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Diving Nanaimo – 44 and 45

Last month my husband and I took a trip to Canada where we visited several parts of BC. We were to spend some time on the west side of Vancouver Island so I tried to find us a dive shop or tour company of some sort to show us the sights since our time was short. I wasn’t able to find someone close so i expanded my search to include Nanaimo, which is on the east side. I’m so glad that I did. After a false start with another company, we were able to spend two dives in the cold waters there.
The nice lady at the shop walked us through all the stuff we might see at the sites and pictures of her favorite species. Dad, my husband and I

showed up at the dock the next morning ready to go and excited about our trip. Our guides helped us carry all our gear down to the boat and it started raining. It was a perfect day to dive.

Rivtow Lion

The first stop was an artificial reef. Dad had a gear malfunction and couldn’t get his BCD to stop inflating so he had to abort. But my husband, our guide and I explored the ship. The Rivetow Lion was sunk deliberately to create habitat for local sea life and we were able to see some wonderful creatures. This was my first dive with my new GoPro and I managed to get some great shots mixed in with the terrible newbie footage. The best creatures of the dive were the Puget Sound King crab and the pair of giant pacific octopus living underneath the boat. The juvenile King crab was new to the site, so even our guide was excited to see it. We also spotted a pair of Vancouver Feather-dusters on the lines keeping the tug upright.

Clark Rock

Our second dive was with all four if us – the boat had some replacement gear they let Dad borrow. There were four wolf eels at the site, a pair in one den. They are spectacularly ugly but amazing to see in person. I was the lucky recipient of a heck of a show when one came out and straight at me. I can’t believe that I got that on video that way.

But I’m also a nerd about the little stuff. I saw 3 kinds of nudibranchs, marveled over the sparkles that came off an open and feeding scallop and really enjoyed Dad marveling over the sea cucumbers. I’m at the point now where I tell the guides that I love the nudibranchs so they help me spot them. It’s so much fun seeing the tiny bits and having a guide get excited because most tourist divers are only there for the big stuff. I figure the small critters are the most differentiated so finding them just makes my day so much better.


  • drysuit
  • steel short tank
  • heavy duty neoprene hood and gloves
  • Apollo split fins
  • 26 pounds (4 on the back)
  • Ziegler Ranger BC
  • molded mouthpiece
  • tights, polypropylene socks, wool socks and polypropylene pants
  • 2 layers of polypropylene shirts, my heated shirt (which I never turned on), long sleeve tshirt
  • flannel undergarment

Dive 1

  • 51F
  • Max depth: 89 feet
  • 33 minutes


Dive 2

  • 51F
  • Max depth: 66 feet
  • 44 minutes
Crossposted from Journey to the Center, comment here or there with OpenID.