Vancouver Island Dive Ambassadors
Our Dive Ambassadors are a group of passionate local divers that work hard to promote diving, Vancouver Island, marine conservation, and of course, Pacific Pro Dive!
A nature and wildlife cinematographer & photographer with a passion for showcasing the world's stunning natural diversity. Maxwel grew up on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia before travelling around the world evolving his skills as a photographer. Honduras, Vietnam, Norway, Greece, The Bahamas, and Tanzania all helped sharpen his talent to become one of Canada’s leading, and award winning nature photographers & videographers.
Maxwel is a certified commercial diver, rebreather diver, underwater and above water RED camera operator, tech diver, cave diver, experienced drone pilot, and acclaimed photographer. He's also a brand ambassador with Light & Motion, and Huish Outdoors (Hollis, Bare Sports, Suunto, Zeagle), and proud Canadian!
Maxwel on Vancouver Island Diving:
The best part about scuba diving around Vancouver Island is the diversity of dive sites. Every season offers something new and exciting! During the Winter months visibility in the ocean is excellent, and sea lions gather by the thousands. During the Summer I like to explore the fresh water river canyons and lakes. The island has many shore dive sites, which is great because it makes it accessible to any divers schedule!
Favourite Local Dive Site:
The May Island Ferry in Discovery Passage. I love this dive site because of the amount of life that thrives in it. It's in very shallow water so on a sunny day this site is an underwater photographers paradise! Harbour seals weave in and out of the wreck as light rays pierce through the water and in between the mane of kelp that grows on the wreck.
Favourite Piece Of Dive Gear:
Bare Sentry Pro Dry. A well made drysuit is key to diving in the cold waters of Vancouver Island. I consider it my most important piece of dive gear. The Bare Sentry (Guardian is the female version) is durable, and has the perfect amount of flexibility and thermal properties to allow me to be in the water all day.
Follow Krystal on Instagram
Krystal Janicki lives for adventure - BASE jumping, skydiving, horse riding, snowboarding, and scuba diving. She embodies the life of an adventurer, smiling ear to ear after every dive, and always looking forward to the next marine life encounter. Born and raised in Campbell River, British Columbia she first became enthralled with diving when she saw a boat full of divers prepare for a trip, after interrogating them about their experiences she signed up for her open water course and never looked back. That was in 2014 and since then she has done over a thousand dives and learned a ton of new skills along the way. She is now certified to Tech 40, with sights on more tech training and cave certifications. You may recognize Krystal as she is also an experienced underwater model having appeared in many Bare, Atomic Aquatics, and Pacific Pro Dive marketing materials. Most of her diving is done in Canada, with icebergs, shipwrecks, freshwater canyons, and giant pacific octopus being among her favourite underwater encounters. With a growing passion for exploration, a deep love for her Atomic Aquatics B2 regulator and a big smile, Krystal’s goal is to simply have an enormous amount of fun.
Favourite local dive site:
This would be the outside of Grouse Island. The sheer abundance of life is so incredible - all the large rocks there are fully loaded with life. I have also had some amazing, awe inspiring, Giant Pacific Octopus encounters at this site. Discovery Passage is the best!
Favourite piece of dive gear:
I would chose my Atomic B2 regulator. It breathes so incredibly well in any position, whether my head is wedged upside down trying to look in a crack, or if I’m floating around watching light beams dance through the water. This regulator is effortlessly reliable.
Krystal on Vancouver Island diving:
You’re able to dive the entire year on Vancouver Island. Every season has its own characteristics - you can observe life cycles through the year, there's so much to learn, and endless days of diving allows us to do just that!
An Underwater Videographer, Boat Skipper, Dive Instructor, and work for Shearwater Research. I started diving because of my love for animals and adventures, and I continue to dive for the same reasons. Diving is my life and I love it. I've enjoyed diving in different parts of the world, with my main motivation being to see the local marine life that live there. Manta rays, sharks, and whales had me visiting incredible places including Norway, Tonga, Indonesia, Socorro, Galapagos, and Cocos Islands. I love using different configurations of dive gear to find new places and get to know my favourite sites even better. I dive with my rebreather, scooter, sidemount, and single tank on my back. I also love using different cameras to capture these dives including my phone, GoPro, TG6, and GH5 setup.
Favourite local dive site:
My favourite sites are where the octopuses are and where sea lions buzz by. But, when they're not here, it's where the pacific spiny lumpsuckers and stubby squid are. My favourite shore diving sites nearby are Madrona, Singing Sands, and Argonaut Wharf. My favourite local boat diving sites are the Capilano wreck, Steep Island, and The Rock.
Favourite piece of dive gear:
My Zeagle Backplate Combo BCD is one of my favourite pieces of gear. I find it perfectly streamlined and easy to adjust. Lots of places to clip lights, camera, SMB, and not bulky at all. Also my Shearwater Teric, Perdix, and Peregrine - all the best dive computers you can get.
Trisha on Vancouver Island diving:
Over the years of diving, there has never been a dull moment here. There's nothing like continuing to explore and experience new places and learn and see more of the frequently visited places all around here. You can do any style of diving you can imagine here on Vancouver Island, including cave diving. To me, Vancouver Island is the most beautiful, exciting, and wildlife-filled place I've ever been. While there is so much to see topside, even just a short dive below and you're counting hundreds of individual animals and many different species. My favourite style of video is wide angle to capture my buddies experiencing the diving here and different encounters with octopuses, lumpsuckers, squid, and sea lions. I've been shooting more macro videos as well which has introduced me all over again to many of the animals I've visited before, and then dozens of ones I didn't know existed.
Marcelo Johan Ogata
Before moving to British Columbia, Marcelo spent over a decade diving in the tropics. The first thing he realized during his transition between warm and cold water was that there was a lot more to learn! Despite having thousands of hours spent underwater with his camera, the desire of documenting “new” specimens in a brand new environment felt like he was back in the early and exciting days of his diving career. Diving in the Pacific Northwest continues to inspire him with the incredible marine life very few know about it, and there is still so much more out there to be found.
Favourite Local Dive Site: Night dives at Oak Leaf. Amazing diversity between walls and the sandy slope. Perfectly sheltered from currents with a great combination of small and larger animals to photograph.
Favourite Piece Of Dive Gear: My BARE Sentry tech drysuit, I really like the fact I can rely on the robust material, it’s thick enough for me not to worry about getting it punctured while scavenging the sea floor for small creatures
Marcelo on Vancouver Island Diving: The fact you can dive all year round and see the changes of marine life behaviour and environment throughout the seasons is pretty neat!
Andrew is a Marine Biologist, Commercial Diver and Photographer. When not working he splits his diving between scuba and breath hold. He started along this path on the east coast of Canada and uses those skills towards sharing his experiences and knowledge as well as working on projects that lead to a greater understanding of the ocean so that it may effectively be managed and protected.
Favourite Local Dive Site: I don’t have a specific spot that is my favourite, but the whole area along the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet is my go to area! The exposed coast is loaded with life, especially Giant Green Surf Anemones and the elusive Rock Greenling.
Favourite Piece Of Dive Gear: My favourite piece of gear is my Hollis M-1 mask, the black skirt keeps the light out of my eyes while taking photos and the field of view is great. Its also the most comfortable mask I’ve owned!
Andrew on Vancouver Island Diving: I love diving around Vancouver Island because of the diversity of life and habitats. There is always something new to see from the current swept east side of the island to the swell exposed western coast, I always find something unexpected!