World-class Scuba Diving and Snorkelling around Quadra Island
The scuba diving opportunities around Quadra Island are considered some of the best in the world.
Every scuba diver dreams of crystal clear water, and Quadra Island is surrounded by it. But there’s no point in having clear water unless there’s something to look at, so it’s a good thing we’ve also got an amazing wealth of marine life to discover. The strong currents swirling around Quadra as they pass between the mainland and Vancouver Island carry an abundance of oxygen and nutrients, guaranteeing thrilling displays of underwater creatures.
Visiting divers make sure not to miss three fascinating and challenging dives off Quadra’s shores: the wreck of the HMCS Columbia, Steep Island and Richmond Reef.
Underwater explorers love a good shipwreck, and the 366-foot HMCS Columbia, a former navy destroyer, is hard to beat. She rests off the west coast of Quadra, close to Maud Island. Thankfully, there’s no tragic story for the Columbia – she went down peacefully after many years of service, and now acts as an artificial reef.
Just off Quadra Island’s southwest coast, you’ll find the tiny island of Steep. Many divers proclaim it to be a highlight of their life-long diving roster. For an unforgettable spectacle of colour and an astonishing gaze into the diversity of life, try a dive off the northern tip toward the close of an ebb tide. Don’t forget to take your underwater camera!
Divers seeking a challenge flock to Richmond Reef. It’s off Quadra’s west coast, accessible from Quathiaski Cove. This can be an especially tricky dive, and it’s best to go with a local guide. But with safety precautions taken care of, it will be well worth the journey.
For those who love the water but love it most when they’re close to the surface, there’s endless fun to be had snorkelling off Quadra’s beaches. The water’s chilly, so you’ll probably need a light wetsuit. Make sure also to always be cautious of tidal currents.