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Dive Reviews - Submitted By CoolDives Viewers

Dive Reviews:

The information on this scuba diving information site is enhanced with the help of it's viewers/subscribers.

Please take the time after your dive or scuba diving vacation in British Columbia to post dive reviews of the dive site itself, the scuba diving store you dealt with, the dive charter operator, the hotel/resort/B&B/dive lodge you stayed at, etc.

We want the good and the bad.

All information will be kept confidential and once the information has been verified as true and accurate, will be shared with others viewing this site.

Submit your dive reviews and you'll automatically be entered for your chance to win this beautiful, 156 page, high quality photo book by local Vancouver Island artist and diver, Wendy Rose Carey.

This hard cover book has stunning full color underwater photos taken around the waters of Vancouver Island.

Check out Badger Publishing for more details or to order your own copy.

If you mention this CoolDives site when you order, the publisher will have the author personally autograph your diving in British Columbia copy.

Scuba Diving live-Aboards

Nautilus Explorer - British Columbia and Alaska

Name: Steve Trainoff

State/Prov: Goleta

Country: California

What are you reviewing?: Dive Reviews - Liveaboard

Name(s): Nautilus Explorer

Rating: 5 Stars (Fantastic!!)

Visibility: Varied - see link to full review below

Details (please explain why): We did a 10 day dive trip aboard the Nautilus Explorer, an absolutely superb diving vessel.

The trip ran from Vancouver to Juneau.

There was so much natural beauty that I took nearly 3500 photos!

You name it, we saw it: breaching humpbacks, spooky wrecks, bears, bald eagles, bubble net feeding, icebergs, glaciers.

This list goes on and on.....

For Steve's detailed trip report and beautiful photos, see the Nautilus Explorer Review page.

Cooldives is taking reservations for 2010 now.

Read Steve's full review and then contact us to book now before it's too late for their short 2010 season.

Dive Site Reviews

Diving The Sunshine Coast

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 somone 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 Campbell River

Name: John D

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.

Dive Retailers

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Dive Charter/Lodge Operators

Abyssal Dive Lodge (Near Campbell River)

Name: Bill

City: Chicago

State/Prov: Illinois

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

Name(s): Abyssal Dive Lodge near Campbell River on Vancouver Island

Rating: 5 Stars (Fantastic!!) Visibility - How many feet?: Varied on tides - avg 40 to 60 feet

Details (please explain why): Adequate, clean & comfortable accomodations. Great food and plenty of it. Mostly local fare (ling cod, venison, salmon,etc.)

Earl (owner / operator) was a gracious host and ran a great operation. He knew the dive sights, gave great advice, and used tides to our advantage. Location of lodge was in excellent proximity to dive boat and most sights were only a 10 to 15 minute ride.

I can't wait to go back!

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 - 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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