Students are required to provide their own mask, snorkel and regulator mouthpiece. The rest of the personal gear (Fins, boots, & gloves) can be rented for the course.
Must be 15 years of age or older.
PADI Advanced Diver Certification (or equivalent)
PADI Deep Diver Certification (or equivalent)
PADI Nitrox Certification
Minimum of 30 Logged Dives (10 of which must be deeper than 18m/60ft)
Divers must have their own SMB/Reel for this course
The Bioherm Glass Sponges were thought to be extinct up until the last 20 years when a local diver, Glen Dennison, happened to discover the Bioherm Sponge Reef in our very own back yard in Howe Sound! Glass Sponges use dissolved silica in the water to form their unique skeleton, and the reef systems (known as Bioherms) are essentially living sponge, growing on top of dead sponge, which can rise hundreds of feet off the sea floor!
The Bioherms are often at deep depths, outside the limits of most recreational divers. Currently British Columbia is the only place in the world (that we know of) to have Bioherm Reefs as shallow as 40m/120ft.
Due to the fragile nature of these sponges, in order to dive them you need to be a certified Bioherm Sponge Diver.
If you’re interested diving the Bioherm Sponges in Howe Sound, are interested in sponges in general, or just want to enhance your diving skills for sensitive environments, then you should take this course.
There will be one class session that will go over the history of the Bioherm Sponges, what they are and what makes them unique, where they are and why they need protecting. You will also learn how to safely plan and execute a dive on the sponges and what safety hazards there may be.
There will be 4 ocean dives that focus on the following skills: trim, advanced propulsion techniques, turning, DSMB deployment, mid-water stops and more.
*Training dives are not conducted on the Bioherm Sponges, but once you have finished the course we will have an opportunity for you to sign up for a boat dive on the Bioherm. Please note, it is required for the sponge boat dive that you have a redundant air source (either sidemount or pony bottle)
Due to the sensitive nature and deep depths of the Bioherm Glass Sponges, divers must first apply in order to be accepted into the program. The instructor will review your experience and may request you join us on a Local Safari first so we can do a quick skills evaluation.