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Northern Vancouver Island Diving-Incredible!

Northern Vancouver Island offers world-class diving opportunities for a variety of dive levels.

The Upper QUEEN CHARLOTE STRAIT is accessed through Port Hardy. The main dive areas include the BROWNING PASS area - arguably the most intense marine life area in British Columbia and in North America. Marine like includes some of the best soft corals in North America, intense invert populations on walls and reefs, great fish populations, and very good visibility most of the year because of the absence of river run-off (no rivers in the immediate area!)

Intermediate dive sites include  THE WALL, 7 TREE ISLAND, SNOWFALL, CROCKER ROCK, HUNT ROCK,


HUSSAR POINT and several more.

Easily the best underwater photography area in BC(British Columbia), Canada and North America, BROWING PASS is located 10 miles NW from Port Hardy. One of the additional benefits of this area is Browning Pass is protected and diveable in almost any weather.

DESERTERS ISLANDS - several excellent intermediate sites, including BARRY ISLET,

WHISTLER PASS, TOY-MAN GAP, and FANTASEA, are very good sites for marine life and

under water photography. Good weather access only. 10 miles North from Port hardy.

NAKWAKTO RAPIDS - advanced diving in a high current area (considered the fastest

tidal current area in the world), great for seeing/photographing rare and unusual marine

life including sub-tidal goosenecks. 20 miles North from Port Hardy.Good weather

access only.

WEYNTON PASS, also generally refereed to as 'STUBBS ISLAND' area -3 or 4 very

good advanced current sites, including several locations on Stubbs Island , plus

Plumper Rock, Plumper Wall, NOrth-east Pearse Island , and the Blowhole. Very good underwater photography sites, especially on smaller tides. Know for great soft corals, anemones, scalpins, hydroids and other inverts. 10 Miles form Port McNeill, 3 miles

from Telegraph Cove. Further east are other dives including more "inside" areas with

generally good populations or rockfish and inverts.


This large area includes the northern-most 125 miles of the west coast of Vancouver

Island. The geography of the outside coast is spectacular. Very popular as a sport

fishing destination for many years. Now becoming popular as a remote dive area.

There are 2 main types of dive sites in this area - open coast, and inlet. OVer the

whole area there are many very good open coast dive sites with good populations of

open-coast species, including rockfish, and the tougher encrusting inverts. The best

areas include outside the Bunsby Islands and the Barrier Islands of Kyuquot Sound, the entrance to Esperanza Inlet, and pinnacles and reefs of the Bajo Reef outside Nootka.

All of these sites are very weather and swell dependent. Some good "inside" sites, with

most of the invert life generated by current flow as opposed to swell surge, are located in

Nootka (Savedra Wall, "Boca", Esperanza Bluff...); Kyuquot (Rugged Point, Surprise Wall, Cachalot Inlet...); Quatsino (Kains pinnacles, Quatsino Narrows...).

This area compares very favorably with Barkley Sound, a popular dive area further south on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Although the diving here is similar to Barkley Sound, some of the marine life populations are more abundant in this northern area. One of the great things include very good rockfish and invertebrate observation and photography opportunities. Inner waters provide interesting invertebrate populations, and occasional but regular 6 gill shark sightings.

Access Quatsino through Coal Harbour or Winter Harbour. Access Kyuquot through

Zeballos and access Nootka through Zeballos, Tahsis or Gold River.

(Thanks to John DeBoeck for this accurate dive information; John is one of the dive

operators in the North Island area)

To plan you dive trip please call Vancouver Island Destinations 250-956-8222

Let us provide you with choices that will suit your dive skill, budget, needs and wants.

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