The following post was contributed by Tourism Vancouver’s own Stephen Pearce, VP Leisure Travel and Digital Marketing. Stephen is an avid diver and has graciously agreed to blog about his diving adventures near Vancouver.
Located in British Columbia on the Pacific Coast, Vancouver is only a short step away from dozens of scuba diving locations. Most of them are beach accessible, but there are also numerous charters to a diverse number of wrecks and artificial reefs located only a short trip away.
The readers of Scuba Magazine regularly rank British Columbia as one of the top diving destinations in North America. It’s renowned for the quality of its wall diving, wreck diving and shore diving.
In a series of articles I’ll profile some of the awesome locations that are less than 40 minutes away from downtown Vancouver. Comments and pics from some of your favourite locations would be great.
First stop is Porteau Cove.
Porteau Cove Provincial Park is located 24 miles (38 km) north of Vancouver and 12.5 miles (20 km) south of Squamish on the Sea to Sky Highway. The diving area is protected and features an artificial reef network featuring three wrecks – a tugboat (the Granthall), a steel dredge tender (the Centennial III) and, for more challenging divers, the minesweeper Nakaya which is located at the edge of the dive perimeter.
A map of the dive park is located here: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/porteau/porteaudiving.pdf
The site is host to over 100 species of sea life including octopus, lingcod, plumose anemones and harbour seals. There are changing facilities, ample parking, easy entry/exit, and an outdoor shower for rinsing after your dive. If you need any help, or extra gear, the parking lot is always filled with divers on any sunny weekend who are always willing to help out, share stories and offer advice.
And there are a number of great dive shops in the Vancouver area that can get you set up with the equipment and expertise you need to have a safe, and unforgettable, experience.