7 Tree Island (in reality there are more than 7 trees on the little islet), located in the northwest part of Browning Pass near Nigei Island in the Port Hardy area on Vancouver Island, is one of the very best dive sites we have ever seen.
And it's our favorite so far! What's yours?
It is near the well-known Browning Wall dive site, which has been ranked as one of the top wall dives in the world.
The island is small enough that one can circumnavigate the whole dive site on one tank, but as with any other dive in the area, you need to ensure you dive it at slack, because at any other time the currents can be incredibly strong and dangerous.
The wall on the east side of the island is just a typical shear wall - typical in this area of British Columbia means the wall is absolutley covered in layers upon layers of colorful marine life and fascinating creatures.
Wherever you look (viz can vary from 5 feet to over 150 feet) you cannot see an inch of uncovered rock. And if you look long enough, you will see something else that has been watching you.
Port Hardy and 7 Tree Island is a macro-photographer's paradise! Well, any type of photographer has something to see here - topside and/or below!
You generally won't see the bottom, since the depth on the east side of the island drops to well beyond that accessible by most divers.
While gazing at the 7 Tree Island wall, you'll likely see clumps of pink and red soft corals, various starfish and crabs, several varieties of sponges and large Deadman's Fingers, large plumose anemones, scallops, numerous varieties of very cool nudibranchs, red and purple sea urchins, Giant barnacles raking the water for food, basket stars, and then all types of fish including red Irish Lords, kelp Greenlings, sculpins, various varieties of rockfish, Decorated Warbonnets, and lots of others.....and maybe even a resident giant Pacific Octopus or two.
What also makes this a cool-dive, is that as you go around to the western side of Seven Tree Island, it shallows out to about 60 feet, with a pebble and shell bottom covered with life, and a kelp forest above as you near the ends of the Islet.
You'll see orange sea pens along the scenic bottom, anemones, starfish, lots of nudibranchs, and much more. A great way to end a fantastic dive!
Apparently we were buzzed by sea lions as well, but I was so busy staring at all the macro life I didn't see these playful sea-puppies watching me!
And often while at the surface you'll see Dall's Porpoise, Orcas, Humpback whales, bald eagles, and much much more.
The Mamro liveaboard dive boat used to be a regular here too but sadly they stopped operating in 2014.
With these expert captains, you will be placed at the best location at the best time, so enjoy the slack and finish off with a little current helping to push you around the island.
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