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CoolDives Blog

Saltery Bay On the Sunshine Coast

Why Dive Saltery Bay?

If you have spent as much time as most people do on this scuba diving website, you will have noticed the reference to spotting a mermaid in the beautiful waters of British Columbia.

So I need to finish off my first round of dive information with details of our mysterious giant mermaid.

Saltery Bay is a very nice Provincial Campsite, located about 25 kilometers south of Powell River.

Getting to Powell River to scuba dive involves another BC Ferry ride north along the beautiful British Columbia Coast, which is still considered part of the Sunshine Coast. BC Ferries operates scheduled daily sailings from Earls Cove on the Sechelt Peninsula across Jervis Inlet to Saltery Bay. The ferries carry both vehicles and passengers on the 50-minute trip.

This is a great family spot if you want to do some camping or exploring.

There are some great spots for beachcombing, as well as swimming, snorkeling and easy dive locations.

There are also fresh water showers, change rooms, outhouses, and a wheelchair ramp to the waterline (depending on the tides.)

At Mermaid Cove, you can explore and discover a beautiful 3 meter (10 foot) high bronze mermaid sculpture designed by Simon Morris sunken at a depth of around 20 meters (65 feet).

The visibility here is generally quite good, and in addition to the mermaid you can expect to see different types of nudibranch, schools of surf & shiner perch, greenlings, cabezon, rose and tube anemones, penpoint gunnel, and a variety of other creatures. Be careful as you venture past the mermaid statue because the bottom drops off sharply forming a wall.

If you carefully explore the wall, watching your depth, you will see different types of sponges, many of which have small rockfish or squat lobsters poking out, crinoids, plume worms, ling cod, and brightly colored anemones.

This wall drops off to depths of over 60 meters (200 feet) or more so be careful.

You may even see an occasional octopus. This is a popular and busy Sunshine Coast marine park so watch out for boaters as you surface, and ensure you use your dive flag.

The current can pick up at times, and in the summer months you need to look out for lion’s mane jellyfish which have a painful sting.

While the poison is toxic and can cause severe burns, most encounters cause only temporary pain and localized redness.

If there are any more than one or two areas of contact, you should seek medical help as soon as possible just in case.

Octopus Cove at Saltery Bay

Also located in the Provincial Park is a popular dive site and octopus viewing area called Octopus Cove.

This area is good for beginner and advanced divers since it is only 18 meters (60 feet) deep.

Contact a Sunshine Coast Saltery Bay charter operator for more dive information.

Along the bottom, you will find boulders located on the flat sandy base, which is home to numerous octopus, rockfish, ling cod, cabezon, ratfish, nudibranchs, red urchins and lots more.

Where to Stay near Saltery Bay

If you need a place to stay while diving in Saltery Bay on the Sunshine Coast, I recommend the Sunshine Coast Resort which is centrally located and one of the nicest places around.

Book through CoolDives.com for three nights or more during the prime dive months in British Columbia and get your fourth night free.

And please, remember to complete a dive review to help other divers.

Return to Best Dive Sites in British Columbia.

Return to Dive the Sunshine Coast in British Columbia.

Return to Best Scuba Diving Vacations in British Columbia.