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Dive Review of Shallon Marine Service/NA in

February, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by William Sledge, CT, USA
Report Number 593
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
North Atlantic, all through the Carribean, Western Pacific (Palau and Truk,
Northern Florida (caves)
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
42   to 46    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
There were no restrictions imposed by the operator; however, the natural
restrictions of cold water diving certainly applied.    
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
1 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
5 stars    
Kevin VanCleemput, the owner operator of the day boat, Shallon, together
with his mate, provided some of the most exciting of shore based day trip
diving I have ever experienced.  First the area is full of interesting
possibilities with wild life unique to the area such the Pacific Giant
Octopus, the "cloud sponge" formations, and marine mammals of
dolphins and Killer Whales.  We did not see Killer Whales on my trip but
there was a profusion of animals at all levels and sizes.  In addition,
there are the artificial reefs of the war ships MacKenzie and GB Church. 
VanCleemput is completely knowledgable of the area and is on a first name
basis with the local giant octopuses as he used to study them.  

It is cold water diving (I was there at the end of Feb) and it is hard to
imagine doing it comfortably without a dry suit although some do. 
VanCleemput is extremely supportive and ran the trips with only one diver,
me!  He serves an excellent hearty hot soup and bread for lunch which is
perfect for the type of diving and the coldness.  I learned a great deal
about cold water diving despite my experience in the North Atlantic.  

The boat runs out of Sidney, BC, and the prices for all services were very
reasonable.  I cannot wait to return.  My only regret was not budgeting
more time for this wonderful dive experience in the Vancouver Island area. 

The operation can be reached at 250-479-4276.  
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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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