After our confined water lessons at the pool, it is time to head out to the open water scuba training site at West Hawk Lake in Manitoba’s gorgeous Whiteshell Provincial park – just 1.5 hours East of Winnipeg. Before you head out, make sure to stop by Diver City to pick up your SCUBA equipment!
The main dive site – named Cat’s Ass (…we’ll give you some insight on a few reasons that may be, in our briefing at the site) is inside the West Hawk Lake Campground Section A. (see diver symbol on the campground map below).
Created by a pre-historic meteor impact, West Hawk Lake is the deepest lake in Manitoba, with depths greater than 370′ (110 metres) at the centre. (Don’t worry, we will be nowhere near that area and the maximum bottom depth we will go to on our open water dives is 60′!) Most of our dive skills will be completed at a depth of around 30 feet (10 metres).
Above the water at the dive site entrance, the rocky shoreline shows a mirror image of the underwater terrain. Around the site, there are some gently sloping sandy bottoms and areas with gorgeous rocky walls. Under the water, there are a few ‘landmarks’ to catch your attention, we may even see small mouth bass or sucker fish that frequent the training dock. Check out the pictures in our Gallery!
Though beautiful, West Hawk Lake is not tropical and full 7MM wetsuits, hoods and gloves or dry suits are required to keep warm under water. While the surface temperature of the water is warm in mid Summer, there is a definite ‘thermocline’ where the cooler bottom water sits and we will be going below this level.
The West Hawk Lake town site has a few restaurants to grab a bite to eat and several places to stay. If camping in the campground is not for you, we can recommend West Hawk Lake Resort (1, 2, or 3 bedroom cabins) or Crescent Beach cottages (motel rooms and cabins) as great places to stay.
Be sure to book with them well in advance of your open water weekend to make sure you can get a room.