Dive Reviews - Submitted By CoolDives Viewers

Legendary British Columbia diving in Port Hardy at the Browning Pass Hideaway - photo courtesy of VancouverIslanddive.comDive Reviews:

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Photo (right) of Browning Wall courtesy of Darryl Leniuk.

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GreenSea Diving 3 Night Dive Vacation Package

Browning Pass Hideaway, Port Hardy

Annapolis Ship Preparation

Swordfish Island and Race Rocks Dive Site Review

Vancouver Whale Watching Adventures

Dive Site, Dive Store, British Columbia Accommodation or Dive Operator Review

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Dive Reviews

Diving The Sunshine Coast

Wreck of the Malahat

First Name: Scott

City: Powell River

State/Prov: British Columbia

Country: Canada

What are you reviewing?: Dive Site

Name(s): Wreck of the Malahat

Rating: 4 Stars (Great!)

Details (please explain why): This site is the final resting place of the Malahat.

She was a 5 masted wooden hulled auxiliary schooner with a colorful history, which was covered in an episode of "The Sea Hunters."

This is a great site for photos and sea life viewing. Depth ranges from 30 feet at the bow (where there is an interpretive plaque from the Underwater Archeological Society of BC) to 80 feet at the stern.

There is very little of the hull structure left intact, however there are some steel fuel/water tanks located near the stern.

This wreck is home to ling cod, rock fish, greenlings, perch, sea lions, octopus, loads of different types of nudibranchs and even some rock scallops.

Access is from Seconds Beach in Powell River near the mill.

See the local dive shop for directions.

We recommend Alpha Dive Services for information on diving the Malahat.

Tuwanek Point

Name: Mario H

City: Surrey

State/Prov: B.C.

Country: Canada

What are you reviewing?: Dive Site

Name(s):Tuwanek Point (Sechelt, Sunshine Coast)

Rating: 4 Stars (Great!)

Visibility - How many feet?: 20-30

Details (please explain why): I went to Tuwanek on Jan31/09 with my buddy. It was my first dive outside the Vancouver area. It was a sunny day and it was actually quite warm.

The surface current was evident but not too bad. The vis for the first 6-8 ft as we descended was a bit murky... but once we got down below that it just got better and better.

We dove around looking for the WOLF EEL and the Octopus but didn't get to see them.

The first dive was a bit short because I'm a bit of an air pig.

Scott gave me some tips and they worked very well cuz after our SI in the sunshine we hit the water again and I had the best dive I've ever had!!

We were looking for the Eel and Octo again and all of a sudden I realized I was surrounded by all sorts of fish...I literally felt like I was in one of those Fish Aquarium Screen Savers...

We dove around by the Island near that little SHREK guy someone put there...

It was AWESOME!! Best dive I've ever had for sure...

If you haven't been I strongly recommend it and try to go with someone that knows their way around like I had.

Diving Vancouver Island

Diving Near Victoria - 10 Mile Point

Name: Lindsay E

City: Victoria

State/Prov: B.C.

Country: Canada

What are you reviewing?: Dive Site Name(s): Ten Mile Point

Rating: 5 Stars (Fantastic!!)

Visibility - How many feet?: 10-15 ft. that day

Details (please explain why): Ten mile point is an absolutely fantastic shore dive site. The colours of all the life are fantastic. This is a challenging dive, but you see more than on most charter boat dives.

Diving Near Nanaimo

Name: Michelle B

City: Fort McMurray

State/Prov: AB

Country: Canada

What are you reviewing?: Dive Sites in the Nanaimo area

Name(s): Dodd Narrows, 737 in Chemainus, HMCS Cape Breton, HMCS Saskatchewan and Rivtow wrecks near Snake Island

Rating: 5 Stars (Fantastic!!)

Visibility - How many feet?: 30-40 feet

Details (please explain why): I didn't think this year's trip to Nanaimo could outdo last year's, but in a slightly different way, it did.

The 737 was very fun to dive, and in Dodd Narrows, we had a close encounter with a sea lion.

It was the happiest I've ever seen my husband. We'll be diving Vancouver Island at least once a year.

Diving Near Hornby Island

Name: Matt Arnold of GreenSea Diving

City: Comox

State/Prov: BC

Country: Canada

What are you reviewing?: Boat Dive Site in the Hornby Island area

Name(s): Wall at Heron Rocks

Rating: 4.5 Stars (Very, very good!!)

Visibility - How many feet?: 50-75 (January)

Details (please explain why): Beautiful wall at the southern end of Hornby Island . Wall Starts at about 50fsw and continues down all the way to 150fsw with a few ledges along the way.

You'll see Wolf eels and Octopus if you're lucky as well as the usual suspects like large Ling Cod, white Plumous Anemones, Rock Scallops, lots of rock fish, anemones, various star fish, giant red urchins, and loads of other color and marine life.

It's a shear vertical wall with lots of nooks and crannies to explore and with good viz its a stunningly beautiful dive.

On the surface you might even find sealions sunbathing on the exposed rocks or bald eagles flying overhead.

Nice that it's only 5 minutes from a small marina and safety from the weather if it comes up too.

Best wall I have ever dove so far in BC!

Diving Near Campbell River

Name: Paul K

City: Surrey

State/Prov: BC

Country: Canada

What are you reviewing?: Dive Site

Name(s): HMCS Columbia

Rating: 4+ Stars (Great!)

Visibility - How many feet?: 35-40 feet

Details (please explain why):

Beautifully situated artificial reef - purpose sunk destroyer escort located in a tranquil bay near other popular Campbell River dive sites such as Seymour Narrows, Steep Island, the walls of Quadra Island, Copper Cliffs, Row and Be Damned and the Argonaut Wharf where Giant Pacific Octopus can typically be found.

We dove the wreck twice and both times were extremely calm, relaxing and full of color and life.

While there isn't as much life as on other wrecks due to the angle of the shipwreck and the lack of current in the bay, there was still plenty to see.

As we descended down to around 60 feet where the towers and deck started, the sun was shining through, making the large white plumose anemones look almost transparent and the numerous large northern feather duster tube worms resemble southern palm trees.

Floating down while looking back up towards the surface, the towers and chains that were covered in marine life made for a fantastic site.

As we slowly cruised along one side of the wreck and back the other, I had a free-swimming shrimp land on my glove (with a little help) who came along for the ride, and saw numerous large ling cod, various types of starfish and anemones, white and orange plumose anemones, several types of nudibranch, the feather duster tube worms, different types of fish and shrimp and more, but didn't find the giant pacific octopus that is said to hang out in one of the cubby holes on the deck.

I am not certified to go in the wreck, so even though it has been carefully prepared by the ARSBC, I swam along the exterior while my dive buddy checked out the inside.

There was even a 'Lest We Forget' Remembrance Day flag that someone had attached to the ship which had got a little bunched up so we proudly ensured the flag was properly displayed.

All in all two very enjoyable dives, timed to be right at slack by the dive charter operator and my divemaster, Matt Arnold of GreenSea Diving.

Name: John D (4Scuba Diving In Campbell River - Artificial Wreck (photo by J. Straith)

City: Campbell River

State/Prov: BC

Country: Canada

What are you reviewing?: Dive Site

Name(s): HMCS Columbia

Rating: 4 Stars (Great!)

Visibility - How many feet?: 40 Feet, in summer, 100 ft in winter.

Details (please explain why): This ship wreck is just a short boat ride from Campbell River, and sits upright on a small angle.

The top tower sits at about 60 feet, with the bottom of the ship sitting around the 120 foot mark at high tide. Lots of fish, and a wonderful dive.

Standing on those big guns at 70 feet is a wonderful experience. I explored deep into the ship on surface supply, so unless you are a qualified wreck diver, stay out of the ship!

The dive is a great dive, even if you don't enter the ship's many openings.

Five Fathoms Dive Site (near Port Hardy)

Name: Patrick D

State/Prov: Quebec

Country: Canada

What are you reviewing?: Dive Site Reviews

Name(s): Five Fathoms

Rating: 3 Stars (Pretty good)

Visibility: 40 feet

Details (please explain why): On this dive site, you have good opportunities to see Giant Pacific Octopus. Look for piles of shells and you'll probably find an octopus.

The Husser Dive Site Reviews (near Port Hardy)

Name: Patrick D

State/Prov: Quebec

Country: Canada

What are you reviewing?: Dive Site

Name(s): The Husser

Rating: 4 Stars (Great!)

Visibility: 40 feet

Details (please explain why): This dive site is a wall that you can follow at around 50 to 70 feet.

It has a good diversity of marine life, and if you look close enough, you'll find a big beautiful orange and white Fringed Nudibranch of about 10 inches long!

Seven Trees Island Dive Site (near Port Hardy)

Name: Patrick D

State/Prov: Quebec

Country: Canada

What are you reviewing?: Dive Site

Name(s): Seven Trees Island

Rating: 5 Stars (Fantastic!!)

Visibility: 70 feet

Details (please explain why): This dive site, along the Browning Passage, is Fantastic!

It offers a lot of diversity and has carpets full of white sea anemone, nudibranch, crabs (all sorts) and many types of Rockfishes.

Diving Near Vancouver

Name: Roberta K

City: Surrey

State/Prov: BC

What are you reviewing?: Dive Site

Name(s): Porteau Cove

Rating: 4 Stars (Great!)

Visibility - How many feet?: excellent - at least 35 feet

Details (please explain why): first wreck dive (Granthall), easy dive with lots to see.

We saw giant ling cod over 4 feet long, big gardens of amazing white and orange plumose anemones, huge crabs mating, flounders, and sea stars galore!

There was easy entry to water and really nice divers all around!

Visibility was excellent!

Click if you need a local Vancouver scuba safari guide.

Click if you need a local Vancouver dive charter boat.

Dive Retailers

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Dive Charter/Lodge Operators

Brentwood Bay Resort and Spa (near Victoria, BC)

Name: Paul

City: Surrey

State/Prov: BC

What are you reviewing?: Hotel/B&B/Scuba Diving Lodge

Name(s): Brentwood Bay Lodge and Spa

Rating: 5 Stars (Fantastic!!)

Details (please explain why): What a beautiful resort and a great waterfront location!

It is a little tucked away, but once you are there it is like being in another luxurious, relaxing world.

Perfect for romantic getaways, business meetings, spa get-aways with a group of girlfriends, and of course, scuba diving in beautiful Saanich Inlet.

The lobby, the on-site restaurant, pub, spa, and all the other amenities including the pool and pool with the fantastic views are beautiful, and the spacious rooms have a special 'zen' feel as you enter and enjoy the beautiful water view from every room.

We spent two days there and enjoyed every minute.

Thanks for posting the Cooldives Winter special offer - it was a beautiful weekend!

We're already planning our next dive weekend at this luxury spa resort!

GreenSea Diving (Courtenay/Comox)

Name: Jim

City: Vancouver

State/Prov: Washington

What are you reviewing?: Charter Operator

Name(s): GreenSea Diving in Courtenay, inbetween Campbell River and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

Rating: 5 Stars (Fantastic!!)

Details (please explain why): Spent three days with GreenSeas Diving last September and had a great time.

The owner/operator, Matt Arnold was extremely helpful and made my first trip to BC a real pleasure.

He worked with me when my dive buddy had to cancel at the last minute.

Matt setup three great days of diving. He had just finished setting up his new boat for charters and while the interior was still a little rough, the boat was the perfect dive platform for 4-5 divers.

If you are looking for a unique dive vacation check out GreenSea Diving.

I will definitely dive with Matt in the future.

Browning Pass HideAway

Name: Valerie

State/Prov: WA

Country: United States

What are you reviewing?: Dive Charter Operator

Name(s): Browning Pass Hideaway

Rating: 4 Stars (Great!)

Details (please explain why): Fantastic diving, as good or better than any warm water destination. Walls so full of life that you can not touch a finger down for fear of touching something. Color, color and more color. Topside attractions include humpback whales, seals, bald eagle, deer at the water's edge. And, most dive sites are literally minutes away, which makes everything close and easily accessible.

All meals are included at the Hideaway, and if you go hungry, it's your own fault. John DeBoeck's meals are mouth-watering and filling, and the post-prandial time is taken up with conversation of diving, natural history, and history of the area.

You won't find a better guide for this area; John knows these waters like the back of his hand.

The Hideaway is just that, a rustic escape from the city with a quiet that is almost deafening in it's intensity. If you want complete peace and spectacular, world class diving, this is the place to come to.

Name: Erin

State/Prov: WA

Country: United States

What are you reviewing?: Dive Charter Operator

Name(s): Browning Pass HideAway

Rating: 5 Stars (Fantastic!!)

Details (please explain why): John deBoeck's Hideaway is the most superb resort I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.

Mind you, the resort is floating!!!

Along with the warm meals, three dives a day, and hot showers comes great company.

John is so knowledgeable about the dive sites, currents and wildlife there is no reason to bring a book.

Although, if you wanted to relax all you would have to do is take a kayak over to the shore and enjoy the many bald eagles as they come and go.

This Hideaway is by far better than any tropical vacation I have ever been on.

I strongly recommend taking a visit!!

"Though rustic, (it's kind of like visiting your uncle John's hunting cabin way back in the woods!), the diving in the Port Hardy area is simply superb and some of the best you will ever find worldwide.

In our last issue of Advanced Diver Magazine, I have a 7-page article on diving in Nootka Sound, which is ANOTHER wonderful place that you need to REALLY consider for your web site!"

Best regards!

John Rawlings

Chief Staff Writer/Photographer

Advanced Diver Magazine


Name: Emilia

City: Burnaby

State/Prov: BC

What are you reviewing?: Dive Instructor & Accommodation

Name(s): Jon Dewsberry/The Scuba Shack - instructor/owner/operator

Rating: 5 Stars (Fantastic!!)

Visibility - How many feet?: 25-50 throughout certification

Details (please explain why): I looked into a lot of different options when I finally decided I wanted to attempt to learn how to scuba dive ... looked into a lot of pricing and date availability. I called and visited dive shops in the Lower Mainland along with quite the extensive online research ... During my Google-craze I found out that some of the best diving in the world is on the Sunshine Coast so I expanded my search parameters to look for diving instructors there.

Because of my work schedule, I ended up needing to look at semi-private or private courses. The Scuba Shack offered private courses and worked around my availability entirely. We did the theory and pool sessions locally then the ocean dives up in Tuwanek. Everything was provided - everything - all we ever had to do was just show up with our homework completed. Some of the other shops required to have your own "personal gear" or rentals were available. Dive Shops offered me the ability to rent a dry suit or use the wet suit included in the cost - TheScubaShack uses dry suits. In the end it actually worked out to be about the same cost getting private lessons as it would have cost in a group environment having the pay for the rentals.

High end computers, BCDs, and regulators (mainly Mares) were especially appreciated. I later used a rented regulator once from a dive shop - never again. I found it such a struggle to breath that I had to end the dive in less than 10 minutes.

I have since gone diving in Whytecliff ... with all the current, numerous steep stairs and poor visibility, I realize I never would have gone past my Open Water had that been my first diving experience. Instead I was completely surrounded by dozens of different fish and saw giant Lingcod, an Octopus, and a curious seal.

I now have added Dry Suit, Advanced, Enriched Air (all through TheScubaShack.ca) - and am considering working towards becoming an instructor myself!

For me, using TheScubaShack for my introduction to diving was the best decision I ever could have made.


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