Diving Vancouver Island HMCS Saskatchewan and Clark Rock

  • Updated: July 23, 2019
  • Post By: Matthew Hengst

July 23rd, 2019

This was at the tail end of our big summer road trip which included a visit to Banff and Jasper in Canada. When we were planning I happened to search on Canadian diving opportunities I found that Jacques Cousteau called Vancouver Island a world class diving destination. So there was nothing else to be done but make a special detour over to see for ourselves!

We'd called Nanaimo Dive Outfitters before the trip and they'd been able to rent us all the gear we need and take us out on their boat the Shepherd despite the fact it was a Tuesday morning and we'd be the only ones on it.

On their recommendation we'd scheduled a wreck dive of the HMCS Saskatchewan followed by a dive at Clark Rock to see the famously grumpy looking wolf eels.

We'd just wrapped up a three day canoe trip and I couldn't wait to get back in the water. Granted that water was going to be in the high 50s making it pretty much the polar opposite of our earlier dive at Homestead Crater.

Due to the water temperature the shop recommended either a dry suit (which we aren't currently certified for) or doubling up on 7mm wetsuits. They rented us a full length 7mm with a farmer john 7mm for a second layer.

The owner Steve met us at the shop and once we were kitted out he drove us the short distance to the dock where we loaded onto the his boat the Shepherd for the short ride out to the dive sites.

First up was the wreck of the HMCS Saskatchewan which happens to be a sister ship of one of our local Southern California wrecks called the Yukon.

Unfortunately the cold water was having an odd effect on my camera and the lense completely fogged from the inside after just a few minutes meaning that instead of my usual muddy dive photos I ended up with almost nothing usable.

Which was a real shame since the Saskatchewan was an awesome wreck and we had a great dive crossing the entire length and back.

Conditions were a bit green but we probably had 20 ft of visibility.

The big white things are plumose anemone and we could see several had managed to snag some rather large jellyfish and were busy consuming them.

Back on the boat Jen dozed and I did my best to figure out what was going on with the camera. Sadly I had the same issue on the second dive so once again I barely captured anything.

Dive #2 was on Clark Rock and the goal was to get a look at the a wolf eel. Conditions could once again best be described as decent but a bit cold even with the double wetsuits.

We did manage to see a pair of wolf eels along with a number of other fish.

We were both pretty frozen after two dives and after long hot showers we grabbed a pizza and went to the highly recommended White Sails Brewery for some well deserved post dive calorie intake. (And Jen sadly refused to let me buy that awesome piece of artwork behind us.)

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