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Dive Review of Sun Fun Dive in
Canada/Port McNeill BC

Sun Fun Dive : "Sun Fun for SURE ! - Northern Vancouver Island Dream Diving", Oct, 2015,

by Peter Ian McArthur, BC, CA ( 1 report). Report 8465.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling 2 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Getting to Port McNeill is a chore if you haven't been there before. After that, it's well worth the time, trouble and expense.

Whether driving or flying, this trip requires a significant commitment of time.

We left Kamloops in the interior of BC at 7:30 AM on Friday and arrived in Port McNeill 12 hours later having stopped twice for fuel, and having lunch on the BC Ferries Coastal Rennisance while traveling from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay at Nanaimo.

The drive was mercifully quick and the Island Highway gets you too and from at 120 kph.

Accommodations at Sun Fun Divers is bunkhouse style with 2 showers, two lavatorys, a kitchen and lounge area. It's suitably titled the "Divers Den" and sleeps 10 with one private bedroom. It would be crowded with more. There is WiFi, but only government gets high speed in Port McNeill, everyone else is in slow mode.

Seven of us were very comfortable and our mess was minimal. There was plenty of space for cameras, lights and gear adjustments. At $45.00CDN per person per night, you can sacrifice a little privacy.

Day one we loaded our gear on Steve's boat (35' aluminum with cabin space for 10) and stowed our bags in the Divers Den leaving only the gear required for the day's dives on board. Then we headed south down the Inside Passage to North East Pearse where we did our first dive. As usual, it was spectacular with life on every rock and in every crevice. The urchins were as prolific as ever but the kelp appeared less robust than in years past. The white spots seen on the fronds were very evident and while their hold-fasts appeared solid, the risers were more easily broken than I remembered. It was a great first dive even though I used an aluminum 80 and had to pack a little extra weight (but not enough) and surfaced after only 25 minutes with more than 800 PSI remaining. I had an extra sweater on inside my dry-suit that I hadn't accounted for so my bouyancy was a little positive, even though I was warm throughout the dive.

Our next dive was Marg's Wall is another brilliant example of how protected areas can bounce back when given an opportunity. Again, plenty of fish, lots of sponges, anenomes and shellfish. Don't swim too fast, you WILL miss the good stuff!

The second day Steve had some steels with NITROX for me. We headed out at about 10:00 AM heading east to the mainland to Booker Lagoon, a favorite of anyone that's ever had a dive there. On the slack the channel is packed with fish, rock scallops, tube worms, and life is packed so tightly it's hard to imagine how everyone gets along. The Cabazons are nearly fin tip to fin tip on every second rock. Between them the Red Irish Lords are cast in stone until the last second. Yes, you can almost touch them before they bold! Crabs, snails sponges are everywhere. You literally don't know which way to look! Take a light as it helps focus your attention and it brings up the colours spectacularly.

Day Three found us at Seven Tree Island at the north end of Browning Wall in the AM and Fantasy Island (west of Berry Island) in the PM. Both are dives worth making the trip for entirely on their own.

Our group was experienced cold water divers skilled in challenging conditions. Not every diver would be comfortable diving with us.

Fortunately Steve can accommodate divers of every skill level with gear, lessons, site access and instruction to suit every need.

Our five day trip including food, rental vehicle, fuel, charter and accommodations set each of us back about $1,000.00 CDN. It was time and money well wasted by any measure!

Thanks again Steve, we'll see you again next year!
Websites Sun Fun Dive   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Maui Hawaii - Puerto Rico - Yasawa Group Fiji - Cozumel and Port Hardy BC many times.
Closest Airport Port Hardy Getting There Drive or fly via Pacific Coast Airline

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 46-51°F / 8-11°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 20-60 Ft/ 6-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions NO Decompression Diving - Technical Dives Limited
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales > 2
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Call Steve (1-250-956-2243) before you make a decision. He is a Marine Biologist and has more photography gear than many aquariums. He also has an ROV that can be invaluable in some situations. Steve knows what works, and what doesn't.
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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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