The Baffin Island Dive Safari is one of our favourite dive locations due to it’s variety of dives, along with the variety of wildlife we can encounter – From icebergs, drifting pack ice, seal holes, ice floe cracks, Arctic sea floor, diving black billed murres, to resting narwhal.. the variety and sheer scale of dive opportunities will never cease to amaze.
Nestled between the majestic mountains of north Baffin Island and Bylot Island – Sirmilik National Park, experience abundant wildlife that congregates along the ice floe edge that only a few have seen. The spring floe edge is a fascinating eco-system where wildlife thrives. During this time in spring, wildlife gathers at the floe-edge and there exists the chance to see pods of narwhal resting only meters from the edge – their misty breathe sparkling in the 24 hour sun. In addition you’ll have a good chance of seeing polar bears, a variety of species of seals, an incredible variety of sea birds including thick billed Murre, Kittiwake, Guillemot, Ivory Gull, along with many other species of gull. Bowhead and Beluga also frequent this area.
Your dives will start off fairly simple in an open water environment off the floe edge (where the immovable sea ice meets the open water of the Davis Strait). The ice at the floe edge is typically anywhere from 6 to 8 feet thick. Diving in salt water with a drysuit will require more weight than you are normally accustomed to so the first dive will typically be in open water, off of the floe edge, close to shore where you can dive on the Arctic sea floor.
Each dive will progressively build on the previous dive. From open water off the floe edge you may try to dive in some jumbled pack ice – remaining in non-overhead to a semi-overhead environment. And eventually will attempt to dive in an overhead environment – perhaps through a seal hole, or through a crack in the sea ice – or maybe even under the floe edge on a line.
Finally, the pinnacle of the dive – if conditions allow (i.e. an iceberg needs to be present and safe entry/exit point such as a crack or meltwater pool needs to be available), will be on a grounded iceberg.
by Sergio Gago