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Best Scuba on Vancouver Island for newly certified diver?

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Alberta
posts: 14
reviews: 1
Best Scuba on Vancouver Island for newly certified diver?

I will in the Victoria area for a week, from the beginning of June. I am attending a conference, but the conference will be over by June 3 and I will have three full days for a short vacation. I completed my Open Water training and certification in late January, and have not dived since, due to the cold winter here. I greatly enjoyed my experience and want to do some diving on the Island, as it may be a while before I travel to the ocean again. My main concern is, I only have the four Open Water dives under my belt, and I am the only person in my party who is certified, therefore I will not have a dive buddy, either.

Can someone recommend a good place for diving, either in Victoria itself or within a reasonable driving distance away, where I could have the assistance of a dive master in a relatively simple environment suited to my skills, as well as a full equipment rental (besides the mask, snorkel and fins)? We will be renting a car, so it would be possible for me to drive several hours away from town - depending on the circumstances, I could theoretically stay one or two nights in a diving town if they offer multi-day packages. I don't know how feasible that would be in such a compressed trip, though. Thank you!

Vancouver
posts: 60
reviews: 5
1. Re: Best Scuba on Vancouver Island for newly certified diver?

Check out Ogden Point Dive Centre in Victoria.

The are located at the Ogden Point breakwater, which offers some good beginner/intermediate dives. You get in the water and just follow the breakwater for as far as you like; it gets progressively harder as you move farther out. I've done several dives there myself, and it's a good bet for a shore dive - safe, minimal current and lots of nooks and crannies with wolf eels, octopus, lingcod, etc.

The dive shop also offers boat charters to some other local spots. There are some other good diving spots nearby, including Chemainus (home to a sunken 737 jet) and Nanaimo (some good wrecks); you might also check out Brentwood Bay Resort (close to Victoria), they have some very cool glass sponge dive sites nearby. Note that most of these sites are boat-access, so you would need to book a trip with a dive shop.

Given your time frame and status, I would just stay around Victoria and explore Ogden Point breakwater, maybe take a boat charter if you're so inclined....enjoy!

Nanaimo, Canada
Destination Expert
for Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
posts: 4,283
reviews: 270
2. Re: Best Scuba on Vancouver Island for newly certified diver?

Well you've come to a great part of the world to dive in Mike M!

In Victoria itself I would recommend trying at dive at Ogden Point Breakwater. The folks at Ogden Point Dive Centre, right beside the breakwater will be able to help you out and help you find a buddy.

http://www.divevictoria.com/

But if you are willing to drive an hour and a half to 2 hours north, come to Nanaimo! We have to be one of the friendliest and most well equipped dive communities in BC. Nanaimo is home to the largest artificial reef system in the world (which you may not be ready for yet) which include the former HMCS Saskatchewan and Cape Breton. A novice wreck dive, the RivTow Lion is accessible by charter and maybe the right level for you.

Nanaimo has a plethora of shore dives as well, such as Finn Beach and Neck Point that are suitable to your level. And lots of other interesting dives such as Snake Island Wall and Dodds Narrow drift dive.

I'd contact Ed at Sundown Diving to see what charters are available and if he can hook you up with a dive buddy.

Happy diving!

BD

www.sundowndiving.com

Alberta
posts: 14
reviews: 1
3. Re: Best Scuba on Vancouver Island for newly certified diver?

Thank you for the excellent advice, Anton & Dave! It's great to hear that there are good sites in the city itself, as well as within driving distance. Ogden Point sounds like a great starting point, both in terms of location as well as for my level of experience, so I will be in touch with them - maybe I will try and arrange a boat charter.

I looked up Brentwood Bay, which looks really nice as well. Some nice rates on boat charters out to Saanich. I will see if I can manage a trip up to Nanaimo, as well!

I'm looking forward to this trip - my second dive in the Pacific, and first cold water. I've heard great things about the diving in the area. I used to travel to the Island quite often on family trips, and once had a school trip out to Bamfield - so experiencing the ocean life first-hand there for the first time will be quite the thrill! Thanks again.

4. Re: Best Scuba on Vancouver Island for newly certified diver?

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