer months and most have great dive experiences, but vis can get bad. However, you never know, the past two summers have had really good visibility. Our winter diving that offers the best visibility of the year and less crowded dive sites (most days). Night diving presents a different feel to the usual dive site and offers a different variety of life to see. We have many underwater critters and the live changes with the seasons and the sites change between day and night.
The wrecks off the coast of Nanaimo
Offer deep dives that is unlike shore diving.
Depending on where you dive around the island you can see such things as bottle nosed dolphins, killer whales, sea lions, seals, wolf eels, six gill sharks and dogfish. Or experience any of the natural or artificial reefs of which there are three in the immediate vicinity of Nanaimo; The Saskatchewan, The Cape Breton and the RivTow Lion all very good dives and very diver friendly if you have your advanced open water certification and some dive experience.
The local divers
Most local divers are dry suit divers, but…
diving in a wetsuit can be done. Doesn’t matter what time of year you come diving, if you are diving in a wetsuit you will need a two piece 7mm wetsuit with everything; hood, gloves, boots. We wear a lot of weight here to sink us underwater, mostly in the 34- 46 pound range depending on a persons size. The more fit you are, the easier it is to lug around all the gear. We suggest brushing up on your skills if you haven’t been in the water for awhile, a refresher course before you come for a visit will make diving here a lot more enjoyable.
Diving Nanaimo is a year round activity
Some of our local divers dive every week all year long even if we get a bit of snow. That’s a cool experience to come up from a dive and it’s snowing on the surface. Or a night dive in flat calm water with a full moon shining through the surface. Or sitting at your safety stop and watching rain drops hit the surface twenty feet above your head. Or starting a dive in very low vis to suddenly drop below it to a crystal clear dive. Every time we go for a dive it’s a different experience.