Welcome!  This website is a place where I share photos, many of which are of the diverse marine life that thrives along the Pacific Northwest coastline of British Columbia.  Living on Vancouver Island provides a great opportunity to explore the ocean and witness the vast biodiversity, including many interesting invertebrates that inhabit the rocky reefs of the area.

During the year ocean water temperatures in the Pacific Northwest vary from a cool 45 – 55 °F (7.2 – 12.7 °C).  Visibility can be fairly low at times while diving due to planktonic life, which also makes the water look green.  The plankton is an abundant food source resulting in large amounts of marine life.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau said northern Vancouver Island has “the best temperate-water diving in the world and second only to the Red Sea.”

I remember my first ocean dive near Vancouver, and being surprised to see giant sunflower stars three feet across resting on the sand below.  A short time later I rented a camera at a local dive shop and enjoyed underwater photography and how it added a new aspect to diving.  This is a picture of three large sunflower stars from 1998.

Unfortunately today these giant sea stars are rare to see along our coastline, due to an expansive sea star wasting disease.

Even though the oceans are changing it’s great to know that work is being done to clean up ocean plastics, especially the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  This is the largest floating plastic garbage area in the world and it impacts a wide array of marine animals.  A non-profit organization The Ocean Cleanup has an informative video about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Ocean Cleanup has successfully tested technology designed to collect plastics in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch during trial runs from Victoria, BC.  I’m really looking forward to future successful runs from this non-profit organization as it works towards ridding the oceans of floating plastics.

Diving has allowed me the opportunity to observe the abundant ocean life around Vancouver Island, and I look forward to seeing something new and interesting every time I descend below the waves.

Jim Auzins