British Columbia “BC” is set between the province of Alberta and the Pacific Ocean. BC has a mild climate and amazing diversity with some of the best diving on the North American continent. Vancouver is the province’s capital, located on Vancouver Island.
For diving, it is recommended to use a 7mm wetsuit as a minimum, or a dry suit. The water temperature ranges from 12-18c/54-64f during the summer period to 4-8c/39-46f during the winter. Visibility can reach a maximum of 30mtrs (100 feet) during the winter period, but can become cloudy during the spring run-off. One of the things you can do during the winter is dive in the morning off Vancouver Island and ski at close by Whistler in the afternoon!
If it is wrecks that you are after, then there is no better place to go than Nanaimo. They have 3 wrecks, the HMCS Cape Breton, HMCS Saskatchewan and the Rivtow Lion.
The HMCS Cape Breton is a WW2 Cape Class escort maintenance ship of some 440 feet in length and 10,000 tons. At the time of her sinking in 2001 she became the world’s largest artificial reef. She sits in 140 feet of water and the shallowest point is at 35 feet.
The HMCS Saskatchewan is a WW2 Mackenzie class destroyer of some 366 feet in length and 2880 tons. She was also sunk by the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia in 1997. She sits in 120 feet of water and the shallowest point is at 40 feet. Her location is just off Snake Island, near Nanaimo.
The Rivtow Lion was sunk in 2005 and serves as Nanaimo’s third artificial reef and is an ideal dive for novices.