SUMMARY: The most popular site in the city. Some say it's the most dived site in Canada (tourism propaganda no doubt). 5 minutes from downtown, plenty of parking, a dive shop and cafe a few steps from the water and plenty of marine life. LOCATION: On Dallas Road near the cruise ship docks at the entrance to Victoria harbour. You can't miss it. If you need help finding Dallas Road, get a map or ask a local. Everyone knows where Ogden Point is. WHAT TO SEE: A pretty decent bull kelp forest (It dies off in winter), big fish-eating anemones, lots of plumose anemones, a huge variety of rockfish (Tiger, Copper, Quillback, Canary, Puget Sound, Vermilion, Yellow Tail, Black, and sometimes juvenile Yellow Eye.), the biggest lingcod you'll probably ever see, kelp greenlings, cabezon, painted greenlings, tons of sculpins, shrimp, crabs, starfish, nudibranchs, plenty of octopus (hard to spot - so many hiding places) and wolf-eels. The sloping bottom is made up of boulders and rubble creating lots of holes for creatures to hide. In my opinion, the marine life is more concentrated the further out you go (most of the wolf-eel dens are past the second corner). The breakwater is 3/4 of a kilometre long so this can be quite a hike in all your gear. CONDITIONS: There are a few days a year when it is too rough to dive here (If you see waves crashing over the breakwater, try somewhere else). Other than that, this is considered a fairly safe, easy dive. Watch out for fishing line (even though this area is off limits to harvesting by divers, people are allowed to fish from the surface and get their hooks caught in kelp). Depths range from a few feet at the beginning to 80 or 90 feet at the end. Stay on the outer side of the breakwater. The inner side is a working port and you will feel silly if you surface into a cruise ship's propellers. I find visibility is best in August to October. sometimes up to 50 feet on a good day. In the winter it's more unpredictable (usually less than 20 feet) . The farther out you go, the more current you might feel, but it's usually not too hardcore.
Since Ogden Point is a great underwater photography classroom (so many subjects), I came here in early March, 2007 to try out my new digital SLR. I finally gave in and am in the process of switching from film. I almost feel guilty being able to take as many pictures as I want on a single dive and preview them underwater. Here are the results: