Scuba Dive with Steller Sea Lions in British Columbia with Gregory Sweeney Photography

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Scuba Dive with Steller Sea Lions

British Columbia, Canada

Scuba diving with a mob of Stellar Sea Lions is possibly the most fun diving you will ever have. Join us for a wildlife encounter like no other as we dive the waters of British Columbia off Vancouver Island. Our 5 days of diving will be split between hilarious seal lion dives and the best wall and wreck dives the area has to offer.

 

The seals are curious and swarm around us doing acrobatics . These are long and intense encounters! We stay at a comfortable island hotel and dive from a specially designed dive boat with the best operators in the area. The scenery is beautiful on the surface, but below is a magical world of colorful anemones on steroids, bull kelp, rock fish, huge crabs, walking orange sea pens, giant octopus, and the legendary wolf eel.

diving with stellar sea lions

Trip Details

Country:

Canada

Where:

Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Participants:

Limited to 8

Dates

April 1 - 7th 2017

*Payment & Cancellation Policies

Land based: 3 Days of sea lion encounters 2 days for reefs and wreck diving

We will be land based staying at a hotel on Quadra Island where the boat will meet us each day.

Download the Trip Information

Map of Vancouver Island
link to Whale Shark Blog Posts
link to Whale Shark Gallery

Trip Fee Includes:

Does not Include

This video was created and filmed by Aaron Moser

scuba with Steller Sea Lions

Travel Planning

Getting to Vancouver Island

Flights to the Comox airport (YQQ) are mostly from Vancouver YVR ( and a few from Calgary YYC)

Pacific Coastal Airways (http://www.pacificcoastal.com) also has 4 flights in and out per day

Other options are:

Fly to the Victoria airport (YYJ) and get a transfer up to Comox (or all the way to the Quadra ferry in Campbell River)

Fly into Vancouver, catch a ferry to Vancouver island and get a transfer from your arrival dock to Comox to meet us or continue to the Quadra Island ferry.

Scuba and play with sea lions

Notes & Itinerary

Steller Sea Lions

Stellar sea lions pass the early spring by sunbathing on the rocks off Vancouver Island. They enjoy a dip into the sea to cool off and to explore the local scuba divers.

The Steller see lion is the largest of the eared seals: females weigh around 500 – 700 lbs and large males can reach 1000lbs.

Steller sea lions eat a variety of fish as well as some octopus and some types of squid. An adult will eat 6% of its body weight per day. Birth season is May - July. Sea lion populations are in a drastic decline and not all the reasons are understood. Increased parasites, dease, competition for food, less food, and habitat loss are all contributers to the decline.

A dive with steller sea lions is a incredible animal encounter like no other. The dives are special because the sea lions want to see you as much as you want to see them. They are as inquisitive toward us as we are about them. Friendly toward divers , they bump you, move you, and gently nibble on your gear and body. They will explore you with their mouths and are attracted to anything dangling. Scuba diving with sea lions in British Columbia is an experience worthy of a bucket list and one that is hard to match on dry land.

Scuba with Steller Sea Lions

Accommodation

Our accommodations are above Quathiaski Cove Harbour on Quadra Island near Campbell River on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The hillside location overlooking the bustling harbour scene of Quathiaski Cove gives a true feeling of island living. We arrive on the island by ferry from Campbell River.

Quadra Island is part of the Discovery Island group located at the north end of Georgia Strait. It is renowned for kayaking and the Rebecca Spit Marine Provincial Park which has stunning views of the surrounding mountain ranges and has popular swimming , picnic spots, hiking and wildlife trails.

Our resort has double rooms and suites each with kitchenettes and refrigerators. Some rooms have water views, BBQ grills, and more.

There are a number of dining experiences available to visitors of Quadra island. The Landing Pub and Grill is right next to the hotel. Other restaurants have various menus and seasonal schedules. Two shopping centers on the island offer unique shopping and a chance to sample fine local fare and the work of artisians, artist, and crafts.

Equipment Needed

Guests should bring a 7mm wetsuit with hood or a drysuit and some warm layers for use on the boat and at night.

Fins and boots, mask and hood

Camera and dry bags for extra clothing and personal items for on the boat

Wolf Eel- Im not ugly!

About the Diving

We will be diving the waters between Campbell River and Hornby Island in a Custom built 32 foot aluminum boat which holds 10 divers. Two 225HP engines gets us to dive sites fast and we can cover more area. A heated cabin and washroom and shower help you stay comfortable. The boat is equiped with an easy to use dive entrance and exit.

The dives range from 20 – 60 ft with a few deeper profiles possible. Often the sea lion encounters are shallow and they will mob us at the surface too.

The above water splender with bald eagles, orcas, and rocky scenery is mirrored below water as well. We will dive a sample of the best this area has to offer. Bull kelp forests, large and colorful invertebrate marine life, rockfish await our discovery. We may also encounter harbour seals and a huge variety of fish. Special favorites of divers and photographers are the wolf eels, giant octopus, and the walking orange sea pens.

 
sea pen giant Pacific Octopus

Itinerary

Day 1: April 1 Meet at Comox Airport at a time TBD for shuttle transfer to Campbell River and the Ferry to Quadra. First Night in Hotel

Day 2: April 2 (1st Boat Day) Our dive operator will plan our day based on the tides and weather. They meet us in the harbor at our hotel. Hotel night #2

Day 3: April 3 (2nd boat day) Our dive operator will plan our dives based on the tides and weather. 3 of our days will be encounters with the Steller sea lions Hotel night #3

Day 4: April 4 (3rd Boat Day) 2 dives today, either with sea lions or a reef. Hotel Night #4

Day 5: April 5 (4th Boat day) If we have had our encounters with sea lions we will be diving a reef or wreck today. Hotel Night #5

Day 6: April 6 (5th Boat day) Our last day of diving. Our crew will make sure we have seen enough sea lions and had a chance at the best reef locations. Hotel Night #6

Day 7: April 7 Today we check out of the hotel, take the ferry, then meet our transfer to Comox Airport. Some will depart from there and others may have different travel plans.

Flotsom bald eagle

Gallery of Photo Safari Images