Wreck of the Malahat

Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Snorkeling and Scuba Diving at Wreck of the Malahat

Entry is to the left of the rock breakwater, on the sandy beach. Simply walk in and swim alongside the breakwater. As you swim, look for a large pipe. When you find this pipe, turn and follow it to its end (bearing ~225 degrees). At the end of the pipe make a 90-degree turn to your right. The remnants of the Malahat should be just a short swim away. The Malahat was a turn-of-the-century schooner, made famous as a rum runner during prohibition in the US. It used to run legal booze from Vancouver to California, where it would become a floating liquor store in international waters. Post-prohibition it became a logging ship, eventually being sunk in Powell River. Not much remains of the ship today, with the exception of a few ribs and some machinery. But the site is covered in life. Lingcod, octopi, wolf eels and more make their home here. An excellent and interesting dive. The Malahat is ~30m/100' long, and lies in 12m-18m (40'-60') of water. The wreck is located in the Malaspina Straight, so current may be an issue. Many people boat in this area - use a flag. This dive is located in the town of Powell River. Take highway 101 (AKA Marine Ave) to the pulp mill and turn into the mill's access road. Immediately after you turn onto the access road it'll split - take the left-hand roadway. Follow this for ~1km. The dive site is at the bottom of the hill, beside the last small breakwater. There is a small "island" the road loops around - this is a good place to park your vehicle.
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Dec 19, 2016, 12:00 AM
Entry was very easy, being able to park within five metres of the actual ocean. Once on the left side of the breakwater, is you don't feel like surface swimming, swim about half of the break water, and then turn perpendicular to the left, and you'll run into the pipe. My buddy and I were expecting to run into it from the breakwater, but we missed it trying to find it from the shore/surface. We instead just swam all the way out to the orange buoy, and descended right on the remains of the wreck. There were some surface currents, but our contingency plan if we got swept away was to swim to the inside of the concrete ships and go play with the many, many seals we saw before our dive, so we weren't too worried about it. We followed the pipe outer much right from the ship, back to shore so we'd know where it was for next time. All in all, lots of life on the remains. I wish we'd gone with locals so that we'd know which were the famous lingcod, but in spite of that, we saw a lot of greenlings, nudis, and lots of nooks and crannies for creatures to hide away in, even a couple sculpins in plain sight.
Originally posted on shorediving.com
Bryan Heit
Bryan Heit
Jul 8, 2005, 12:00 AM
The description of this site pretty much says it all. A couple of the lingcod on the wreck have become "famous", at least within the local circle of divers. We saw two huge ones, including one the likes of which I have never seen before! If you're in Powell River and only have time for 2 dives, I'd make this one #2 after the Mermaid…
Originally posted on shorediving.com
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