Photo Credit: Image Credits | UVIC | Amazon

The Ultimate VanIsle Snorkelling Guide

"Fascinating information about animal and plant life with just about every practical tip imaginable.”

This Islander mapped out all the best spots – So you don’t have to

The weather may not seem like it, but it’s almost summer, and if you’re looking to pick up a new active, outdoorsy hobby, we’ve got you covered.

Snorkelling is probably the most accessible water sport out there.

It costs very little to get started, and it’s the way to go when you’re lucky enough to be surrounded by beaches just waiting to be explored.

Sara Ellison, an astronomy professor at UVIC, clearly thought so.

While her profession may be discovering the universe’s secrets, her hobby is a little more down to earth.

She’s found there is as much to discover in our oceans as in the stars. (Correct, 98 percent is unexplored).

Her curiosity sent her on an epic tour snorkelling all the Gulf Islands, and she’s mapped out all the best spots so you don’t have to.

She’s just released her first book, Snorkelling Adventures Around Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, and it’s the ultimate guide to the most stunning spots.

Most importantly – as we all know, summers zip by around here – her book is a huge time saver.

“You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince when it comes to snorkelling locations,” Ellison told Times Colonist.

If we compare snorkelling to dating, her book removes the awkward small talk phase so you can get right to the good stuff with your perfect match.

Kelp Forests, Sea stars, colourful nudibranch species, anemones, corals, the giant Pacific octopus – a whole underwater universe to feast your eyes on.

“There’s so much lurking underneath those top few metres of water that I think the vast majority of Islanders are totally unaware of.”

While many Islanders may not know what they’re missing, plenty of visitors are drawn here specifically for the sights Ellison identifies in her guidebook.

World-renowned oceanographer and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau has said the Pacific Northwest is home to some of his favourite diving locations worldwide.

Ellison hopes that by bringing this knowledge to locals, it can help spur on more protection efforts for the vastly unknown beauty just a few meters under the waves.

“That’s one thing I really wanted to bring an awareness to because a lot of these places and species are in peril,” Ellison said.

Filled with rich illustrations and photos, all meticulously labelled with all the info you could want to know – if anything will make you appreciate this underwater world, this book is it.

You can find Snorkelling Adventures Around Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands on Amazon.

Pair your purchase with these goggles; you’ve got everything you need to start adventuring!