around Vancouver Island
The underwater world: a place that can be explored 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Free of honking horns and bustling crowds, the one place a cell phone cannot ring and forget about the rain, scuba diving is one of the greatest ways of escaping the comparatively dry world of Vancouver Island.
From the Ogden Point break water near downtown Victoria to the remote tidal current dives off Port Hardy, Vancouver Island is home to some of the best diving in the world.
The natural beauty, wild creatures and uncharted territory make it an adventure sport for all ages and abilities. There is so much to see, do and explore in the waterways of the world that scuba diving is an activity that will last a lifetime.
I've been doing it for over 25 years and I still love it" said Kevin Bates of Beaver Aquatics Ltd. "It's the only time you can be completely weightless."
The combination of a tank, wet suit, flippers and mask on is combersome to say the least. But scuba divers are much like any water animal, clumsy and awkward on land but smooth and elegent below the surface.
There are few experiences that can compare to looking up from deep under the surface back at the world above water. It is surreal, especially the lack of noise.
But getting to the bottom and returning to the surface safely requires training.
There are two main certifying bodies, whose rules and requirements are very similar. NAUI and PADI certifications are what divers want and they are recognized all over the world. Courses range from simple pool introductions to open water certification to dive master.
To get out and enjoy the colourful sea life open water certification is the basic requirement. Prices for courses vary but are never too much.
"It's relatively very inexpensive," said Aaron Bradely owner of Ogden Point dive shop. "And you can do it day or night, 365 days a year."
There are no shortage of dive training facilities on Vancouver Island. So get out of the rain and away from every day life. Go explore a new world, blow bubbles and get wet.
Ogden Point Dive Centre
Full service dive centre with Ogden Point break water 10 feet from store. Lessons, sales, rentals, service and guided trips.
199 Dallas Rd. Victoria, BC, V8V 1A1
w - www.divevictoria.com
p - (250) 380-9119
e - firstname.lastname@example.org
Great Ocean Adventures
Full equipment rental, dive charters, drop in dives, full service. Instruction from snorkel to instructor.
1636 Cedar Hill X-Rd.
p - 1-800-414-2202 or 475-2202
e - email@example.com
The one stop shop in Nanaimo for learning to dive. Courses from beginner to instructor, full rentals, service and retail.
22 Esplande, Nanaimo, BC V9R 4Y7
w - www.sundowndiving.com
p - 753-1880 or 1-888-773-DIVE
Pacific Pro Dive
Monthly open water instruction. Rentals, many types of air fill, service, guided trips, sales.
#108-2270 Cliffe Ave. Courtenay, BC V9N 2L4
w - www.scubashark.com
p - 338-6829 or 1-800-800-DIVE
Union Bay Kayak
and Dive Centre
instruction open water to assistant instructor, rentals, wet suit and dry suits, sales, air fill, service, guided trips. Wreck offshore.
Box 144, 5455 S. Island Hwy. Union Bay, V0R 3B0
w - www.seashelldiving.com
p - (250) 335-0301 or 1-877-833-DIVE
Campbell River & Quadra Island
Abyssal Diving Charters & Lodge
Guided trips, lessons and charters in the Discovery Islands.
Box 747 Quathiaski Cove, Quadra Island, V0P 1N0
w - www.abyssal.com
p - 1-800-499-2297 or 285-2420
e - firstname.lastname@example.org
Beaver Aquatics Ltd.
Full service dive centre with lessons ranging from introductory scuba to open water certification and beyond. Retail, rental, guided dives, air fill and service.
760 Island Highway, Campbell River
w - www.connected.bc.ca/~baquatics/
p - 250-287-7652
e - email@example.com
North Island Diving
Customized on demand dive courses with one on one instruction. Full service dive centre with charters, air and equipment rental and retail.
Box 1674 Port Hardy, BC V0N 2P0
p - (250) 949-2664
e - firstname.lastname@example.org