Home Base: Vancouver Island
The Island for the adventurous, nature-loving soul. Situated on the Eastern shore of Vancouver Island, BC Sidemount’s headquarters have easy access to some of the best cold water diving in the world! At 31 000 square kilometres, Vancouver Island is located in the Pacific Ocean off Westen Canada. An area that is part of the province, British Columbia (BC).
BC Sidemount’s dive facility is based out of the quaint village of Cumberland. What was once one of Canada’s most westernmost bustling coal mining communities. Cumberland is now a village full of mountain biking, local shops, creative talent and no shortage of character. More importantly, BC Sidemount respectfully acknowledges that it is located on Unceded territory of the K’ómoks First Nation.
The lush and wildly beautiful island is known for its relatively mild climate, untamed beaches, oceanic storms and an endless list of outdoor activities. Vancouver Island’s weather varies dramatically depending on where you are. The north is often cooler with more precipitation year-round. The south, where average summer temperatures reach around the mid-20s celsius. The west coast of the island, with its exposed coastline to the open Pacific Ocean and its large tract of old-growth temperate rainforest, experience the highest amount of rainfall in Canada. The altitude and mountains of Vancouver Island allows for a great season of winter sports. Everything from skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing. Surrounded by the ocean, blessed with many freshwater lakes and covered with forest and varying terrain, the island is a mecca for many activities on land and off. Everything from mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, surfing, canoeing, paddle boarding and of course scuba diving.
Vancouver Island is easily accessible to Canadians and international visitors alike. Vancouver International Airport is typically the most common route for international arrivals. The Comox Valley Airport is another option and the closest to BC Sidemount’s HQ. There are also numerous ferry routes to and from the island to the mainland of BC. Accommodation isn’t an issue with an array of cozy island Air BnB’s, hostels and hotels.
The diving possibilities of Vancouver Island are a diving enthusiast’s dream. The richly diverse ocean is brimming with marine life, intriguing shipwrecks and beautiful rock formations. The excellent visibility allows diver’s to get the chance to witness some of the water’s local inhabitants. Those include the Harbour seal, giant pacific octopus, sea otter, orca’s and more. Inland, the lakes and the belts of limestone in the island’s karst terrain offer other diving experiences in freshwater, cave diving and exploration.
Vancouver Island is a special place in which we feel fortunate to call home. We’d love for for you to one day come train and dive with us here at BC Sidemount.