Porteau Cove Dive Site Profile
Porteau Cove is a BC Provincial Park located about 40km North of Vancouver alongside Highway 99. There's a big parking lot, boat ramp, old ferry dock, change room facilities, a convenient diver shower at the top of a concrete stairway, picnic tables and a nearby campground.
A series of white buoys outline the perimeter of the dive site. Boats aren't allowed inside. There are three descent lines marked by yellow buoys at various points around the site. Click on the map to enlarge and on the link below for a map of the park's location.
Enter the water down the concrete stairs. It's a 5-minute surface swim to the farthest descent line. There's usually a mild tidal current. Visibility is variable and seasonal. It's best in winter, often up to 14m (40 feet). Plankton and algae clouds can drift in during the summertime, obscuring viz all the way down to the seafloor, as you can see in some of the pics below. A good dive light is standard equipment all-year round.
The dive site is gently-sloping down to about 18m (60 feet) at the deepest point, although it drops much deeper beyond the site boundary. The silty bottom has marine life scattered all over it and many artificial reef structures were positioned in the 1980's and 90's to create a diverse, park-like atmosphere that's a pleasure to return to time after time. The site supports a plentiful variety of sealife, including resident octopus and sometimes wolf eels. I have occasionally seen ratfish and dogfish, and six gill sharks are known to visit the site in the Springtime. Muck divers have plenty of small creatures to look out for on the bottom.
The Granthall and Centennial wrecks, along with the jungle gym, are densely populated with anemones and decorator crabs. The wrecks are easy to navigate and wide open to swim into. Resident ling cod chill out on the steel and concrete reefs all over the site. Kelp greenling, perch and rockfish cruise the concrete reef structures. Crab scamper around. There's an extensive tire reef that's home to sculpins and shrimp. And lots more.
The Nakaya wreck was once the highlight of the site. Located in 20-30m (65-100 feet) and in an advanced state of decomposition, she's been removed from the dive maps and lies outside the BC Park boundary, but she's still accessible for more experienced divers.
Under the old ferry dock there is a sloping rocky reef that extends down to about 14m (40 feet). This area is populated by crabs, seastars, a variety of fish and often a resident octopus. It's teeming with life in the Summertime, and large ling cod hang out to gorge themselves on all the juvenile fish.
Porteau Cove is ideal for Navigation training dives, Deep diving, Wreck diving, Species Identification and Peak Performance Buoyancy Adventure dives.
Check out our Porteau Cove videos.