Richmond Reef is a popular advanced dive in the Campbell River / Quadra Island dive mecca area.
While some resources say it is a shore dive, they also say a 'live' dive boat is a must, so we’re going to classify it as a Vancouver Island boat dive for safety sake.
The reef was named after Mike Richmond (who operated as Dynamike Dive Charters,) a local diver who pioneered many Campbell River dive sites but has since retired.
Nowadays you can try Earl from Abyssal or put together a custom GreenSea dive charter.
Like most dive sites in the nutrient rich and ‘full of marine life area’ of Discovery Passage, it is subject to huge tide changes and very strong currents so we recommend this site only to expert divers with a local Campbell River or Vancouver Island dive charter boat operator and diving at the end of a small ebb tide.
But unlike most of the Quadra Island wall dives, Richmond Reef is actually a pinnacle dive, which is accessible from Q (Quathiaski Cove) on the west side of Quadra Island, just a few minutes away from Campbell River.
The flattened top is around 20 feet (6 meters) from the surface and the ledge drops off into Discovery Pass to a depth of around 170 feet (50+ meters) on one side and around 80 feet (26 meters) on the other. In the summer months, the rocky and sandy top has kelp attached to the shallow bottom which gives a home to lots of marine life and a hand-hold if the currents pick up.
Remember to bring your knife just in case.
Plan your Richmond Reef dive right and your eyes will enjoy a feast of colors, as can be seen in these beautiful pictures on this page courtesy of British Columbia Dive Guide and underwater photographer Eiko Jones.
The pinnacle walls are covered with many colors and varieties of sponges, soft corals, anemones (even some of the famous Campbell River Strawberry anemones,) and hydroids, while red Irish Lords, sea cucumbers, brooding anemones, giant ling cod, Puget Sound King crabs, rockfish, kelp greenlings, rock scallops, abalones, and more can be seen moving around.
Again though we mention the currents. Check the British Columbia tide tables, and
ensure there is a skilled operator manning your live dive boat.
Also in the area are other popular Campbell River dive sites like the wreck of the Columbia, Row and Be Damned, Quadra Island, Steep Island, and more. Put together a custom Richmond Reef dive charter and enjoy 2 or 3 of these great Campbell River (or Nanaimo/Courtenay) dives in one day.
Airfills can be arranged through the only
Campbell River dive shop – Beaver Aquatics.
Be Bold and Dive Cool in British Columbia - You Will Be Amazed at What You Will See.
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