NATURAL REEF DIVES
Four Fathom Reef offers an abundance of life. It is a known spawning ground for several different species, such as, Wolf Eels, Ling Cod, Greenling, Octopus, and swimming Scallops to name a few. The sea floor depth is 130+ feet, and an underwater pinnacle rises as shallow as 24 feet. This dive can only be experienced on a flat calm day.
Jesse Island is a small sheltered island in Departure Bay, with the best diving located on the North Western side of the island. This site offers caves, swim throughs, rock pillars, and a wide range of sea life including Nudibranchs, Crimson and Plumose Anemones, to name a few, and you may even get to see an Octopus. This dive site boasts good accessibility by boat and is a dive for all diver experience levels. It is a popular location for sightseeing and photographers.
Snake Island Wall
This wall dive begins in approximately 66 feet of water and descends vertically to well over 700 feet. Most notable on the wall are large colonies of Cloud Sponges and Plumose Anemones. Although this can be a deep dive, those who prefer a more gentle approach can easily follow the wall down to a comfortable depth, with out missing any interesting life. There are many suitable ledges for safety stops, and closer viewing. It is highly likely that you will encounter the playfulness of the seals as they come to check you out.
A beautiful 30 minute boat ride takes you to Orlebar Point. Located on the North Eastern tip of Gabriola Island, this amazing dive site offers excitement for the beginner diver to the advanced diver and beyond.
In the shallows, the bottom is rocky and sandy at 10-20 feet. A short swim downward takes you over the shallows to the wall, which starts at around 40-50 feet and drops off to a greater depth of over 200 feet.
Commonly found species along the wall range from Crimson Anemones, Scarlet Dahlia Anemones, Plumose Anemones, Transparent Sea Peaches, Orange Cup Coral, Various species of fish, Giant Pacific Octopus, and shrimp, commonly Candy Strip Shrimp are found at the base of the Crimson Anemones.
Clark rock is a rocky reef located in Hammond bay. It is a great dive for the beginner right up to the experienced diver. It is well known for its abundance of Wolf Eels, sea pens, Kelp Greenling, Rock Fish, Fields of Red Urchins, and Octopus too.
ARTIFICIAL REEF DIVES
The HMCS Saskatchewan is a 366-foot Mackenzie class destroyer that served in the Royal Canadian Forces. She was scuttled on June 14 1997 just off of Snake Island. She rests in about 130 feet with the bulk of the vessel in at a depth of 80-100 feet. Always a point of interest, the Saskatchewan still has her forward gun, and her aft gun. The Saskatchewan has become a safe harbor for several different life forms such as: Cloud Sponges, Feather Stars, Plumose Anemones, White Lines Dirona, Swimming Scallops, Wolf Eels, Octopus and so much more.
HMCS Cape Breton
The HMCS Cape Breton found her new home in 140 feet of water on October 20, 2001. She is a WWII Naval Vessel and is known for being the world's second largest artificial reef, with 411 feet of her beauty resting in our waters. Formerly the HMS Flamborough Head, she was launched in 1944 at the Burrard Dry-dock facility in Northern Vancouver. She too is a resident just off of Snake Island, with approximately 300 feet separating her from the HMCS Saskatchewan. Her crow's nest sits at a depth of roughly 40 feet and is accessible to all divers. There is a large amount of life on the HMCS Cape Breton also ranging from a variety of Sculpins, to Brittle Stars, Yellow Eye rockfish, Ling Cod, and Octopus, to name a few.
The Rivtow Lion, originally commissioned the HMRT Prudent, is a 157 foot rescue tug, built in Selby England in 1940. She was built to tow Convoy Ships that had been damaged by German U-Boats in WWII. She was sunk February 6 2005 and rests just off of Newcastle Island in Departure Bay. The main deck sits at about 60 feet. The wreck was sunk in a sheltered location so she is always a safe alternative to diving the bigger wrecks which are exposed. This is an excellent dive for the novice to the experienced diver. It is also a great location to the start of the Wreck Diver Program. The Rivtow Lion has quickly become home to many different species of life ranging from Sea Stars, Swimming Scallops, Plumose Anemones, Shrimp, and Brittle Stars to Ling Cod, Decorator Crabs and even Octopus.
SNORKELING WITH THE SEALS
For Divers and non divers, there is no other experience like snorkeling with the seals. A 15 minute boat ride takes you out to the beautiful Snake Island where on any given day the harbor seals can be found in abundance on the shores resting or playing in the surrounding waters.
Some days the seals are very curious and will come up to you to investigate, looking you in the face, brushing by you, or showing you how to catch a meal. Other days they will watch you from the shores, keeping a bit of distance between you and them.
There is always more life to be experienced in the water than just the seals, and it is common to see Bald Eagles, Oyster Catchers, Canadian Geese, and Cormorants at Snake Island as well as it is also a natural bird sanctuary.
For your comfort, we outfit you in wetsuit, hoods, gloves, boots, fins, mask and snorkel, and weight belt if required
The whole process usually takes about 4 hours from your arrival to the shop to get geared up, to your arrival back at the dock after your exciting day.
All you need to bring with you is a bathing suit and a towel. Feel free to bring a camera too if you want pictures
We offer Snorkeling with the Seals Charter for all ages that can swim, (with parental supervision)