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

Ocean Explorers/Buccaneer Inn, Jun, 2003,

by Tom Liles, NM, USA . Report 749.

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

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 48 to 52 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 5 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No restrictions were enforced.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera rinse bucket provided on boat on request. No separate camera table or facilities.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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 nudibranchs).

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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