While many people still don’t realize that British Columbia is considered to be one of the best all-round destinations in the world for diving, those that have taken a jump into the emerald green waters of the Discovery Passage have come to love what it has to offer.
In recent years the local waters around Campbell River and the Discovery Passage have gained increased popularity after being recognized by the likes of Jacques Cousteau, who called it ‘the best temperate water diving in the world’ and ‘second only to the Maldives’ in regard to the abundance of marine life. In addition, Scuba Diving magazine readers continue to vote BC with accolades for ‘Healthiest Marine Environment’, ‘Best Value’ and ‘Best Overall Destination’, to name just a few.
The strong tidal currents that squeeze through the narrow passes between Vancouver Island and the BC mainland bring a never-ending supply of rich nutrients to the eco-system, this creates a vibrant and colourful underwater world. The steep rock walls are covered in marine life, including colorful anemones, sponges, nudibranch, tube worms, and soft corals. Of course, there are many other fish varieties and marine mammals in our waters, including our famous varieties of Pacific Salmon, Humpback and Orca Whales, Harbour Seals and Sea Lions, Wolf Eels, Giant Pacific Octopus, Pacific White Sided Dolphins and many more, arguably an underwater explorer’s paradise!
Our local waters are also famous for shipwrecks and massive artificial reefs. We are fortunate to have organizations like the Underwater Archaeological Society of BC, who are experts in creating artificial reef habitat, including the 366’ long Destroyer, the HMCS Columbia, right here in Campbell River.
Alongside classic ‘go-to’ dive sites like Row and Be Damned, Copper Bluffs and the world famous Steep Island, which is considered one the best cold-water dives on the planet, local divers are discovering new dive sites all the time. Recently, local Underwater Photographer and Commercial Diver Maxwel Hohn, went exploring under the now decommissioned Cruise ship terminal in Campbell River and discovered a breathtaking Underwater paradise, the aptly named, ‘Painted Pillars’.
“It resembles a colourful metropolis, with hundreds of species utilizing its pilings to gain a vantage point to feed on the nutrient rich currents that swirl around the pilings. Painted anemones, red encrusting coral, goose neck barnacles, giant chitons and sea sponges all share the pilings, within inches of one another creating a living masterpiece.” Says Hohn.
For those interested in a life aquatic, especially those looking towards Environmental and Marine Biology Careers, there is arguably no better place to take your dive training.
We now have the largest variety of programs ever available at Divsafe International, and our Instructors have experience from all areas of the industry, so there’s never been a better time to take a giant stride into your dive career. Whatever your diving goals, we have a course for you. Get in touch today.
Commercial Diving Supervisor / Head PADI Instructor