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CoolDives Blog

Dive Race Rocks - Near Victoria, B.C.

Dive Race Rocks on Southern Vancouver Island near Victoria, British Columbia, and see why Rodale's Scuba Diving magazine came here and wrote this great little dive article about it.

British Columbia is one of the world’s best diving destinations with some of the best marine life and cold water diving in the world.

Our capital city, Victoria, is a fantastic little place to visit and dive.

There are some great dive sites, shops, hotels, restaurants, and lots of gardens and attractions all located very close together.

Even without taking scuba diving into account, Vancouver Island was recently named North America’s Best Island for the sixth consecutive year in a Condé Nast Traveler reader’s choice survey.

Where is Race Rocks Dive Site?

Race Rocks is one of the favorite Victoria dive locations and is considered by some to be one of the best cold water dive sites in the world.

Located near the landmark Race Rocks black and white lighthouse station, this dive site is at the southern tip of Vancouver Island (about 17 km southwest of Victoria) where the nutrient rich waters of the Strait of Georgia and the Strait of Juan de Fuca meet, creating fantastic dive opportunities.

There can be strong tides and currents to deal with so to dive Race Rocks you should book an organized dive boat trip with a local Victoria dive shop.

To view a beautiful slide show put together by Jack Connick, follow this Race Rocks slide show link.

You can check out this You Tube "Dive Race Rocks" video I came across too:

What You Might See At Race Rocks

Some divers claim the protected waters around Race Rocks contain the most marine life they have ever seen in one location.

Located amongst the giant kelp forests, you can expect to see loads of seals and sea lions, basket stars, abalones, giant red urchins, anemones, Puget Sound king crab, rockfish, giant ling cod, sponges, anemones, hydroids and soft corals, large clusters of barnacles, tunicates, urchins and even sea stars.

If you haven't seen enough pictures yet, click to this viewer's Race Rocks dive review page - beautiful pictures!

Several types of whales also cruise the area, and whale watching is another popular activity.

Recently, I spotted a family of Orcas swimming past - thankfully I wasn't in the water!

Dive Race Rocks, and in addition to the incredibly rich marine life, you can search for the remains of over 100 ships that have been wrecked around the islets.

Important Note

While Race Rocks is a very popular place to dive in Victoria, there is only one main dive charter operator that does regular trips there and they only go on Saturdays.

Tell Julie at Ogden Point Dive Center that CoolDives sent you, and give them a lot of notice since they get very full.

Or contact us and we'll see if we can help you arrange your dive on Race Rocks.

If you can, consider a two night Stay, Play and Dive package at the beautiful, luxurious Brentwood Bay Lodge and Spa, followed by a Saturday dive to Race Rocks and a Sunday dive to some of the other local Victoria area wrecks and dive sites.

If you want to dive Race Rocks during the week and can put together a group of 4 divers or more, let me know and I can probably arrange a Race Rocks dive charter for you.

Our waters are beautiful but can be more challenging than you are used to.

Before diving anywhere, I suggest you talk with an experienced local Victoria dive Race Rocks scuba store in the area you wish to dive.

When possible, dive with a group, and always dive with a buddy.

For more detailed information about many other local southern Vancouver Island area dives, you might want to read Greg Dombowsky's diver's guide: Vancouver Island South.

This book has great detail and sketches about dive Race Rocks and other local dive destinations.

The picture to the right is a fine example of a Cloud Sponge in Saanich Inlet - serviced by Rockfish Divers.

After your dive, please remember to complete and submit your dive review below.

Leave Race Rocks and Return to Best Dive Sites in British Columbia.

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