On the West side of Sooke Bay there's a bit of a blunt point sticking out. The marine chart shows an area of shallow reefs here that drop off on the far side to about 60 feet deep. In this same spot there's a public access lane leading to the water from West Coast Road (just past house # 7751). The lane is a short, half-paved, half-gravel road that looks like a driveway. I came here on Jan. 30, 2011. It would have been easy to drive down the access lane and I didn't see any "no parking" signs, but I wasn't sure of the local etiquette so I parked on the shoulder of West Coast Road and walked down  the lane to the water. The shoreline was rocky outcrops with pebble beaches in-between. I could see some bull kelp beds about 100 meters offshore. It was a calm day and there was only about a 3-foot swell. One minute I was on dry land putting on my mask and the next I was in water waist-deep. The water wasn't violent enough to knock me over though. My idea was to swim out on the surface to the kelp beds, but when I was less than 50 meters from shore, I could see a rocky reef below me so I descended for a look. Visibility was only about 10 feet here because of the surge stirring things up. The steep-sided reef had stalked kelp on top and coralline algae, yellow staghorn bryozoans, fish-eating anemones and yellow dorid nudibranchs on it's sides. The bottom of the reef was 20 feet deep here. I followed the system of reefs and piles of boulders out into the Strait. It wasn't a steep slope or anything, but eventually I made it down to 60 feet deep. The rocks were a bit more silty down here since the surge was much weaker. Most of these deeper reefs were covered with urchins. The only fish I saw were 2 kelp greenlings. Visibility was a bit better out here (15 feet). Back up in the shallows near the beach, the tops of the reefs had clusters of large mussels and short feather-duster worms. Despite the bad visibility and the lack of fish, I think this is a decent, reasonably-colourful spot. Back on shore, someone had parked their vehicle at the end of the lane, steps from the water, so I guess it's ok. I'll probably be back to have a look at more of the reefs. -And if I park at the end of the lane, diving here is as easy as stepping out of bed into the water.
shoreline
yellow nudibranch
fish-eating anemone and urchins
urchins and stalked kelp
fish-eating anemones
fish-eating anemone and stalked kelp
anemone and urchins
anemone and urchins
fish-eating anemone
urchins 60 feet deep
60 feet deep
60 feet deep
urchins and plumose anemone
above urchins
nudibranch
fish-eating anemone
urchins on large boulder
yellow dorid nudibranch
urchins
fish-eating anemone
nudibranch
nudibranch
nudibranch eggs
nudibranch eggs
anemone and surfgrass
fish-eating anemone
mussels
top of shallow reefs
anemone in the surge
anemone
surf grass on top of reef near shore
pebbles near shore
feather duster worms
feather duster worms
near shore
near shore
parking on West Coast Road and access lane on left
looking down access lane
shoreline
shoreline
shoreline
shoreline
pebbles
on shore