Diving in Whytecliff Park, West Vancouver

It has been a few weeks since I last surfed, and I was getting pretty restless. But rather than complain about not being able to surf, I am focusing on all the amazing things that Vancouver has to offer, Scuba Diving being one of them.

The idea of diving has always interested me, just like surfing. I think that boils down to my love of the water element. Since a young child I have always relished at the opportunity to swim in a pool, lake or the sea. So I guess the time was right and I finally got around to trying scuba diving last year in Western Australia. I did my Open Water Diver course through SSI, at The Dive Shed, a cozy little shop in the seaside town of Busselton. That was my first experience with scuba diving and it was in the beautiful, warm(ish) and clear water of South Western Australia in the summer. Now, a year later I was about dive once again, except this time in the middle of Canadian winter, in a very different version of ocean, in water so cold that you need a drysuit in order to dive comfortably.

I decided a good place to start would be to learn how to use a drysuit. The Dive Suit Specialty course seemed like a good first step to getting my feet wet. I was pleased to find out that I was not restricted to SSI specialty courses since I had done my Open Water cert through SSI. My Open Water certification through SSI was recognized even though Vancouver Diving Locker teaches PADI courses.

The dives were to take place at Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver, a calm and picturesque bay between two rocky points with steep drop offs; a diving hotspot and probably the most common and accessible dive spot in Vancouver. It was a cold winter morning, and I didn’t really know what to expect. The anticipation of diving again was slightly intoxicating. As we drove on the north shore, breathtaking views of the Burrard inlet reminded me of how lucky I am to live in the pacific northwest, and even though its not the tropical paradise that I often dream of, this place has a special place in my heart. Theres a certain magic that words or pictures cannot do justice to. When my head was first fully submerged I remember having the most unbearable brain freezes, worse than any ice cream headaches I’ve had from Canadian winter surfing. I remember thinking to myself “theres no way i’m going to be able to go deeper, this is too much pain”. 5 minutes later and that was just a distant thought. I was fully engulfed by this hidden world, weightless, and in a state of trance. Ive always felt that being underwater has this beautiful effect of slowing down time, and pulling you into the present moment. This was very different than my first diving experience in Western Australia, not better, necessarily, or worse; just different, and thats what was so beautiful about it. I was filled with a sense of wonder and connection with nature, and I was not thinking about the cold whatsoever. The visibility was not great, a 6 out of 10 according to my instructor, but it was amazing nevertheless. My sense of adventure is tingling and I am stoked to explore more of this fluid dimension.

Source: Surf Wellness