Greater Vancouver and Lower Mainland Scuba Diving sports information, listings and links
Scuba diving was created by Jacques Cousteau who invented the Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus, which includes the air tanks, regulators, hoses and mask needed for effortless breathing under the water. Scuba diving is a great sport for seeing the undersea nature. When you have your PADI (Professional Association of Diving
Instructors), TDI (Technical Diving International), or NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) scuba diving certification, you can dive almost anywhere in the world.
Scuba diving involves not just the cost of the equipment, but also travel to good & often execotic scuba locations. The equipment for scuba diving is life-critical and always top quality, though you can rent it (especially if you don't dive a lot) at almost any resort or dive shop when you have a recognized certification.
Typical diving gear includes: a mask, a snorkel, a full length wet suit, a hood, a pair of diving gloves, a weight belt, a BCD (Buoyancy Control Device), a primary regulator with an alternate air source (second stage), an air tank, instrument console, diving boots, flippers, a diving knife, dive tables, a slate and an equipment bag for carrying the gear. The equipment is not cheap to buy, with a BCD costing $300-$800y.
Equipment and lessons are available at one of the scuba diving shops here. Try on every piece of equipment before buying. Those with a pool on location, will even let you try it underwater to make sure it functions and fits properly. If you choose to buy used equipment, check it thoroughly, have it inspected by a professional scuba diving equipment technician and ask to test it out (remember, its your life support underwater).
Vancouver is a wonderful place to dive, as the local ocean bed is filled with wonderful sights like the Skookumchuk Rapids and the hard coral reefs. There is a healthy charter boat industry in Vancouver , and charter trips all over are available starting at $65-85 for a one day trip.
There are a number of good places to dive in the Vancoouver area:
- Porteau Cove Provincial Park is located on the north shore of Howe Sound and has 4 wrecks
- Whytecliff Marine Park in West Vancouver aws designated as Canada's first protect marine area (access from Horseshoe Bay)
- Kelvin Grove in Lions Bay, with lots of wolf eels, though the beach area is private property
- Racoon Island in Indian Arm, offers scenic underwater reefs
Along the Sunshine Coast are several good dive areas:
- Sechelt Inlet, with the wreck of the Chaudiere, a 112 metre long Canadian destroyer
- Cooper Green Regional Park, a sheltered spot ideal for beginners
- Yuwanek Point, about 7 km past Porpoise Bay Provincial Park
- Halfmoon Bay at the old government dock
- Skookumchuck, with the Sechelt Tidal Rapids (for experts)
- Saltedry Bay at Powell River, with its octopus colony
If you are a student at the University of BC you'll want to get a hold of the Aqua Society (822-3329), who offers classes at all levels of experience