PJ's ISLAND and SUBSEA RETREAT - Snorkel and Scuba Diver Training and Tours
Sneaky Seal Snorkel Swims
Spend a couple of exciting hours snorkeling with up to 300 + Harbour Seals that reside in the beautiful Gulf Islands This is an accessible year-round adventure for all capable swimmers in your family aged 10 and over! It’s sure to be the highlight of your Vancouver Island experience. Be prepared for a good frolic with the seals and some close encounters of the photographic kind. These playful characters are as curious about you as you are of them. They may sneak up on you or you upon them, it is a fun game of “Hide and Seek!”
While you’re observing and interacting with the harbor seals, look around you and discover some of the other fascinating marine life in our waters. There are countless varieties of bright and beautiful starfish, anemones cling to the rocks and kelp forests will keep you entranced for hours. Witness crabs and other crustaceans jostling for nutrients. You will be amazed at what you will discover in our “Emerald Sea.”
Do you need experience?
You need to know how to swim and to be comfortable in the water. PJ’s Island and Subsea Retreat staff are qualified to coach you on the finer skills of snorkeling. You have the option of training in our private pool prior to your excursion. All snorkelers under the age of 18 must complete a “Parent’s Consent Form” prior to departure.
Is the water cold?
It will range from 6 – 12’C, depending upon the season. Yes, a little chilly but the wetsuit or drysuit package that’s supplied will keep you warm. It’s a really comfortable way to spend the morning or afternoon. When you’ve had enough, just climb back onto the boat and you’re 10- 15 minutes away from our launch site or marina.
Will it be crowded?
No…..this absolutely thrilling eco-adventure is in its infancy, so no there won’t be lots of other people out there, just lots of Harbour Seals!
We have two trips per day. Morning trips depart at 10:00 am and afternoon at 2:00 pm.
Your exciting 2-hour snorkel includes:
FULL FACE MASK PACKAGE
- All the Above with our Deluxe Full Face Mask and Dry Snorkel
- Cost $90.00.
- Professional snorkel coaching.
- Wet suit, boots, gloves, mask, snorkel & fins.
- Boat transportation.
- Hot Chocolate and Snacks.
- All the time you need to fully enjoy this great natural experience (usually 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the other members of your group!)
- Cost $75.00 per person Minimum of 5.
- All the Above with Drysuit!
- Cost: $110.00
More about Harbour Seals…
Harbour Seals, (Phoca Vitulina) belong to the scientific order Pinnipedia, which includes seals, sea lions, and walruses.
Seals differ from sea lions in a number of ways, including having shorter, stouter flippers, and no visible ear flaps.
The harbor seal is probably the most wide-ranging and abundant pinniped. Four subspecies inhabit northern Pacific and Atlantic coastlines. A fifth subspecies, Phoca vitulina mellonae, is a landlocked group of harbor seals living in a freshwater lake called Seal Lake in Quebec.
The most abundant subspecies is P.v. richardsi—an estimated 200,000 individuals inhabit the eastern North Pacific from the Pribilof Islands to Baja California, Mexico.
Male harbor seals reach lengths of about 2.0 m (6.6 ft.) and weigh as much as 170 kg (375 lb.). Females are slightly smaller, measuring up to 1.7 m (5.6 ft.) and weighing in at about 150 kg (331 lb.).
Harbor seals swim with alternate back-and-forth movements of their hind flippers.
Harbor seals can remain submerged for up to 28 minutes and dive to depths of 90 m (295 ft.), however, they routinely forage in shallower waters. Harbor seals feed on squids, crustaceans, mollusks, and fishes.
Unlike most other pinnipeds, harbor seals are generally solitary and rarely interact with one another. When hauled out, adults maintain a meter or more (several feet) between them. Harbor seals are not highly communicative, but if threatened a seal may respond by snorting, growling, lunging or scratching.
Harbor seals along the Pacific coast usually give birth between February and July. The well-developed pup may measure up to 100 cm (39 in.) and weigh 12 kg (26 lb.). A pup nurses for four to six weeks. Its mother’s milk, containing as much as 45% milk fat, enables the pup to more than double its weight by the time it’s weaned.
Canada’s west coast has some of the fastest tidal currents in the World!
This fast moving water brings up nutrients which support incredible amounts of marine life.
Now imagine snorkeling in this environment. Yes, it will be a thrill ride of your life!
We have selected the best of these sites for you to snorkel and enjoy.
Add this hour long adventure to your Snorkel Tour.
Cost $40.00 per person.
Explore the “Emerald Sea” with confidence and knowledge. We will teach you how to select and use professional quality snorkel equipment. This two-hour session is held at our private pool and training facility. All equipment is provided. Weekday evenings from 6:00 – 8:00 pm.
Cost: $40.00 per person minimum of 2.
Learn the basics of scuba diving and equipment at our training center and private pool. In two hours, we will teach you how to select, use and maintain quality scuba diving equipment for your enjoyment. All equipment is provided.
Cost: $60.00 per person, minimum of 2.
Plan your next social / pool party at our 2.5-acre Retreat.
Use our Training Facilities, AV room, Kitchenette, Bar-B-Ques and Swimming Pool.
Cost: $500.00 for 4 hours.
Add Discover Snorkel at $30.00 per person 10 person maximum.
Add Discover Scuba at $45.00 per person 10 person maximum.
Damage Deposit / Clean Up: $1000.00 refundable.
Your group of up to 50 persons will enjoy our grounds and facilities as you celebrate your special event.
Use our Training Facilities, AV room, Kitchens, Barbecues and Swimming Pool and Recreation Field.
Cost: $1,500.00 maximum of 10 hours.
Damage Deposit / Clean Up: $1000.00 refundable.
HOURS OF OPERATIONS
Monday – Saturday: 10 am – 5.00 pm
By Appointment Only
The Dive Shop is closed on all Civic and State Holidays.
707 Downey Road, Deep Cove, N. Saanich Vancouver Island, B.C., V8L 5P8