U.B. Diving's founder Sean Smyrichinsky and his team of experienced scuba divers create scenes of underwater adventure every day from their fully stocked shop and on-site dive school. Their scuba charter boat, equipped with hot showers and a heated cabin, travels to areas such as Chrome Island or Flora Islet so divers can frolic with giant octopi and six-gill sharks beneath the water's surface. A PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, Sean also teaches classes that grant novices their first dive into open waters, taking the most committed students to Dive Master levels or preparing ocean walkers for careers as ambassadors to Atlantis. Additionally, Sean and his crew rent out gear by the day and contract themselves out for deep diving and wreck exploration through their commercial division.
It's hard for Andrew and Christine Edwards to remember a life without scuba diving. From an early age, they both would plunge into the depths of Vancouver's waters, gazing across underwater landscapes where wolf eels swam and octopi stretched their sneaker-covered tentacles across a carpet of strawberry anemones. These experiences stuck with them, and in 2007, the couple opened Ocean Planet Adventures to share their life's passion with others.
From Discovery Scuba classes to advanced PADI certifications, Ocean Planet Adventures' instructors guide their students at dive sites peppered across Clayoquot Sound and Barkley Sound, a UNESCO biosphere. During these expeditions, instructors and groups feast their eyes on jungles of aquatic plants and animals, including whales. Aside from open-water diving, the staff teaches specialty courses such as wreck diving, which lets divers explore shipwrecks or polish the hoods of sunken automobiles.
Too long of a drive. No car. A bunch of water is in the way. There are many situations in which regional flights are the most practical way to travel. To that end, Orca Airways' fleet of 18 small aircraft regularly travel between five airports along the Pacific Rim that serve Vancouver, Victoria, Parksville, Abbotsford, Tofino, Ucluelet, and Qualicum Beach. With large, cushy seats, their Piper Navajo Chieftains and Beechcraft King Airs zoom travellers through the air in relaxing comfort, like when Louis XIV was catapulted from Marseille to Paris in his throne. The flights are ideal for trips to business meetings or weekend vacations. Additionally, Orca charters its aircraft for travel throughout Canada and the United States.
The Alternative Climbing Gym challenges climbers of all abilities with a 30-foot vertical wall in a 1,500-square-foot facility. Expert instructors put students through the paces of ropeless bouldering, the teamwork of belaying, or top-roping, in which a wall scaler ascends with the help of a rope connected to both the climber and the summit. Each climbing variation at the gym enables bodies to build core strength, balance, flexibility, endurance, and stamina while slapping gravity across the face with a glove. All ages of aspiring mountaineers are welcome to use the facility and modern climbing gear, though belaying’s buddy support requires that sturdy helpers be at least 12 years old. Like the moods of adolescent rock faces, the routes change often.
It's unclear why whales jump and splash on the surface of the ocean. It could be to get attention from potential mates, or a way to lose the parasites on their backs. But it is also possible that the whales are simply having fun. From the vantage point of a 65-foot whale-watching vessel, guests of Jamie's Whaling Station & Adventure Centres can observe grey and humpback whales in their natural environment, while forming their own hypotheses about their mystifying behaviour.
In addition to whale-watching trips, Jamie's leads bear-watching tours, tours to Hot Springs Cove, kayaking adventures, group hikes, and sunset cruises to find out where the sun really goes at night. A portion of proceeds from all tours supports local wildlife research and rescue programs.
The craftspeople at Bastion Gallery Fast Frames encase art pieces, memorabilia, and photographs in custom-designed frame, mat, and glass combinations. They perform all framing services in-house to ensure quality work with a quick turnaround time. The gallery's team also manages an art gallery exhibiting vibrant abstracts, acrylic landscapes, and crisp photography, perfect for adorning the bare walls of a Batcave.