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Barkley Sound Diving

Listed under Diving in British Columbia, Canada.

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There are many individual dives to try out in Barkley Sound, several wreck dives among them. The one I remember most was on Renate’s Reef in the Imperial Eagle Channel. Barkley Sound is known for abundant life, all the guide books say it ‘teems’, but the pinnacle of Renate’s Reef and the reef itself had more than its fair share of movement and activity (the guide books would call it a ‘hive’.). Water slices between channels and crevices between the reefs ridges which are covered in anemones and stag horn bryozoans.

Smaller sharks, the six gills are locals, dogfish and rockfish are here is schools by the drop off and in the channels of sand you’ll find if you go deeper.

Hornby Rocks is another very memorable local dive. In the mouth of the sound, the guides joke about next stop being Japan but they’re not wrong, this is a very exposed but shallow spot but the patch of sea floor here is covered in bright orange anemones and yellowish sponges and fish of all kinds take shelter from the current while getting a grand feed.

Hankin Island is another colourful spot. This one is a shallow dive guest starring crabs, starfish and nudibranchs and more anemones.

Written by  Danny Jones.

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Barkley Sound

Barkley Sound teems with life and is home to wolf eels, six gilled sharks, and Giant pacific octopus. It’s pockmarked with pinnacles which provide ledges and crevices for large colonies of anemones and jellyfish to make their homes.

The sound covers 800 square kilometres including hundreds of tiny islands (smaller than two kilometres across.); its waters cover long reefs linking the islands which have caused more than 60 shipwrecks, also an attraction for divers. The most famous wrecks are the VanLeen, which sank in 1972 carrying 300 cars and the Thirpval a navy patrol boat sank in the 30's.

Also called the Emerald Sea, it was rated by Jacques Cousteau as the world's second best dive site.

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