I was an avid diver and even Mr. Aquathon 5 years ago when I buddied up with Mark Faas from Wainwright who decided the Jasper river race was actually a race rather than a leisurely float down the river.
It's been 9 years since I have dove the West Coast and 15 years since diving the Sunshine Coast. Much of this has been due to other interests and changes in my life. Age has made cold water diving less appealing, my wife and dive buddy only want to do warm water diving and the challenge to get to places from Ft McMurray has made participation much more difficult.
My wife changed jobs recently so she didn't have the vacation time so I decided to go someplace on my own. It has been awhile since I have been diving on the West Coast but the area offers some of the best diving in the world. I checked my log book and discovered that 3 of my top ten dives have been on the Sunshine Coast near Powell River. May is not known as a good dive month on the West Coast, runoff and visibility make it less appealing but I took the chance.
Much has changed in the past 15 years, Powell River used to have 2 dive stores and now has none. Economics and changes in the lumber industry have reduced the population. I hooked up with Gord owner of Lund Seaside Inn http://www.lundseasideinn.com. Gord and Mary Anne are new owners and new dive operators. In fact I was their first diving customer. Their facility however is outstanding and I wondered where was this place when I used to travel to the West Coast.
Not many places in Canada offer all-inclusive. The resort is advertised as a bed and breakfast but has all the amenities a diver and family could ask for. Many divers are limited in their pursuit of their sport as the rest of the family may not be divers. This resort offers something to do for everyone. The rooms are well equipped the same as any four start hotel room.
My first day was a little slow as a result of the previous day traveling so we went on a boat tour through Desolation Sound, walked the sandy beaches of Savory Island and spent some time reading and enjoying the ocean view on the deck.
I hooked up with resident dive buddy Nicole who is Gord's daughter and marine biology student. We dove some outstanding dives all nearby with no long boat rides. Iron mines was probably the best with a shear wall into the abyss. The life on the wall was amazing and plentiful. We dove Major Rocks with the seals and sea lions and the visibility was much better than I thought it would be for this time of year. Fall and winter the visibility would be 100ft but even now it was still 50 ft. Even the night dive off the dock provided plenty to see and 30+ ft of visibility.
Post diving offered a dip in the hot tub, a beverage and some fine meals including local prawns, crab and other seafood we caught.
Gord at Lund Seaside Inn (owner/operator) offers plenty to do for everyone, he has about a dozen mountain bikes, snorkel gear, two well equipped boats for diving or fishing, canoe's, kayaks or just recline on the deck and enjoy the view.
Getting there driving take the ferry from Horseshoe bay and drive up the Sunshine Coast to Lund just north of Powell River. By plane, West Jet flies into Comox. They have made arrangements with a local pub that will pick you up at the airport, take you to the pub for a beverage while you wait to catch the Ferry and Gord will pick you up at the terminal in Powell River.
Lund Sea Side Inn offers world class diving and something to do for everyone. A must go to destination for an "In Canada" vacation especially for land locked Albertans. Check out the Lund Seaside Inn at http://www.lundseasideinn.com