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Moving to Vancouver from UK - equipment advice and clubs/regular diving

Discussion in 'Western Canada' started by DanMont, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. DanMont

    DanMont Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: United Kingdom
    Hi All,

    I'm moving to Vancouver from the UK to start a job at the University of British Columbia in the next couple of months. I'm going to ship my diving gear over and I'm really hoping to be able to start regular diving once covid restrictions in BC allow (I imagine dive shops aren't open/running dives at the moment?). I'll be leaving my cylinders in the UK and so will need to rent cylinders to start with until I get some of my own. My regs are DIN fitting - do most rentals have DIN cylinders or is A-clamp/yoke more common? What type of cylinders are used for single cylinder diving mainly?

    Once diving is possible what is the best route to find regular dive buddies/dives? In the UK we mostly dive through club systems rather than via centres or shops - are there any similar clubs in Vancouver? If not which dive shops would you reccomend?

    Once i've got my own cylinders I'm more than happy to meet local divers outside of club/shop settings for shore dives etc. whenever possible!

    Thanks for any advice!
  2. wedivebc

    wedivebc CCR Instructor Trainer ScubaBoard Supporter

    Dive shops are open and mostly practicing provincial guidlines on Covid-19 protocols. DIN valves are common in shops that cater to tech diving. One of the best shops on the Lower Mainland is Ocean Quest and they are open, have DIN tanks to rent and have regularly scheduled club dives as much as Covid guidelines will allow. Lots of great diving out this way. Enjoy
  3. Bump_Head

    Bump_Head Registered

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver, Canada
    The other shop to consider that caters to tech is International Dive Centre. This one and Ocean Quest are the 2 tech shops in the Vancouver area. UBC has a very active diving club so highly reccomend you look there, also a Facebook meetup called "Whtecliff Wednesday's" for shore diving at Whitecliff Park. Both of these groups will be practicing recreational limit diving.
    Welcome to BC (Bring Cash)
  4. dewdropsonrosa

    dewdropsonrosa ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Chicago, IL
    If you're GUE-inclined at all, there's a very vibrant GUE community that spans the coast from Seattle to Vancouver. I know the folks on the Seattle side of the border and they're wonderful people.
  5. decompression

    decompression Instructor...seriously...

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
    Join the Facebook pages “whytecliff Wednesdays” and “Scuba buddies Vancouver”. Very active diving community. But they all know the best diving is here on the Island. And there is a well represented and supportive DIR community, always willing to help!
  6. Darnold9999

    Darnold9999 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Victoria BC Canada
    +1 for Ocean Quest. Good shop run by a couple that are very active in the local diving community. The go to tank for single tank diving is a steel HP 100, but you can get pretty much any size you want. Covid has cancelled any group trips out of Ocean Quest but if you drop into the shop I am sure they can hook you up with someone to dive with.

    IDC as mentioned is also a good shop and is closer to UBC if that is relevant to you. When I lived in Vancouver I used both as IDC was closer to home, but preferred Ocean Quest. Marginal preference however.
  7. Landau

    Landau Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver
    Pack your drysuit!

    My favourite Vancouver shop is The Diving Locker - also close to UBC

    And once covid opens up travel a bit more get over to northern Vancouver Island - much more underwater life there than close to Vancouver
    Ontwreckdiver likes this.
  8. Darnold9999

    Darnold9999 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Victoria BC Canada
    Yes the diving on Vancouver Island is WAY better than the diving near Vancouver. Vancouver is built mostly on a river delta that pumps a large amount of sediment out into the ocean. The local diving reflects that, mostly you can go north into Howe Sound, or even further north onto the Sunshine Coast or South into the US for shore diving to avoid the mud. The better option is to go to Vancouver Island with the very best diving on the northern half of the Island. Browning Pass is probably the best destination, but there are a lot of other options.

    Definitely pack a dry suit, but I would assume that if you were diving in the UK you would be bringing that!

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