Whaling Station Bay - Hornby Island, British Columbia

The view to the left at Whaling Station Bay Access: Shore dive.

Location: Hornby Island is located off the East coast of Vancouver Island between Parksville and Courtenay. To get there, take the ferry from Buckley Bay to Denman Island, drive across Denman and take another ferry to Hornby Island. Whaling Station Bay is a nice sandy beach on the peninsula that juts southward. To get there, drive across the island from the ferry terminal to the Co-op and turn left at the four-way stop. Turn right at the big tree and slow down when you see a large green water tank. If you get to Helliwell Park, you've gone too far. There are a couple of beach accesses at Whaling Station Bay.

What you'll find: Whaling Station Bay is an excellent location for summer snorkeling. The water at the surface can get warm enough to get in without a wetsuit if the wind doesn't blow the warm layer away. The bay itself is a beautiful white sandy beach. The interesting snorkeling is amongst the sandstone and conglomerate rocks to either the right or left. The rocks to the left (North) can be quite shallow to start off with but it is a surprisingly good place to find small octopus.

The view to the right at Whaling Station Bay The rocks to the right are perhaps the more interesting in general, especially well around the corner. Perch and kelp greenling can be easily found in the shallows and there are lots of moon snails in the sand. You may also see the odd skate. Dogfish and ratfish come out at night and hang out just below the thermocline.

About 80m out from the point there used to be a lush kelp forest in the summer but it hasn't made an appearance in the past few years. Like much of the Hornby Island coast, sea urchins have made it very hard for the kelp to take hold.

Hazards: Current can be a problem, especially if it is windy. The biggest hazard by far though is small boats going in and out of the bay. There are a lot of kayaks and windsurfers in the summer so you may not always hear them coming.

Submitted by Tom Lightfoot.

Home | Contact | Recreation | Competition | Education | Admin | Members | Clubs | Photos | Videos
Popular Sites | Environmental
Updated 21 August 2002
Corporate Members:
Oceaner Wetsuits & Drysuits
Langley Diving