My first experience diving at West Hawk Lake, Manitoba, came a few years ago when I was looking for somewhere local to keep up my skills as a scuba diver. Not being able to afford travelling south every year I asked around some of the dive shops in Winnipeg and it was suggested I try out West Hawk. It is only an hour and half away which is a lot cheaper and more convenient than a five hour flight. So I arranged to meet Jason Herlick, Michelle Wetton, and some other divers, rented the gear for the colder water, and made the drive. I’ve been a bit hooked ever since.
I really enjoy the drive from Winnipeg as the geography starts to switch over to the Canadian Shield. I find camping and diving at the lake enjoyable as you get to socialize with the other divers and campers after spending the day under the surface. When I can’t arrange the time to camp I just do a day trip, usually on the weekend since more of the divers I know from Blue Oasis Dive Centre are out. Some of us will start the day with a great breakfast at the Night Hawk Cafe and end the day with dinner or a late lunch at Pittman’s on 44.
We are lucky that this close to Winnipeg there are two easily accessible dive locations at the same lake, which are only a two minute drive from each other, as well as many less frequented but still identified sites. The hiking trails are interesting to explore and the surrounding area is beautiful. The majority of my scuba time is spent at the Miller Beach dive site but I have started to explore the main beach site more commonly known as Cats Ass.
The peaceful and calming effect of slipping below the surface of the lake is what keeps me coming back. The features below range from the man-made platforms used for training over the years as well as miscellaneous items brought down to liven up the lakescape, to the local small mouth bass and the great walls of stone. The great experiences I have had diving at West Hawk mean that I look forward to coming back for many years to come.
For more information on Blue Oasis Dive Centre, visit blueoasis.ca.