GIANT PACIFIC OCTOPUSES
AND VANCOUVER ISLAND'S OTHER ICONIC MARINE LIFE
Scuba Diving with Giant
Pacific Octopuses and a host of other iconic
Canadian marine giants.
Comfortable Hotel in Campbell River
near Quadra Island
Advanced open water scuba
21-27 6 SPOTS
US$1995 per person based
on double occupancy
5 days of 2 tank boat dives at world famous
6 Nights accommodation.
Breakfast and lunch.
Tanks and Weights.
Experienced Dive Guide.
Round trip transfers from Victoria Airport.
Personal diving equipment, flights,
THE BEST NON-TROPICAL
DIVING IN THE WORLD
This is your chance to encounter iconic North Pacific
animals against a reef-scape so colourful that you will
forever find the rest of the planet a little dull in
Diving legend Jacque Yves Cousteau summed it up
nicely when he said that in his opinion. "Vancouver
Island has the best cold water diving in the world".
GPOs are the largest octopuses in the world. The biggest one
on record was a whopping 10m across! Ours are a little more
modest, generally around 2m wide from tentacle tip to
tentacle tip but we do see an occasional 3m individual.
Diving with octopuses on Vancouver Island isn't that hard.
At some sites you can generally see 5 or 6 but they are
quite shy so you often see a few suckers sticking out of a
crack in the reef. Early in the morning or later in the day
are the best times to look for them hunting on the reef.
Once spotted they generally hold still for a while, allowing
photographers to get a handful of images before they ooch
away into the nearest hole.
NUDIBRANCHS ON STEROIDS
Vancouver Island's reefs are packed with colorful
invertebrates that thrive in the nutrient rich waters of the
Salish Sea. If you want to spend your dives hunting for tiny
nudibranchs and other macro invertebrates you'll run out of
memory cards long before you run out of photo subjects. But
if you like your sea slugs a little larger, we've got some
enormous species here on the island such as Orange Peel
Nudibranchs and Giant Dendronotids that grow almost as long as your forearm!
TAKE A STROLL THROUGH THE FOREST
Diving on Vancouver Island would not be complete without one
or two forays into the kelp forest. Most of the sites that you
dive will have stands of bull kelp in the shallows. These kelp forests are important refuges for hundreds of
different species including huge schools of rockfish that
hunt, breed and hide their young among the kelp fronds and
When the sun shines through the canopy, diving in Vancouver
Island's kelp forests is a surreal experience you won't want
not just marine mammals and giant Pacific octopuses that are
huge around Vancouver Island. The invertebrates that cling
to every available surface are enormous too! From Plumose
Anemones to Sun Stars, everything is larger than life. So
big in fact, that you might as well leave your macro lenses
AN ARTIST'S PALETTE
In certain areas, the colors of the reef are
beyond anything you can find in the tropics and colorful
fish seem to gravitate to the island's rocky shore line. You
would think that it would be dangerous to be so brightly
adorned in a place where predators abound but if the reef is
on fire, you need to be too if you want to fit in.
NOT SO GIANT SHARKS
Well, this is embarrassing... Although virtually everything
in the Salish Sea is enormous, our sharks are actually quite
small. We do have some absolute behemoths called Bluntnose
Sixgill Sharks but we don't see those very often. Much more
common are North Pacific Spiny Dogfish Sharks. These pint
sized predators were once considered to be the same as the ones
in the Atlantic but a few years ago DNA testing revealed
that they're actually unique to the North Pacific. So if
you're a shark fan, this is your chance to tick off a new
species that you won't find anywhere else.
VANCOUVER ISLAND DIVING
DAY ONE: 10am Pick up in Victoria. Drive
north to Campbell River (about 3.5hrs) settle into the hotel
and prepare dive gear and cameras for tomorrow.
DAYS TWO TO SIX: 8am breakfast in the
hotel then transfer to the dive boat. Dive on the beautiful
reefs of Vancouver Island and Quadra Island. Lunch onboard.
Dive again in the early afternoon then return to the hotel
and relax or venture out into the surrounding forests to
hike and enjoy Vancouver Island's beautiful topside scenery.
DAY SEVEN: After a relaxed breakfast we
will take you back to Victoria for your flight home or to
enjoy more of Vancouver Island's attractions such as
whale watching with resident orcas, hiking the West Coast
Trail, exploring the island's many parks and peaks or enjoying
cultural and historical tours in the heart of the city.
*Post trip activities once back in Victoria
are not included in the package but we can offer advice on
where to go, what to do, and help you book some adventures.
READY TO SIGN UP OR WANT
CONTACT BIG FISH ABOUT
EXPLORE THE SALISH SEA
WITH PHOTOGRAPHER ANDY MURCH
As an Underwater
Photojournalist, I have traveled around the world in search
of the best diving this planet has to offer. After visiting
more than 70 countries and diving in as many as I could, I
have not found a destination that is anywhere near as
colorful as Western Canada. Quadra Island is one
of our gems!
Come and see for yourself
how special this island is.