3 Routes
Highlights of the Area

Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast is close to Vancouver by ferry and offers several areas for good diving. There is some shore and good boat access to the dive sites around Sechelt and Pender Harbour where divers can discover octopus, ratfish, lingcod and several varieties of nudibranchs and other invertebrates. The town of Sechelt lies at the head of Sechelt Inlet which offers many excellent dive spots accessible only by boat. The premier dive site is the HMCS Chaudiere, a 110 meter (366 feet) destroyer escort that now serves as an artificial reef, lying between 70’ and 130’. After being down for almost three years, she is now home to a diverse assortment of life including a blanket of tunicates, wolfeels, yelloweye rockfish, ling cod and schools of perch. Large holes have been cut in the sides of the ship allowing for penetration by anyone exercising caution and proper wreck diving procedures. Further down the inlet is a bottleneck and a series of islands known as Sechelt rapids or Skookumchuck. The strong currents produced during tidal exchanges support a wide variety of colourful marine life. Skookumchuck is only accessible by boat and there are dive shops and charter companies on the Sunshine Coast that run regular trips throughout Sechelt Inlet.

A scenic hour-long ferry trip from Earl’s Cove to Saltery Bay deposits you in the northern Sunshine Coast. Several good shore dives around the town of Powell River will bring you face to faceplate with wolfeels, octopus and an abundance of invertebrates including the bizarre hooded nudibranch which, in the spring and fall, infests shallow eelgrass beds by the thousands. At Mermaid Cove a nine foot high bronze mermaid welcomes divers to the emerald sea. Local charter boats can take you to explore sheer walls and caverns and offshore reefs.

Doug Pemberton

Return to Previous Menu