Kelvin Grove – Vancouver, British Columbia
Access: Shore dive
Location: Lions bay, 10km north of Horseshoe Bay on the eastern shore
of central Howe Sound. Take highway 99 from horseshoe Bay to Lions Bay
and take the first exit, Kelvin Grove road. Hang a left and then another
left and follows the road until passed the railroad tracks until the end
of the dead end. Drop off your gear and then park your vehicle at the top
of the road. Follow the footpath to one of the two entry sites. The first is
a set of stairs and the next is a sand beach.
What you’ll find: Easily one the best shore dives in the region.
The Kelvin Grove north wall is a stunning piece of geography with plentiful
marine life. This dive site offers a selection of marine life;
Giant nudibranchs, gobies, pink short spines stars, sunflower stars,
tube worms, (cloud, chimney, and yellow boring sponges), shrimp, prawns,
rockfish, shiner perch, lincod painted and kelp greenligs, zoanthid colonies,
red and green urchins, slippered and California cucumbers, warty tunicates,
sea peaches, lined chiltons, decorator and umbrella crabs, vermilion and
slim stars, kelp-encrusting bryozoans, clams and octopus.
This site is frequented by those training for competition freediving.
There is a permanent line that has been place that bottoms out at around 170ft.
This site is ideal for such training as the bottom drops off quickly. This
means that you can get deep without a long surface swim.
Whytecliff Park- Vancouver, British Columbia
Access: Shore dive.
Location: Whytecliff park is located in southeastern Howe Sound. From
the upper levels highway, take Exit #1 for 400m and turn left onto the highway
overpass. The overpass turns into Marine drive, which you should follow as it
winds itself to Whytecliff park. The park is marker with a large wooden sign.
What you’ll find: This is the one of closest to down town, offering a
pick-nick area, rest rooms, telephone, and a concession stand. This site is
actually three in one; Whyte Islet, Whytecliff marker, and the Cut. You will find
rapidly descending series of walls and rocky ledges, mild slopes, and some
remnants of the long ago removed marina docks. Home to calcarous tube worms,
sea stars, sea cucumbers; as well as lemon peel and alabaster nudibranchs.
White and orange plumos anemones are plentiful. Brittle stars, large sea pens,
sunflower stars, yellow boring spunges, sea peaches. Glassy sea squirts and
sea cucumbers. Purple and green sea urchins, octopus, colonies of zoanthids,
and giant barnicles. Cloud sponges, kelp, barnacles, purple stars, blackeye gobies,
and flatfish are common here. Sea firs, swimming scalopes, gumboot chiltons,
galathaeid crabs, and buffalo sculpins are found at Whyteciff as
well. Dogfish and seals are common around the day-marker.