Amelia Island is a steep, narrow island about 1 kilometer offshore from the popular Nanoose-area shore dive sites (Dolphin Beach,  Blueback Park, etc.). I've been to several of these shore dives a few times and wanted to try a new place so I strapped my boat to the car roof and drove up from Victoria on Aug. 5, 2010. I launched my boat from the Schooner Cove marina. According to the Schooner Cove developer's "community plan", this boat ramp is going to be removed and replaced with a crane for the use of the local property purchasers. If the plan is approved, this could take place as soon as fall, 2010, so this might be my last chance for convenient access to the offshore islands. I motored the 2 kilometers North-West to Amelia Island and anchored on the South-West side of the island, where the chart shows a steep drop to over 180 feet deep. Visibility in the shallows was about 20 feet. The rocky bottom sloped steeply, with broken rock, walls and sandy areas. It reminded me of Saanich Inlet. Below 40 feet deep, visibility was an impressive 50-80 feet. I went down to about 100 feet, where there were several boot sponges, swimming anemones and a few tiny cloud sponges. The steep area continued deeper and since the visibility was so good, I could easily see down the slope, but I didn't see any larger cloud sponges. There were also scattered urchins and a few sea pens. I was expecting to see some yelloweye or tiger rockfish, but I didn't see any fish at all down here. Back up between 40-60 feet there were groups of small quillback and copper rockfish. In the shallows, the rubble bottom was swarming with blackeye gobies. I think if I lived in the area, I'd come back a few times, but I don't know if it's worth the drive and the boat ride for visiting divers. The shore dives in this area (Madrona Pt., Dolphin Beach, etc.) seem to have more marine life, especially fish.
anchored next to island
crimson anemone
reef at about 60 feet deep
crimson anemone
boot sponge on wall
boot sponge on wall
swimming anemone
painted anemone
swimming anemones
boot sponge
swimming anemone
slope of reefs and sand
brittle stars
brittle stars, tiny sculpin and california cucumber
feather star
small cloud sponge
poorly-aimed self-portrait with cloud sponge
sunflower star on wall
yellow sponge
looking up slope at group of rockfish
rockfish around boulder
rockfish around boulder
urchins on boulder
seastar and cup coral
urchins and white nudibranch on reef
sea pen
nudibranch and black-eye goby
sunflower star on rubble slope
hermit crab and urchin
nudibranch on lettuce kelp
seaweed in shallows
school of tiny perch in shallows
kelp crab
anchored boat
1/2-hour decompression stop
rockweed at surface
anchored boat
rocky shore
at Amelia Island
top of island