Random factoids about Nanaimo, Canada
Centrally located on Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is a destination accessible only by float plane or ferry. While you’re there, you can feast your eyes on dramatic coastal landscapes while strolling Nanaimo’s waterfront, or, island hop its protected harbor. On the Nanaimo Bar Trail you can sample several renditions of the tasty Canadian treat local coal miners once packed in their lunches. And, there’s much more to savor…from delicious West Coast cuisine, Canada’s only floating pub, local artisan studios to farm visits. Nanaimo’s central location makes it a great base camp to day trip the rest of Vancouver island (located in British Columbia, Canada).
You may be familiar with Nanaimo’s pristine location, but did you know these five random facts?
1) Nanaimo is home to three fascinating wreck dives. In 1997 the HMCS Saskatchewan, a 366-foot navy destroyer was sunk off the shores of Nanaimo to create an artificial diving reef. The Saskatchewan was joined on the ocean floor by the HMCS Cape Breton, a retired Canadian supply ship, now recognized as the world’s largest artificial upright reef. In 2005, the Nanaimo Dive Association sank a third vessel, the RivTow Lion, a retired deep sea rescue tug. These three wrecks attracts dive enthusiasts from around the world to dive in what Jacques Cousteau considered “the best temperate diving in the world, second only to the Red Sea.”
2) The Dinghy Dock Pub & Restaurant has been an attraction in Nanaimo since 1989 because it’s the only registered floating pub in Canada. The expansive views, relaxed atmosphere and great pub fare make it a popular attraction year round.
3) You can snorkel with Salmon in Campbell River, but Nanaimo is the only place on Vancouver Island you can snorkel with harbor seals. A 15 minute boat ride takes you to beautiful Snake Island where on any given day the harbor seals can be found in abundance on the shores resting or playing in the surrounding waters. Get suited up with your wet-suit, hood, gloves, boots, fins, mask & snorkel and hop into the water with these curious and playful creatures.
4) Nanaimo is home to a very famous Canadian dessert…the Nanaimo Bar! The folks of Nanaimo are so proud of their bar, that they created the Nanaimo Bar Trail, which features a self-guided adventure of 34 different stops, all offering creative interpretations of the traditional Nanaimo Bar.
5) Nanaimo is also well known for its bathtub races. It’s a quirky and hilarious pseudo boat race that started back in 1967, when the Mayor at the time, Frank Ney came up with the crazy idea for an event. The first competition had over 200 tubbers competing which used to start in Nanaimo and end in Vancouver. In 1997 the race route changed to start in Nanaimo, go around Winchelsea Islands and back to Nanaimo harbor. The bathtub race is part of a four day marine festival which takes place every July.
Do you know of some other interesting facts about Nanimo? If so, please leave a comment below. Click the following link to read about other Random Factoid Friday destinations.