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Dive Review of Ocean Explorers/Buccaneer Inn in
Canada/Nanaimo, Vancouver Island

June, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Tom Liles, NM, USA
Report Number 749
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
All over the Carribbean, Central America, Hawaii, California, Palau, Yap
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
48   to 52    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
5   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No restrictions were enforced.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
1 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Camera rinse bucket provided on boat on request.  No separate camera table
or facilities.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
4 stars    
This was our first Pacific Northwest diving and it met all our
expectations.  The water was cold and the visibility was not the best
(summer not great for vis).  Visibility ranged from 5-10 feet to 40-50 on
our best dive.  Was normally bad until down about 50+ feet.  We were
wearing Mobby's Twin Shell drysuits with thinsulate undersuits:  kept us
fairly warm, though colder towards the end of the week.  But much better
than wetsuits!

The invertebrate life was incredible:  all sorts of anemones, nudibranchs
(huge!), starfish (huge!), flying scallops, jellyfish, sea cucumbers, sea
pens.  Everything was large!  8 inch nudibranchs!  Most of the small fish
we saw were different varieties of rockfish, some greenlings.  Larger fish
included lingcod and cabezon.  Only saw one wolf eel, no octopus.  Forests
of plumose anemones (metridiums).  

Did two dives on the Saskatchewan:  first was lousy w/ 5-10 ft vis, second
was great with 40-50 ft vis.  Ship is covered with invertebrates!  Other
dives we enjoyed were around Snake Island (metridium forest, nudibranchs),
Jessie Island (metridium forest), Clark Rock (tube anemones, basketstars),
4 Fathom Reef (swimming scallops) and Neck Point (sea pens, huge

Terry the divemaster was very helpful: put on our fins after we waddled to
the rear ladders.  The larger boat was nicer, with a nice heated cabin.  A
smaller boat had small cabin, both had heads.  Two days there were only 2
or 3 of us, so the small boat was used.  The divemaster normally doesn't
dive, so you are on your own.  Need fairly good navigation skills to get
back to the anchor line, otherwise difficult to do safety stops in that 0-5
foot soup at 15 feet.

The Buccanneer Inn was nice and a great value!  Diver friendly with a
monitored storage room for gear and an outside rinse station.  Lots of good
places to eat in and around Nanaimo.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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