HMCS Cape Breton

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BOAT DIVE: NANAIMO, BC
MAX DEPTH: 150FT
CURRENT: NONE
DIFFICULTY: INTERMEDIATE – ADVANCED

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The Cape Breton is a former Canadian Victory Ship. It is a stunning 441ft long, with a 57ft beam and a 28ft draft. It is the last surviving relic of Canada’s merchant navy vessels that served in World War II. It was purchased by the Royal Canadian Navy in 1953 and then decommissioned in 1964. 30 ft of the stern was removed and the ship was actually placed in the Vancouver Maritime Museum. The Artificial Reef Society purchased the ship in 1999 and partnered with the Nanaimo dive Association to prepare the ship for sinking on October 20th, 2001.

The vessel sunk upright in about 130 ft of water, but when the vessel sank it dug into the sand so the engine room is the deepest room in the ship, sitting at 150ft. The main deck lies at 110ft, the bridge is at 75 ft, and the funnel is at 55 ft.

This wreck is penetrable and has areas explorable for newer wreck divers as well as experienced. There is opportunity to explore some of the larger rooms, and a couple of quick swim throughs on the bridge around 75ft. You can also explore the bakery, sick bay, and officer’s ward room (all above 110ft). For more experienced wreck divers,  there are large holes cut on either side of the mid-beam of the ship to provide lots of light as well as exit points. There are openings to the main hatch-way topside and to the lower decks.

Plumose anemones have taken over the helicopter deck and large cabezon guard the main shaft. Look for warbonnets, giant pacific octos, and nudibranchs as you explore the wreck (both inside and out).

 

 

 

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