The very first guidebook written just for snorkellers exploring these unique ecosystems.
The chilly waters surrounding Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands are rich in colourful and diverse marine life. Scuba divers have long been aware of this submarine cornucopia, and Jacques Cousteau himself recognized the Pacific Northwest as one of the world’s premier temperate diving destinations. But scuba diving is an elite hobby, requiring training and costly equipment, and consequently is accessible only to a relatively small number of people.
Snorkelling is an affordable alternative to scuba diving, and you don’t have to go deep to see the wonders of the Pacific. Within the top few metres of our local waters you can find spectacular nudibranchs, rainbow-hued anemones, dozens of sea star species and myriad nautical wonders. But unlike tropical snorkelling, where you simply have to strap on a mask and fins and dive in, snorkelling on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands poses a number of logistical conundrums to the beginner. How to stay warm in the frigid North Pacific? When to snorkel, given the tides, currents and weather patterns of our island habitat? And just what exactly is that strange-looking critter?
Whether for a family outing, a beginner’s trip or an expedition for the seasoned marine adventurer, this innovative guidebook has detailed descriptions of more than fifty destinations, including how to get there, which species one is likely to encounter, and how to stay warm and safe while making the most of every experience.