CoolDives News '09
CoolDives News '08
Special Offers
Westcoast Art
Diving In BC
Best Dive Sites
B.C. Dive Stores
Dive Operators
Dive Resorts
Dive Videos
Where to Stay
Scuba Safaris
Magazines & Books
Dive Destination
B.C. Dive Facts
B.C. Attractions
Dive Reviews
B.C. Tides
Getting Here
2010 Olympics
Scuba Diving Basics
Scuba License
Scuba Equipment
Dry or Wet Suits
Free Checklists
Scuba Links
Privacy Policy
About Us
Contact Us
CoolDives Blog

Porteau Cove

Porteau Cove is another one of the best dives within a half hour of Vancouver.

Weekends can be busy since this dive site is a popular spot for all the local scuba dive training and dive lessons.

Visibility can also be an issue, so check ahead with a local Vancouver dive shop to see what conditions have been like.

Directions To Porteau Cove

The beginning directions to this dive site are the same as to Whytecliff Marine Park.

Follow the signs over the Lions Gate Bridge and take the Upper Levels Highway west towards Horseshoe Bay and Highway 99 to Whistler, but instead of taking the exit to Marine Drive, take the Squamish / Whistler exit.

About 23 km later (15 miles) you will turn left off the highway and into Porteau Cove Provincial Park.

It is a beautiful, scenic drive through Howe Sound, past the Fury Creek Golf Course and past the historic mining site and Mining Museum at Brittania Beach.

Be careful though, because this highway in under construction in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Whistler and because there are some impatient drivers who like to speed excessively on this windy highway.

The police are typically watching for speeders along the Sea-to-Sky highway so Drive Safe to Dive Safe!

What's At Porteau Cove?

Some divers call Porteau Cove a Diver’s Playground and some call it a Diver’s Paradise, and when you dive it you will see why. As you turn into the Provincial Park, you will pass information signs and maps that show the location of several wrecks. Plenty of marine life is attracted to these wrecks, including giant ling cod and colorful plumose anemones making your dives even more exciting.

Click here to see a good pdf version of the dive map

The basic dives are at depths between 20 and 60 feet. A jungle gym type of artificial reef network has been constructed from groups of tires, concrete piles & blocks, and steel beams, which are full of rock and ling cod, star fish, nudibranch, and even an octopus or two. One of two yellow markers indicates the location of the Granthall, a 28 meter steel-hulled CPR tugboat built in Montreal in 1928. In 1967 the superstructure was removed and the Granthall became a herring packer, which was then scuttled to serve as an artificial reef in 1992.

The second yellow marker at Porteau Cove shows the location of a 30 foot (11 meter) rusty crane barge named the Centennial III, which also lies near a 40 foot (15 meter) cement sailboat hull. You should see orange and white plumose anemone, shrimp, grunt sculpins, kelp greenlings, crabs, sea cucumbers, ling cod, perch, and other rock fish.

For more advanced scuba divers, at a depth of around 90 feet (33 meters), lies the remnants of a former minesweeper called the Nakaya, which was scuttled in 1985 at the northern edge of the diving area. The surface marker has been removed, so from the last white buoy, take a heading of about 30 degrees. You should find the old Nakaya anchor line, which still has a round buoy 10 feet under the surface holding most of the line up. From there go left (out/deeper) and you should run right into wreck of the the Nakaya.

This wreck is in very rough shape and penetration is no longer permitted.

If you're interested, have a look at the Porteau Cove Provincial Campground and scuba diving website.

Dive Review

What did you think of thsi dive? Please share your comments below:

Are you interested in hiring a professional buddy/divemaster/photographer for your local Vancouver dives?

To check out the weather and visibility conditions at our local dive sites, contact a local dive shop

Return to British Columbia's other Best Dive Sites

Return to Best Scuba Diving Vacations in British Columbia