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UB Diving. Voted #1 dive shop by a bunch of divers.

Phone: (250) 338-0161

Email: [email protected]

Port Hardy Dive Trips

Among all the great diving available on Vancouver Island, Port Hardy stands out as being the very best. It is no exaggeration to say that Port Hardy has some of the best diving in the world, warm water or cold water. Yes the water here is quite cold, but the blue-green, nutrient rich waters and large tidal currents create the perfect conditions for an explosion of life; from colourful invertebrates covering every inch of rock surface, to huge schools of juvenile rockfish, to charismatic octopus, sea lions and wolf eels, to giant fish-eating anemones set beneath soaring bull kelp canopies. 


Jump To:

-Pricing & Trip Details

-Accommodations & Food

-Getting There

-What Does a Typical Day Look Like

-What to Bring

-Dive Conditions

-Dive Sites

Seven Tree Island

Browning Wall

Browning Rocks

Browning Wall

Pricing & Details

  • 2-3 dives per day (tide and weather dependent)
  • $525 for 3 days/$700 for 4 days of diving, weights by request, air, 80 cuft aluminum tanks
  • You are responsible for your accommodations and food ( below)
  • Equipment rental separate
  • Maximum of 6 divers and one DM/instructor
  • Optional personalized underwater photography instruction for an extra $75/day, maximum of 3 people
  • The boat has a diver elevator, and an on-board head -

Accommodations

You are responsible for arranging your own accommodations in Port Hardy. There is a decent variety you can choose from, including:

Food

You will need to have breakfast before coming out on the boat, and bring your own lunch. There is a Save-on Foods and Subway in town, among other options. Here are some restaurants we recommend:

  • Sporty Bar & Grill
  • Glenn Lyon Restaurant

Getting There

  • Port Hardy is located on the North end of Vancouver Island
  • Driving times:
    • Campbell river: 2.5 hrs
    • Courtenay: 3.5 hours:
    • Nanaimo: 4 hours
    • Victoria: 5.5 hours
  • Coming from the mainland, the best route is to take a ferry to Nanaimo and drive up
  • You can fly in to Comox, Nanaimo, Victoria, Campbell River, or Port Hardy itself

What Does a Typical Day Look Like?

Depending on the tides and the weather, we will leave the dock around 8-10 am. After a 30-40 minute boat ride out to Browning Passage, we'll get ready for our first dive. Depending on the tides, this may be during slack on an exposed site, or off-slack in a sheltered area. More info on dive sites below.


The day will consist of 2 or 3 dives, each up to 60 minutes long, with at least 1 hour on the boat in between dives. We will be on the boat all day, returning back to Port Hardy around 3-5 in the afternoon, depending on conditions and tides.

What to Bring

Port Hardy is not exactly a big city, and there's no local dive shop. We have tools for repairing your gear but it is good to bring your own items as well.

  • Cold water dive gear: drysuit, hood, gloves, boots, mask, fins, snorkel, regulators, BCDs, tanks, weight harness or belt (weights are provided on the boat)
  • Dive lights
  • Save a dive kit (including spare seals if yours are interchangeable)
  • Lunch, thermos for hot drink
  • Warm undergarments
  • Rain gear, toque and gloves to stay warm on surface interval
  • Camera

Dive Conditions

  • This is cold water diving; expect water temperatures around 8-10 degrees C
  • We will try to dive the exposed sites on slack tide, but currents can be strong and unpredictable
  • Some dives are pretty deep or along sheer walls which drop off into the depths, proper buoyancy control and monitoring of no-deco time are important
  • Visibility can range from about 10 m - 30 m (30 - 100 ft)
  • It can be quite dark at depth, so bring a dive light
  • You should be a comfortable cold water diver to dive here.
  • Diving is unguided and unsupervised. There will be a briefing on the boat, then you and your dive buddy are free to explore however you would like!

Dive Sites

The dive sites can be divided into two categories: exposed sites you need to dive on slack, and protected sites you can dive off-slack. The exposed sites typically have the most life, but the protected sites are still very good, much better than your typical diving on Vancouver Island. So, really, you can't go wrong. But we do try to do at least 1 exposed site at slack every day, as conditions permit.