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The ShoreDiving Reviews of
 Bryan Heit

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Review Date       AVG       ShoreDiving Site
06/08/2009        3.38      Whitehouse Reef Jamaica, Caribbean
The long surface swim, and lack of depth makes this both dangerous for beginners, and not a site of particular interest for experts. Although shore-accessible, it is best dived from a boat. Good snorkeling area, and the dive itself is good for beginner divers.
05/10/2006        2.36      Okeover Provincial Park Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada
Not the most interesting of dives. Most of the life is small, as are the wrecks. A good dive to do if you're looking for something new in the area, but there are many better sites nearby.
05/10/2006        3.29      Lone Tree Island Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada
An easy dive with a lot to see. The wolf eels are less tame then those at other sites and don't readily approach divers. As mentioned in the description, this site is near a marina, so fly a flag and keep an eye out for boaters.
05/10/2006        2.22      Esquinalt Lagoon Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
There is no real reason to do this dive unless you're after crab, but it is a great place to go crabbing. Here the issue isn't finding legal-sized crabs, rather it's finding ones small enough to fit in your crab bag! Aside from that there isn't much too see. The bottom is sandy, so this may be a good area for practice diving. A lot of boaters come in close to shore here (to crab and fish), so a flag is a good idea.
05/10/2006        3.56      Wreck of the Adventure Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada
This site is worth more then one dive - between the ship, reef and cliffs there is a lot to see. All kinds of life, from nudibranchs on up to large lingcod. The biggest problem here is the current, so this dive is not for beginners. Even at slack there can be some current, and the current tends to pick up quickly.
02/20/2006        3.43      Beach Garden Resort Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada
There are lots of places to dive here, but the best stuff is off the jetty. Near the end of the jetty, in ~25' of water, is a small wreck. Lots of little things hiding in this area, and in the surrounding eel grass. From the first wreck there is a cable (bearing of ~180 degrees) which takes you to a second wreck in ~60' water. Lots of life at the second wreck, and a little more of the wreck left to see. Keep on the cable to avoid getting lost or drifting into the entry for the marina. DO NOT dive in the marina. Current can get quite fast, so keep an eye on your tide tables. Lots of boat traffic around the marina, so use a flag.
09/29/2005        2.91      Wreck of the Gertrude Alberta, Canada
I have dived this site 15 or 20 times over the year. For those landlocked in Alberta, this wreck is a nice change from the usual lake and pool dives we do. This dive is best done in the early spring (before runoff), or in late fall (just before the freeze). In the summer months the lake is quite silty, and it can be very hard to see anything. Vis is much better in the early spring or late fall. This site is an excellent place for beginner and intermediary divers. It's also a great place for a night dive. Often, schools of fish can be found inside of the wreck. The entry/exit is easy, there are great facilities right at the lake (cook shelters, toilettes, tables), and you're only 5 minutes away from the ice cream store!
08/02/2005        2.04      Lake Minnewanka Alberta, Canada
Probably the best dive site in Alberta. For newbies the multiple dive sites, and submerged buildings, makes this a lot more interesting then the other local sites. For more advanced divers, Lake Minnewanka offers some of the provinces only deep water dives. Not a whole lot of life to see here, aside from the odd skittish lake trout. But the submerged buildings make it interesting none-the-less. Best dived in early spring or early winter (i.e. before runoff, or immediately before the freeze). It's also a popular place for ice divers throughout winter. During these "peak" seasons (i.e. when normal people stay home) vis can be up to 15m/50'. After runoff vis can drop to just a foot or so. Risks are minimal - the dam and associated foundations are all inside of a protected area where boats are not allowed. However, the bridge, cliffs and town sites are located in places where power boats can go, so fly a flag (not that any one here knows what they mean). Lastly, this is a mountain lake. Wet suit divers will have limited bottom time before they start to freeze, and the cold has been known to drive the odd dry suit diver our of the water. Finally, the lake is at 5000' altitude, so you need to use an altitude table or altitude compatible computer.
07/08/2005        3.56      Wreck of the Malahat Vancouver, BC, Canada
The description of this site pretty much says it all. A couple of the lingcod on the wreck have become "famous", at least within the local circle of divers. We saw two huge ones, including one the likes of which I have never seen before! If you're in Powell River and only have time for 2 dives, I'd make this one #2 after the Mermaid…
07/08/2005        3.60      King Koho Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
This is an excellent dive, and is one of the only shoredives in the Comox area. The wreck itself is full of life. At some point a huge hole was put into the roof - you can look in. Everything is still there - even the kitchen sink! The ship is lying on its port side - along the seafloor the starboard side doesn't hit the ground in all places, forming a series of medium-sized "caves" which are packed with fish. There is a lot of life to see here. And the shallows are an interesting place to spend some time during your safety stop. Lots of sole hiding in the sand, and in the rocks are all kinds of weird fish.
07/08/2005        2.77      Old Government Wharf Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
An interesting place to look for artifacts. Not a whole lot of life, except for the large number of crabs. An interesting dive, although if you're in the area for one dive I would do the barge. Same entry point, a little farther of a swim, but much more to see then at the wharf. Also, like all other dives in this area, the vis here is highly variable. Hit it at high tide for the best vis.
07/08/2005        2.87      MV Zebalous Vancouver, BC, Canada
An OK dive, although vis can be highly variable. Hit this one at high tide for best vis. It's a long slog out to the wreck, although there is a lot of interesting debris along the way. It is a little strange coming up onto this wreck - you cross a desert with nothing but a few crabs and debris, and all of a sudden you're facing this rectangular island of life.
07/04/2005        4.00      Tuwanek Beach Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada
This is an excellent site for all levels of divers. But don't follow the instructions on this page - you'll miss out on the best part if you stick to the area described in the description! There are essentially two dives at this site - one around the backside of the island on the right, the second around the backside of the island on the left (as seen when standing on the beach looking out-to-sea). Both of these dives are on walls, with the right island bottoming out at ~70', the left island bottoming out at ~120'. The wall on the right island is the best for beginners, as it is not completely vertical. As such depth control is a little easier as you're not suspended over blue water. The left wall is a little more challenging, but can be easily dived by any intermediate divers. Both walls are covered in life including boot sponges, anenomies, nudibrancs (some as big as footballs!), starfish, octopi, and I've heard that wolf eels can be found by the island on the left. Lots of rockfish, perch, and what may have been schools of herring. Three seals make their home in this area, and are quite friendly to divers. No services to mention, although there is a fresh-water creek where you can rinse your gear. A good way to do both dives is to surface swim to the outer edge of either island and drop down. Do the wall, and then make your way back to shore along the bottom. This way you get the see the walls, as well as the 'site' as it is listed here.
07/04/2005        3.25      Union Bay Wreck Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
This site consists of a large barge, which has become completely encrusted with life. To find the barge enter the water, and swim to the end of the breakwater. From here there is a rope extending out to the barge. It's a long slog to the barge, so be patient. There are some scattered remnants of an old dock to keep you interested, but otherwise there is little but crabs and mud to keep your attention. Once at the barge there is a lot to see - anemones cover it from end-to-end. All kinds of life can be seen living on and under the barge. A few important points though: Firstly, vis in this area is not great, but it improves 1000-fold at high tide. At low tide you'll have trouble seeing your hand; it's much better at high. Secondly, although the dive isn't very deep or challenging, it probably isn't a good choice for beginners. The swim out is quite a distance, and newer divers (or air pigs) may find that they only have a 1/2 tank let when they get to the site. Plus, the distance is simply too far for a surface swim, so underwater is the only way to go. Lastly, be careful during entry. The easiest way in is via the boat launch - along with all the dangers that entails. However, the boat launch area is also full of mud (especially if the tide is low), so don't be surprised if you find yourself bogged down in mud. At high tide you may be able to enter directly off the breakwater - if this can be done it is your best option.
07/04/2005        4.23      Mermaid Cove Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada
This is an excellent dive, with lots to see aside from the Mermaid (but check her out, it's worth it). Entry is a an easy walk down a ramp apparently put in place for the exclusive use of divers. The ramp puts you into a small bay - swim out of the bay to the dive float located just off shore. Descend along the line to the very bottom. The Mermaid is located at a bearing of ~170 degrees from the float's anchor. If you head due south you'll hit the wreck of a small wooden rowboat. On a clear day both the boat and mermaid may be visible from the float anchor. Both are located in a small "valley" - if you find yourself ascending or descending along another wall you've missed them. The small wreck has a few large anenomies and rock fish around it. It is quite intact, and an interesting place to spend a few minutes of your dive. The mermaid herself is amazing, and if you look around her base you'll find a lot of fish and other stuff to look at. But don't just limit yourself to the small valley with the boat and mermaid. There are several cliffs in the area, dropping off to >100' in depth, that are worth exploring. From the mermaid head south - you should hit a wall which drops off quite deep. There is a lot to see on this wall, from sponges, to anenomies, to all kinds of fish. This site also features some tables, a washroom, change rooms, and some outdoor showers where you can rinse your gear. The bay where you enter is also good for swimming. Great place to send the day.
07/04/2005        3.46      Coopers Green Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada
This is an easy dive, located just a few minutes outside of Sechelt. The best stuff I found was around the large rock - anenomies, nudibrancs, fish, etc can all be found here. Dive bottoms out at about 70'. Overall, the life isn't as dense or big as it is at other sites in the area. This is probably a good site for octopi - we saw ample evidence of their work - but they eluded us during our dive. This is a great dive for beginners - protected, not too deep, easy entry, and easy navigation. Intermediate and advanced divers will find this an easy, but interesting dive. Probably the most attractive feature of this site is the on-shore facilities - bathrooms, a rinse hose, volleyball net and tables make this a good place for a picnic. Bring the family and a BBQ, and make a day of it…
01/31/2005        3.05      Sydney Pier Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Not much to add that isn't covered in the site description. Vis was poor when we were there, and according to the locals this is the norm. Not much life, aside from leaf kelp. Maybe in a decade or so the reef may grow to something larger, but for now there is little of interest.
09/06/2004        4.58      Ogden Breakwater Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Ogden Breakwater is an interesting site, great for beginners and advanced alike. The breakwater itself is a 750m (2500') long 'arm' extending into Victoria harbor. The breakwater is made entirely of large concrete blocks, which forms a series of 'stairs' extending from the surface to the ocean floor. Its location along the Juan de Fuca Straight ensures some currents, which feeds the amazing life found here. This dive site is more like 3 or 4 sites wrapped into one. The breakwater can be loosely divided into three areas. The first area extends from shore to the first bend. This area is basically a shallow sandy bay (~30' deep), with little to see; but makes a good sheltered area for beginners to practice their skills. The second region is the area between the first and second bend. This region, which is about 500m (1500') long, is the most popular with divers. This area is much deeper then the first section (up to 80'), and features a ton of life. Anemones, nudibranchs, ling cod, greenlings, assorted rockfish, wolf eels, and the odd octopus can be found here. In spring & summer the upper levels of this area can have a pretty amazing kelp forest. This section is occasionally exposed to large waves and moderate current (less then 1 knot), so beginners may want a more experienced guide to lead them in this section. The third section extends from the second bend to the end. Because of the long walk involved, this region is rarely dived and as such shows a lot fewer signs of human impact then the rest of the breakwater. This sections is exposed directly to the Juan de Fuca, and as such often has moderate current (1.5 knots) and large waves. This portion has similar types of life to the middle section, but everything is much bigger, and much more densely packed. Along the breakwater are five painted dive flags. Immediately under these flags, in 30' to 50' of water, are large illustrated plaques describing what you'll see in that area. Some divers make a game of finding these plaques - I've found two! To access the first two sections walk down the stairs at the beginning of the breakwater and walk along the blocks until you reach your desired entry point. The best way to access the last section is to walk along the top of the breakwater all the way to the end, descend on the stairs at the end, and enter there. You cannot get off the top at any point but at the end, so don't try to walk mid-way along the top - it won't work.
09/05/2004        2.85      McKenzie Bight Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
This is an interesting site, easier to dive then Willis Point (which is next door), but with less life then either Willis Point or Henderson Point (both within a few minutes drive). Biggest downside to this site is that there isn't easy shore access - the nearest entry point to the parking lot is over 200m away, down a rough pathway. Additional entry points can be found even farther along the path, but by the time you hit the first entry point you'll be bushed, and not wanting to walk any further. Some sort of tank/weight belt carrying cart may be in order for this site. Entry at the first point is easy - you just walk in off the beach, and swim straight out from shore. There is an underwater gully at this site, which makes for an interesting bottom contour to follow. A nice dive, but Willis or Henderson point are a hell of a lot easier to get to, and have nearly identical life.
09/05/2004        4.18      Ten Mile Point Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
I've already done a review of this site, but after another visit I thought I would add in a few things. First, this can be an exciting drift dive if you miss slack. Not a good idea for beginners or the faint-of-heart, but you can see a heck of a lot if you time your dive for when currents are moving about 1 knot. I wouldn't recommend taking it faster then this - currents can get up to 3.5 knots (or more?) at this site, and that would be plain scary. Best stuff is in the 70 foot to 90 foot range. If diving during slack try and stay immediately under the parking area - here is more diverse & a higher density of life under the parking lot. The amount of life dramatically drops as you move around the point. I couldn't even begin to describe what you'll see here - anemones so densely packed you can't see the wall behind it. Cold-water sponges and corals, barnacles, scallops, all kinds of rock fish, octopi, wolf eels, and if rumors are true - orcas. Definitely one of the top Victoria-area dives, and quite possibly my favorite shore dive in the world!
09/05/2004        3.30      Clover Point Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
An interesting dive. Enter at the boat ramp, swim to the outer edge of the kelp be and drop down. Usually you can swim through a channel in the kelp (put there by boaters), but if this is missing then your best bet is to swim under the kelp - the tops are way to thick to crawl through. Most interesting stuff is hidden in the kelp, and is found where the kelp/rocks give way to sandy bottom. In amongst the kelp are numerous species of crabs, nudibranchs, massive moon snails, rockfish and greenlings. In the summer the kelp forest is quite dramatic, especially from the bottom. There is supposed to b e a lot of sea pens out in the sands - I didn't see a single one. But in the sands I did come across several C-O soles (flatfish), some mammoth sunflower stars, eel grass and its associated denizens, as well as numerous types of crabs. Overall an interesting dive. But watch out for currents - they run straight out into the Juan de Fuca straight - you get sucked out and the next landfall is somewhere around Seattle. . .
09/05/2004        3.53      Henderson Point Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Just want to add a little to what I wrote previously. Entry to this site has become more difficult lately - the tree which we use to crawl down to the beach has now fallen over. This has made beach access more dangerous, as there is no longer any way to support yourself as you climb down, and you now have to climb over the remnants of the tree. This is still a great dive, and one worth doing. From the beach swim out at a bearing of 255 degrees until you are 50 or so feet from shore. Descend (vis will probably be about 2 feet at this point). When you hit bottom, follow 255 degrees until you hit the first reef. By the time you reach the first reef (at about 50' depth) vis should have improved. This first reef is quite small; I'd recommend heading onto the second, larger reef, which sits in 70' to 90' of water (also on a bearing of 255). Vis should be great at this point, and there is a lot to see on the second reef. Many octopi make there homes here, so you'll probably find one or two of them each dive. Lots of fish and invertebrates to keep you company. I've been told there are additional reefs at greater depths, as well as the occasional 6-gill shark sighting here. I have no experience with either of these, but it's something to keep your eyes open for.
09/05/2004        3.89      Willis Point Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Willis point is a great wall dive, and can have great vis. From the entry point (fire road, next to house 7442), swim directly out form shore until you are parallel with the docks at the adjacent homes. Drop down - water should be 30' or 40' deep at this point. Follow the bottom down to the top of the cliff. Descend to your desired depth and head left (south) along the cliff. Like most sights in the Saanich area this dive site tends to have a 'ceiling' of good vis. This year (early Sept 2004) vis was about 2' until 30' in depth, then vis opened up to at least 50'. Because the water here can be quite clear divers should take care to monitor their depth - at high tide the bottom of this cliff can be at over 130' in depth. In terms of life there is a lot to see, but it's mostly small stuff (photographers, bring your macro lens). Many types of sponges, including boot and cloud sponges can be found here. This is one of Victoria's 6-gill shark 'hot spots', so keep your eye's peeled. Unfortunately, there are a few hazards here. No current or waves to speak of, but there are a lot of boats (bring your flag) and large jellyfish here. Lastly, don't park on the fire road, and try to keep quiet. Local residents have already shut off easy shore access to one site in this area (McKenzie Bight), so lets not give them a reason to shut this one down as well.
08/16/2004        3.64      Lahaina Pier (Mala Ramp) Maui, Hawaiian Islands
This is a good dive, quite shallow (max 30'), with a lot to see. All types of fish, green sea turtles, and the occasional reef shark can be found here. Because the reef is relatively young a lot of the wreckage is still visible, adding another interesting component to this dive. Be careful of entanglement - there is a lot of rebar hanging around.
08/16/2004        3.06      Turtle Town Maui, Hawaiian Islands
An interesting site - not as good as its next-door neighbor 5 caves, but worth checking out. Not a dive to do if there is surf - entry would be nearly impossible with even moderate waves. Major downside to this dive is that a lot of snorkel boats drop people off here, so the surface can be rather crowded. True to its name this place is loaded with turtles. We saw ~20 in a 40-minute dive!
05/28/2004        2.71      Mystery Wreck in Deep Cove Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
An interesting dive, although conditions can vary greatly. The first time I dived this site (at low tide) we had minimal visibility, and there was almost no life to be seen. Second time I dove this site the vis was up to 30 or 40 feet, and there were several large schools of fish around the wreck. The wreck itself is really starting to disintegrate, so be careful as you may get snagged. As mentioned in the description the wreck itself is huge, and if you look around there is a lot of neat things to see. Definitely worth a visit or two!
05/13/2004        3.96      Kahekili Beach (Old Airport) Maui, Hawaiian Islands
Great site for everyone. Lots of fish, the odd turtle, very extensive reef. Entry is a breeze unless there is surf. Only downside is there are a lot of other divers here.
05/13/2004        3.63      Five Caves Maui, Hawaiian Islands
Best shore dive I have done in Maui. Entry can be a little sketchy as there is a lot of large rocks in the shallows. Caves are very interesting, with many supporting a lot of life. Sea turtles abound here, and the odd white-tip shark can be found. Don't dive this site if there are large waves, as entry becomes dangerous and vis quickly becomes bad.
05/13/2004        3.38      Olowalu Maui, Hawaiian Islands
Did a sunset dive here. Easy entry, you just walk in off of the beach. Decent life, although there was a lot of silt covering the reef. This site continues out a long way into the channel with little change in depth (average is 15-20 feet deep). Be careful if diving as it is easy to swim a long ways from shore at this site without realizing it. There are shark warning signs on the beach, so some caution may be in order.
05/13/2004        3.58      Kamaole 2 Maui, Hawaiian Islands
Nice easy dive, good for night, but is very shallow. Best stuff we found was the reef along the small rock point separating Kamaole #2 & #3. Found several sleeping turtles under some rock ledges, and a few spiny lobsters. Did not see many fish at night, except for a few puffers.
06/10/2003        4.06      Henderson Point Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Great dive, but try to hit it at high tide to limit the amount of silt. Vis can be really good or really bad. On my first trip here we had vis of over 100m (300') at deeper depths. On our second trip max vis had dropped to about 10m (30'). But there is a lot to see - Juvenile wolf eels, lots of fish, lots of fun...
05/06/2003        3.88      Ten Mile Point Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Incredible site, great drift/wall dive. The whole wall is carpeted in anemones. Fish abound, from small rock fish to huge ling cod. Some people have encountered Orca's here, and I've seen them swim just off the point. There are more species of invertebrates than I can name. Wolf-eels and octopi round out the animals here. You could dive this dive 100 times and not see everything. The only downside is that you MUST hit this dive at slack, preferably during a small tidal exchange. If hitting this dive during a large tidal exchange you only have a 10-20 minute window with low current.
11/19/2002        4.40      Ogden Breakwater Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Beautiful site - probably the best on Vancouver Island. Tons of things to see, lots of life (Wolf Eels, octopi, fish, and more). Only down side is the entry, crawling up the barnacle encrusted concrete blocks when there are waves is a real bitch.
11/19/2002        2.65      Spring Bay Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Nice site. Lots of life, especially as you approach ten mile point. Down side is that there can be a lot of current, especially as you get near to ten-mile.
11/19/2002        2.63      Saxe Point Park Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Boring. Lots of lettuce-like kelp. Few crabs and sea stars is all you'll see. Max depth, 30' at high tide. Great for beginners, boring for anyone else.

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