Vancouver Island Diving Holidays Day 1 - Custom Dive Charters Review
After hearing so many good things about a unique new Vancouver Island diving charter operator, GreenSea Diving, we figured we better check them out for our CoolDives viewers.
So we took the 2 hour ferry from Tsawwassen to Nanaimo, and then enjoyed the casual drive from Nanaimo to Courtenay/Comox, after first stopping along the way to visit with several of the dive shops in Nanaimo.
While there, we talked about some exciting activities including an underwater poker event and underwater geocaching, called divecaching, for divers – more details to come….
Once in Courtenay,we spent some time visiting our preferred local dive shop, U.B. Diving, and spent some time talking with the real boss there, Shellie.
And just as I was about to call Matt Arnold of GreenSea Diving for the meet-up at the GreenSea Diving 2 bedroom dive accommodation at Crown Isle Resort, he pulled up to pick up the air tanks for our 2 day dive trip. Perfect timing!
Once we got all the gear unloaded into the beautiful, spacious condo, it was time to relax, enjoy a cold beer or two, while our charter operator/divemaster/dive instructor/host prepared dinner.
We quickly discovered what makes GreenSea so unique for Vancouver Island diving vacations.
Besides Matt’s contagious passion for diving and for ensuring his guests have a memorable dive holiday on Vancouver Island, this guy is passionate about his cooking which is an added feature that can be incorporated into your custom BC dive holiday.
So while talking about the diving in this part of Vancouver Island, he whipped up a fantastic barbequed steak and grilled (yes grilled) classic Caesar salad for us.
Am I ever glad I added on the personal chef feature!!
His food was fantastic!
We met the next morning at 9:15 in preparation for our first 2 dives which were going to be at Heron Rocks.
This site is very close to Norris Rocks at the southern tip of Hornby Island.
Thankfully the skies were blue, the wind was very light, and we had an enjoyable boat trip out to the site.
Often the Vancouver Island diving charter boat is joined by porpoise or dolphins but not today.
However there were numerous bald eagles flying overhead and watching us perched from the rocks.
Vancouver Island Diving Day 1 - Heron Rocks
Apparently a few days ago there was a pod of transient Orcas in the area feeding on some sealions, but thankfully there was no sign of them today.
While CoolDives does get many enquiries about diving with orcas, being in a black drysuit with hungry transient killer whales feeding nearby was not on my wish list!
As we neared the dive site, it was interesting to see the depth changing from 280 feet to 20 feet in a very short distance - this was going to be a nice wall dive.
Upon anchoring, we were quickly greeted by a curious seal and sealion, and could see many bald eagles either circling above or over on the little islet.
It was a beautiful spot and we were anxious to gear up and jump in.
On the first dive, we hit a maximum depth of 99 feet, the water temp. was around 50 degrees (no problem with a drysuit on), there was little to no current, and the viz was around 25 feet.
As mentioned in the Heron Rocks dive review, there is interesting topography with loads of rock fish, numerous ling cod (some were massive), sea pens, scallops, white and orange plumose anemone, painted and other anemone, boot sponges, urchins, sea cucumbers, various starfish, nudibranch, and various other colorful life.
After seeing some of BC’s other top dive sites, I give this around a 4 in terms of dive sites. And 4 stars in such a wonderful dive destination as British Columbia is quite a compliment.
On the second dive we went along the wall in the opposite direction to a max depth of 96 feet for around 30 minutes.
Oh wait - did we forget to mention the wonderful Thai chicken wrap that Matt prepared for our dive interval/lunch that morning before the trip!?
Did we mention this guy loves to prepare food for his dive guests?
There were numerous crevices to explore, interesting overhangs, and we were even buzzed by a curious sea lion, but he didn’t hang around to play.
That’s it – first dive day over – now Matt is preparing a classic Mediterranean Linguine with focaccia bruschetta with some amazing local bacon while I write this and enjoy a nice, frosty beer!
If you're looking for a Vancouver Island diving holiday - check out the various options offered by GreenSea Diving - we highly recommend them.
Tomorrow we’ll check to ensure the former HMCS Columbia is still where the ARSBC left it near Campbell River.
Link to Day 2 - Campbell River Diving review.
Contact us for more Vancouver Island Diving vacations, or complete the form below to contact GreenSea Diving....
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