Searching for “Shrek”

Wolf Eel - source: Wikpedia

By Stephen Pearce. Another installment of our series on diving near Vancouver. This time Stephen visits Tuwanek.

Take a pale, green complexion, add a face that only a mother could love, and top it off with a friendly, if somewhat reserved personality. If you’re lucky to dive in the waters of Tuwanek , that recipe pretty much sums up “Shrek” – the resident wolf eel.

In early December my buddy and I decided that searching for Shrek was a great excuse for a couple of dives.

Shrek is a bit of a celebrity at Tuwanek. In the scuba community he has a reputation as gentle and inquisitive, and has been known to accept sea urchins and other food from divers.

We entered the water at about noon in absolutely perfect conditions; high tide, no wind or current, and visibility of 18 meters (60 ft.). On that particular day we were surprised at the number of moon jellies in the water – dozens of small jellyfish that formed constellations of white and pink.

We circumnavigated the island and Shrek finally did oblige us by putting in a showing although he wasn’t interested in coming out to play. On the other hand we hadn’t brought gifts either so he might have been feeling a little grumpy.

Wolf eels are unique to the Pacific Northwest and are actually a fish. They can grow to 203 centimetres (80 in) and 18.6 kilograms (41 lb) and make their home in crevices and cracks at moderate depths.

Tuwanek is on the Sunshine Coast and to get there we boarded the ferry at Horseshoe Bay near Vancouver for the forty minute sailing. Once on the Sunshine Coast we had a short drive through Sechelt to the pretty community of Tuwanek. We parked at the end of a sandy spit which provided easy access for shore diving. There are no change facilities but a wash room and picnic facilities are nearby.

Entry to the water is easy with a slope and topography that appeals to both new and experienced divers.

You can find more information about the area at the following web site:

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