Dive Chemainus And Take Flight In A 737
Dive Chemainus and explore the world's first artificial reef made from a sunken 737 airplane (737 wide angle image above courtesy Wendy Carey) which has made our list as one of Vancouver Island's Best dive sites.
Gather your gear and drive about one hour north of Victoria on Highway 17 until you see the exit for the quaint town of Chemainus.
The Murals at Chemainus
Back in the early 1980’s when the forestry industry surrounding Chemainus shut down, the residents had to make a choice – fight or flight.
They chose to fight and went about turning this little town into a tourist destination.
From just five murals depicting the lives of the First Nations and the early settlers in the Cowichan Valley, the collection has grown to thirty-six larger-than-life historic paintings on building sides in this open air gallery.
With more features, such as statues, revitalized store fronts and artsy boutiques being added, hundreds of thousands of visitors go to see the Chemainus murals each year.
And while exploring Chemainus and diving the 737 near Chemainus, we recommend that you book your rooms at the Chemainus Festival Hotel & Inn or in Courtenay at the Crown Isle resort at this luxurious 2 bedroom condo.
The Sunken 737 at Chemainus
On January 14, 2006, The Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia, with very strong support from one of the local dive members, carefully placed the world’s only de-commissioned 737 artificial reef in the waters referred to as the Salish Sea near Chemainus.
This is Canada’s 7th artificial reef project, and is named The Xihwu (pronounced key' quot) which is the Hul'qumi'num (local First Nations) word for Red Sea Urchin.
They used to live in abundance in the local waters, but the population has greatly declined due to pollution and over-fishing.
Although this 737 dive Chemainus is a fairly recent sinking, it is still a very interesting experience.
Experienced divers can penetrate the plane, which is situated 5 meters (15 feet) above the sea bed which is at an altitude of about 30 meters (100 feet) below sea level.
As of December, 2008, over 104 species of new residents have been spotted getting ready for their underwater flight.
Read more about the marine life on the 737 in this recent news article.
Custom wreck trek dive charter packages, wreck penetration, drysuit, enriched air and other courses can easily be arranged for you.
Please remember to plan your dive and dive your plan - Be Safe
Chemainus Dive Operators
The best dive operator to use to dive on the 737, wrecks, and other dive sites in the area, such as the Del Norte wreck, is Dive Chemainus with 49th Parallel Dive Charters or GreenSea Diving.
Please remember to return here and complete a dive site/operator review.
There are dive sites for all levels of divers in the Chemainus area.
Can we help you plan your dives and stay in Chemainus?
Custom Chemainus area wreck trek dive charter packages, wreck penetration, drysuit, enriched air and other courses can easily be arranged for you - just ask us.
When possible, dive with a group, and always dive with a buddy.
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