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Scuba Dive Campbell River - See More Than Salmon

Continue north from Nanaimo to scuba dive Campbell River on Vancouver Island, and the excitement should be building.

The area between the mid to northeast coast of Vancouver Island and the west coast of the lower mainland of British Columbia, with many islands in between, is some of the most beautiful, rugged, above ground scenery you could ever imagine..... and some pretty fantastic under water scenery as well.

If you want a great outdoor adventure trip, this is the area to start your visit.

If you originally booked a one week scuba diving and adventure holiday to British Columbia, this would be the time when you call and ask your boss for another week of holiday time.

Famous around the world as the "Salmon Fishing Capital of the World", Campbell River has some incredible salmon fishing.

But you don't have to limit your fishing to the ocean since the Campbell River area also has many fresh-water lakes and river systems providing fantastic year-round fishing opportunities.

Campbell River also offers other outstanding recreational activities, such as spectacular scenery and challenging hiking trails in world famous Strathcona Park, wonderful boating and sight seeing in Desolation Sound, and the warm, sheltered waters offer excellent ocean kayaking.

For even more excitement, nearby Mt.Washington, is being transformed into a year round destination for skiers, bikers, and hikers.

Campbell River - The Scuba Diving

But you really came here to dive the west coast of Canada in the Campbell River and Quadra Island area, and there are some very exciting dives - drift dives, wall dives, wreck dives and sight seeing dives to try.

As always, I recommend booking your best dives with a local dive store from the Campbell River area.

If you're looking for a Campbell River or Quadra Island charter operator, or a great place for your dive group to come, I suggest you check out Abyssal Dive Charters & Lodge who offer great service and great dives for individuals and larger groups.

The best diving in this scuba dive Campbell River area is in a passage between Vancouver Island and the west coast, where the British Columbia tides and currents can be very strong (up to 16 knots).

Plan your dive to be at slack tide. Generally, this slack period is roughly 20 – 30 minutes, with 10-minutes grace on each end.

Also check to ensure you are properly trained and equipped for the area.

There are all types of dives for all ranges of divers to scuba dive Campbell River. Some favorite dives in the Campbell River area include Row and Be Damned, Seymour Narrows and wreck diving on the former destroyer HMCS Columbia.

Dive Campbell River - Row And Be Damned

Row And Be Damned is an exciting and colorful reef/drift dive near Campbell River.

The colors and the marine life on the floor are incredible, which is covered with large boulders, tons of marine life and Campbell River’s renowned strawberry anemone.

This small anemone carpets the ocean bottom turning it a deep red colour.

Many yellow sponges and white of plumose anemones also combine together to give you an incredible underwater landscape. You could also see giant pacific octopus, hydroids, scallops, tubeworms, Irish lord sculpins, Giant ling cod, tiger rockfish, wolf eels (Captain Crunch?), and many more species of wild life.

The average depth is around 20 meters (60 feet) which should give you plenty of time to dive the slack tide.

As always when you scuba dive Campbell River, dive with a group and a buddy, watch the currents and tides, and please remember to send in a dive site review after your dives.

Campbell River - Seymour Narrows

How about diving the site of the world’s largest non-nuclear peacetime explosion?

For centuries, Ripple Rock in Seymour Narrows near Campbell River had been an extreme hazard to shipping on the west coast of British Columbia, creating over a hundred wrecks and claiming as many or more lives.

But on April 5, 1958, 1,375 tons of explosives were used to deepen the rock from 3 meters (9 feet) to 14 meters (47 feet) below the surface.

Now, Seymour Narrows is an extremely colorful scuba dive Campbell River boat drift dive for experts and intermediate divers with guides.

As always, I recommend booking with a local dive store or dive charter operation since there are very strong currents (up to 16 knots) and whirlpools, and the dives must occur at slack tide. The strong current once again provides an incredible amount of nutrients and oxygen which in turn gives you a free ride through the channel and plenty of fascinating marine life to see. You can expect to see all types, colours and sizes of anemones, abalones, rock and swimming scallops, sponges, tube worms, wolf eels, colourful nudibranch, giant lingcod, tiger rockfish, and the elusive giant pacific octopus.

Close to the surface, schools of small fish find safety in numbers from spiny dogfish and our famous pacific salmon.

If underwater explosions interest you, then watch this old CBC clip of the blasting.

Campbell River - Former HMCS Columbia

So many great sites – and so little time to explore!?

Time to start planning for your return trip to dive Campbell River and area again in British Columbia next year.

You can easily see why British Columbia is a premiere, year round, scuba diving destination.

On June 22 1996, the third naval destroyer sunk in British Columbia by the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia was sunk off Maude Island between the British Columbia mainland and Campbell River on Vancouver Island. The former HMCS Columbia, a 112 meter (366 foot) destroyer became yet another reason to visit and dive in Campbell River.

The bow of the former warship now lies in 36 meters (120 feet) of water and the superstructure and wheelhouse are at 18 meters (60 feet), providing another fantastic wreck diving opportunity for experienced recreational wreck divers in British Columbia.

Maud Island protects this rock bottom location, so after struggling through some of the world’s best drift dives you can relax a little and visit this great wreck.

After being down for over 10 years now, this artificial wreck has some great marine life to see.

If you like the rock group Queen, and you want to get a taste of what the local artificial wrecks look like, try this great - I love this video clip!

As always, dive with a group and a buddy, watch the tides and currents, and please remember to send in a dive site review of this site after your dives.

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