Essex County

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This is the gateway to the Detroit River and Point Pelee dive region. The county boasts at least three dive shops and three clubs that offer training and outings.

The river diving is concentrated in two zones: The Windsor riverfront itself and the wider stretches along the Amherstburg coast. These are very historic areas with relics dating from the War of 1812 up through the Prohibition era of Rum running. As recently as ten years ago a "Seven Years War" era cannon turned up in the river off of Windsor. It was dredged up during the recovery of a crashed helicopter.

The lake diving is exclusively shipwrecks, a single one being a shore dive. The featurless silt bottom of Lake Erie provides little or no tourist diving value. However, numerous reefs can provide an interesting dive to observe aquatic life. The near-shore wrecks are located in two groups: The Colchester reef group and the Pelee Passage group. Farther out (not shown on the current map) are some wrecks around Pelee Island and the East and West Sister Group of Islands. There are also some impressive wrecks located out in the centre of the Lake, but they are infrequently dove because of the long journey.

Essex County

Dive Shops

Charter Services

Dive Sites



Lake Dive Sites

Colchester Group

The premiere wreck of this site is the WILCOX located immediately off of the Colchester marina and ironically the last one discovered in the group. The Wilcox is a loaded shipwreck, it still has all the goodies that most other wrecks have been stripped of. The Colchester wrecks are literally stacked on top of each other, with the Packard sinking in a collision with the submerged hulk of the Armenia. Other noteworthy vessels off this reef are the WORTHINGTON, and GRAND TRAVERSE.

Colchester Wrecks
Wreck Date Sunk Lenth(ft) Depth(ft)
Armenia 1906 288 40
Packard 1906 180 40
Traverse 1896 181 40
Wilcox 1906 137 26

Point Pelee Group

These are the most frequently dove wrecks of the area. Located off Canadas southernmost point you are at the latitude of Northern California, and in summer the sun lets you know! The TASMANIA is the most famous, her stolen anchor returned to its proper resting place for you to enjoy. Most of these ships bear rudder/propeller/boilers etc. Current and low visibility are the greatest hazards here.

Point Pelee Wrecks
Wreck Date Sunk Length(ft) Depth(ft) Special Note
Conemaugh 1906 251 20 Shore Dive
Gould 1918 213 40 Engine
Specular 1900 264 40 Machinery/Cargo
Stone 1909 270 45 Boiler/Engine
Tasmania 1905 ? 40 Anchor


Camping is available at both Wheatley and Holiday Beach. However camping is available at Point Pelee in a very controlled restricted manner.

Wheatley Provincial Park

Camping is available at 210 sites along three creeks that penetrate inland from the lake. Plenty of beaches and picnic areas are available.

Point Pelee National Park

Canadas southern-most point, a definite must visit. This is a very beautiful area with a variety of natural settings. Because of the length the peninsula sticks into Lake Erie it swirls with dangerous currents. Swimming is prohibited. There is one shore dive from the extreme tip of the peninsula. It is easily found and dove. However, if you choose to dive this site please warn any tourists that just because a suited diver enters the water it doesn't mean they should follow you in their bathing suits! Because they will!!

Holiday Beach Conservation Area

A very popular campground with the locals. It may get too busy for some tastes. It is a very nice park but there is no diving to speak of from its location. It is close to Colchester which is a good launching point for Lake diving.



Don't let the bad press that Windsor consists of auto plants and strip clubs fool you. This is a city of 200,000 people with plenty to offer.

Be warned diving in the Detroit river is discouraged and only for the advanced diver. There is a strong current and extremely heavy boating traffic, both small craft and giant lake freighters. If you choose to dive the river it is best to contact a local club and dive with someone who is familiar with the rivers hazards.

The city is famous recently because of the casino. However there is much more to do in the city. A large number of ethnic communities combined with hundreds of restaurants will allow you to sample authentic cuisine from virtually anywhere in the world.

The city is strewn with parks, and the riverside park allows miles of walking and scenic views of the Detroit skyline. In June the Freedom Festival sets the river ablaze with one of the worlds largest firework shows. You will need to line up with several million viewers however!


A small historic community. The War of 1812 Fortress stands guard over the narrow channel. Her cannon pointing the way to the Crystal Bay dive sites. Between the Fort, Navy Yard Park, and various museums you could pass a quiet day without touching your tanks. Grab them and a small boat and in ten minutes you can be in a sheltered cove for a splash with the fish. All of this is available in a town you can walk across in twenty minutes.


Access to the ferry service for Pelee Island and the American side is moments away from the dive shop. Bring your own boat if you want and launch it from the marina. Done diving? There are several good restaurants to satisfy the post-dive munchies. Plenty of greenhouses will allow you to shop for house plants to vegetables.


The tomato capital of Canada, immortalized by Stompin' Tom Conners. A collection of marinas will accomodate the tiniest to mightiest of vessels. Many charter boats depart from her harbours. In the summer an abundance of roadside stands sell some of the freshest fruits and vegetables available. The town has spearheaded ErieQuest an economic development initiative to promote diving in the waters of the Pelee Passage


Waruwanago Boat Charters

Waruwanago (where-u-wana-go) Boat Charters has been in operation for five years providing safe and exciting dive excursions for private and group parties. To add to your diving experience we can arrange for dock side/ beach picnics or post dive lunch/dinner on nearby Pelee Island. Three vessels can accomodate groups from 6 to 20 divers. Cost is $50 for two-tank trips, or $75 for three-tank trip. Group rates available. Instruction is also available by our experienced staff. Our season runs from April 1 through September 30.

Contact Waruwanago Boat Charters, R.R. #1 Wheatley, Ontario, NOP 2PO, Ph: (519) 562-6512, email

You can visit our web page at: Waruwanago Charters

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