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Canada

Welcome to BC
by Doug Pemberton
The province of British Columbia is one of the most appealing and popular tourist destinations in the world. The awesome, natural beauty of Canada’s westernmost province includes everything from ragged, high peaked mountains to expansive sandy beaches, inland and coastal parkland, rivers and desert plains. Scuba divers from around the world are coming to realize that the oceans and lakes of British Columbia offer a vast panorama of underwater exploration opportunities. Stretching from Washington state in the south to Alaska in the north, the 29,000 kilometres (17,000 miles) of British Columbia’s tangled coastline provides a wide range of accessible and exciting dive sites for the novice and experienced diver. The “Emerald Sea” abutting British Columbia’s convoluted coast has been aptly described by members of the Cousteau Society and by individuals such as David Doubilet of National Geographic magazine as offering some of the best diving in the world. Divers visiting British Columbia can enjoy much more than just a diving holiday. Diving can be combined with some of the best skiing in the world, kayaking, and sailing, whale watching or hiking. An active nightlife can be found in many major centers and the province is rich in cultural heritage which can be explored in its many communities and excellent museums.
Doug Pemberton is a contributing editor for Diver Magazine, and a professional underwater photographer.

Vancouver Area & Sunshine Coast
by Doug Wilson
The nutrient rich waters from Indian Arm to Powell River, off the southern coast of British Columbia, boast an “aquarium” unrivaled throughout the world! Frequented by killer whales, sea lions, harbour seals, false killer whales, and Pacific white-sided dolphins, the attractions often start long before you slip into the temperate waters. Howe Sound is a favorite dive destination for visitors and locals alike, and is host to two shore-access marine protected areas – Whytecliff Park and Porteau Cove Provincial Park. These two parks are arguably the most popular
dive sites in the province. Daring to explore further presents a spectacular opportunity offered by local charters, accessing remote sites only available by boat. Often, just the relief from hiking
that heavy gear makes a charter trip worthwhile, not to mention the octopus, wolf eel, friendly seals, and of course… LUNCH!
The Sunshine Coast, aptly named and only a short ferry ride away, has some of the best viz going with an average visibility of 50 ft, and winter viz exceeding 100 ft. If the water were blue you’d think you were in the tropics. Okay, the temperature is slightly cooler (10C-50F), but the fish like it! Sites include the original “Mermaid” (9 ft tall and a twin to the one recently placed in the Cayman’s), the HMCS Chaudière (366' Destroyer Escort) and Skookumchuk Rapids – the second fastest tidal rapids in North America. 

 
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