Scuba Magazine and Books - Diving in British Columbia

There are a number of very good scuba magazines and books about scuba diving in British Columbia.

As we purchase books and add them to our collection, we will list those that we found interesting, helpful, or just very nice to look at.




Beneath Cold Seas - a stunning picture book



Beneath Cold Seas: The Underwater Wilderness of the Pacific Northwest

Breathtaking photographs and text by award-winning photographer David Hall capture the magnificent marine life of North America's West Coast.

The Pacific Coast of North America features the most diverse and visually spectacular marine life of any temperate or cold-water ecosystem on the planet.

From tiny, candy-striped shrimp to the giant Pacific octopus, from alabaster nudibranchs, luminous moon jellyfish, orchid sea stars, and wolf-eels to Steller sea lions, white-sided dolphins, and so much more, David Hall's stunning underwater photographs -- themselves works of art -- reveal both the symbiotic and the predatory relationships in this web of life.

Through state-of-the-art camera equipment and lighting, he has captured our underwater world in a way that will surprise even scuba divers already familiar with it and amaze the rest of us.

Watch the Beneath Cold Seas Youtube presentation, and then click the link to get your best pricing on this must-have book.


Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest

Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest: A Photographic Encyclopedia of Invertebrates, Seaweeds and Selected Fishes

This is 'the go-to book' for anyone wanting to identify any type of British Columbia marine life.

With 1,700 superb colour photographs of over 1,400 species, Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest: A Photographic Encyclopedia of Invertebrates, Seaweeds and Selected Fishes is the most comprehensive collection of photographs of Pacific Northwest marine life ever published.

It is designed to allow the reader to recognize virtually any coastal organism that might be encountered from southern Alaska to southern Oregon--from sea lettuces and feather boa kelp through to the leopard ribbon worm, Pacific red octopus, spiny-thigh sea spider and gutless awning-clam.

Each species is identified with photographs and includes a description with information on range, habitat, appearance and behaviour.

Andy Lamb and Bernard Hanby have spent most of their lifetimes studying and recording Pacific Northwest marine life and have completed over 4,000 scuba dives between them.

Some of the species included in this volume have never been featured in print before.

Colour-coded for quick reference and including a glossary and full index, Marine Life of the Pacific Northwest is a must-have for serious biologists, scuba divers, beachcombers or anyone interested in marine life and beautiful underwater photography.


Coastal Fishes of the Pacific Northwest - what are you looking at??

Coastal Fishes of the Pacific Northwest, Revised and Expanded Second Edition - Written by a well known British Columbia marine biologist and illustrated in colour by a prize-winning underwater photographer, Coastal Fishes of the Pacific Northwest identifies each fish by its common name and is illustrated with full-colour photographs and labelled sketches.

Special sections present catching tips for anglers and commercial fishermen; location hints for divers, beachcombers and pleasure boaters; and cooking ideas for seafood gourmets.

The information included in these sections provides a brief but detailed description of each fish's habitat, physical characteristics and behaviour--everything that a scuba diver, fisherman or an amateur naturalist needs to know!


151 Dives - Every Diver In B.C. Should Have A Copy

151 Dives in the Protected Waters of Washington State and British Columbia is the book everybody coming to dive in BC should have.

The Pacific Coast of North America features the most diverse and visually spectacular marine life of any temperate or cold-water ecosystem on the planet.

Whether you are coming on a dive holiday or live nearby and are planning to dive regularly, this book has all the information you need.

The author, Betty Pratt-Johnson, is very well known and respected in the British Columbia dive industry, and this book is an exceptional guide to diving in British Columbia.

With details of 151 dives, you will find information such as site name and information, skill level, directions, access, GPS coordinates, bottom depths, hazards, and information about the marine life you will see on your dive.

This is a fantastic resource for divers and snorkelers alike.





Super Suckers: The Giant Pacific Octopus and Other Cephalopods of the Pacific Coast

Who likes our Giant Pacific Octopus?

Want to learn more?

Check out Super Suckers: The Giant Pacific Octopus and Other Cephalopods of the Pacific Coast.

Is there a more bizarre-looking animal in the sea than the octopus? A baggy, boneless body surmounted by a pair of soulless eyes and fleshy horns. Eight snake-like arms with hundreds of suction cups, a stubby funnel projecting like a left-over piece of fire hose... not to mention its three hearts and blue blood. The word cuddly doesn't spring to mind when contemplating these creatures but all are superbly mobile and beguilingly clever.

This book is the culmination of more than forty years of undersea photography and study of the most impressive octopus on the Pacific coast, the giant Pacific octopus. This fascinating monster of the deep--the largest known octopus species in the world--is a master of disguise that can mimic not only the colour but also the texture of its surroundings.

It can alter its shape so effectively that small specimens have escaped captivity by slithering down aquarium filter pipes. Wet, cold and slimy, it hunts and pulls apart hardshell crabs.

Normally shy, it may interact with divers it comes to recognize. It can learn how to pry open a food container and remember the technique for the next feeding.

Groundbreaking research and previously unpublished biological behaviours are presented along with octopus legends, anecdotes from aquarists and divers and colour photographs of the giant Pacific octopus and other cephalopods found along the Pacific coast, including the Humboldt squid and ruby octopus.


Ogden Point Odyssey

Whether you wish to learn more about the history of the Ogden Point Breakwater and area, or life on the surface or under it, we recently came across a very informative, well written book that will tell you all you need to know.

Ogden Point Odyssey - Breakwater, natural history, people and activities is a very nice picture book written by Val Schaefer and Anny Schaefer and is great for divers and non-divers.

Copies of the Breakwater book (only $14.95) can be obtained at the following Victoria locations...

If you are visiting and would like a Victoria divemaster to escort you as you dive the breakwater, contact Cooldives and we'll help arrange one for you.








Scuba Magazine - Good Information For Divers Of All Ages

A good quality scuba magazine can provide you with scuba equipment reviews, dive safety information, dive destination information, and my favorite - underwater scuba photos.

Whether you are a beginner or an expert diver, there are a number of good quality scuba magazines out there, ranging in price from a buck or two up to around $10.00 per issue (more if they need to mail the dive magazine to a different country.)

Some scuba magazines also ship a quantity of free magazines to your local dive store so you can check out a free issue before deciding if you want to subscribe.

With some scuba magazines, you'll need to look through a lot of advertisements to find the good quality content. Maybe the ads are of interest to you?

My main interest is good underwater photography and dive articles about scuba diving in British Columbia.

It's nice to see all the tropical blue waters, but since this is my favorite dive spot, I prefer local articles.

While there are many types of scuba magazines out there, I would just like to provide links to those hard-copy and on-line dive magazines that tend to have information about diving in British Columbia, as well as other great dive destinations.

You can buy them at a local bookstore, but you can generally get big savings by subscribing online and trying them for at least one year.


Hardcopy Dive Magazines

Advanced Diver Magazine

Advanced Diver MagazineTo be honest, I had never read Advanced Diver Magazine until I started putting this site together.

Once I came across an article about the Nakwakto Rapids dive site here in British Columbia and read through it, I became very interested.

I contacted the author of the story, John Rawlings, who mentioned he loves diving in British Columbia and that they frequently write about the great diving here.

I reviewed a few more issues and really liked what I saw. They are also a 'substantial' magazine, with a stiff cover with more photos and dive reviews than advertisements.

While they are more technical than I in terms of the equipment they use and describe (like rebreathers and scrubbers), advertisers they have and the dive sites they visit, I found the articles to contain a very interesting mix of history, narrative and great photography.

They come out quarterly and are around US$7.25 each (more if they need to ship outside of the US) and although they dive all over the world, they frequently have great articles about diving in British Columbia.

Advanced Diver magazine is now a scuba diving magazine that I am going to subscribe to (even at $50.00US a year to mail to Canada).


As you will see below, they also have a free ezine for you to look at.

Their August 2008 issue (#29) has a great article about Browning Pass near Port Hardy, written by John Rawlings.





Diver Magazine

Diver MagazineAs they say in their own words, not the most original of titles for a scuba diving magazine!

This dive magazine is published right here in Vancouver, British Columbia, and has some very famous names on board, including Dr. Phil Nuytten, Vancouver's own deep-dive specialist.

They promote a different type of magazine, not as much glitz as some magazines and with more technical information.

We're not sure if they still do, but in the past they would send a free trail copy, and any company that will send you a free copy of their magazine for checking out is worth a try.

They publish 8 issues per year, and their prices range from around $3.25 per copy if you live in Canada, $4.40 if you live in the U.S., and $10.50 per copy to cover International postage costs.

You might like their detailed content, so if you are interested in scuba diving magazines, sign up for your free copy of Diver magazine.

Scuba Diving Magazine

Scuba Diving MagazineScuba Diving magazine is still known to many divers as Rodale Scuba Diving magazine even though Rodale's only started the dive magazine and owned it between 1992 and 1994.

There were initially some rumours about biased reviews and name selling, their new owners promise you will be 100% satisfied, and seem to have an acceptable privacy policy now.

I have never had a problem with them selling my information.

There are lots of advertisements to look through, but I find there is enough suitable information such as dive site reviews, dive equipment reviews, and underwater photographs to make this good enough value for the dollar.

Their annual rate for 12 monthly issues is very reasonable at $16.97US for US citizens, $27.97 for Canadian subscriptions and $34.97US for International subscribers. Even in Canada, that's only $2.33 per copy, less than a good cup of Starbucks!

Throughout my site, you'll find a number of links to their articles about British Columbia dives, and reference to their annual scuba awards competition (which British Columbia is a frequent winner of!).

If you subscribe online, their prices are good. I plan on keeping my subcription for the reasons I described above.

If you're interested in subscribing to this scuba magazine, you can order here and get a FREE copy of their "Dive Like a Pro" guide on dive safety and gear usage.

Northwest Dive News

Northwest Dive NewsNorthwest Dive news is a local home-grown scuba magazine for people interested in diving in nearby Washington and Oregon states as well as here in British Columbia.

It is not a glossy publication like Advanced Diver or Scuba Diving magazine, and isn't as flashy.

There are also lots of advertisements, but all from local B.C., Washington and Oregon dive equipment suppliers, dive charter operators, and scuba diving resorts & hotels.

Mixed in, there are many nice pictures and very good dive site reviews. Throughout this site, we have referred to those we found particularly interesting.

I like this magazine - it is very focused on the great diving here in BC, Washington and Oregon.

Their July 2008 issue has a great photo spread and article about diving in Port Hardy.

If you go to their subscribe page, you can sign up to receive a FREE 3 month trial subscription if you live in the U.S.(only 1 month if you live in Canada), and if you choose to subscribe, it is $20.00US for one year ($25.00 in Canada) which includes 12 monthly scuba magazines.

If you plan on doing lots of diving in BC, then I think it is definitely worth the price.





On-Line Scuba Magazines

Advanced Diver Magazine E-zine

ADM's (Advanced Diver Magazine) free on-line e-zine is a nice add-on to the Advanced Diver Magazine that I described above.

The ADM E-Zine is a colorful, informative and free on-line PDF publication available by just registering.

It isn't designed to replace the hard copy printed magazine and offers different dive articles and scuba pictures via the internet.

I've read the first three on-line scuba e-zine issues and thought they had great articles and pictures from their frequent dives here in B.C.

Issue #3 describes another trip to the Nakwakto Rapids near Port Hardy that had me eagerly reading on to see what would happen next - so check it out for yourself.

Diver Magazine On-Line

Diver magazine (from above) also has an on-line dive magazine version.

Although it is supposed to have web-only columns and articles, tidbits of news and information, follow-ups to their printed stories, and other information, I didn't really find much there.

Since you may have different interests than me, here is the link to their on-line scuba magazine.