This artificial reef is about 130 feet deep off Snake Island near Nanaimo. It was a former WW2 "liberty ship" which was later used as a floating naval maintenance facility in the Esquimalt dockyard. It's much larger than the destroyer-escort ships sunk elsewhere around B.C. We went out with Diver's Choice Charters in early September. They have a spacious boat, great lunch and a non-rushed schedule (I should write advertising brochures, eh?). There were lots of seals crowding the beach at Snake Island, but we didn't see any underwater. As we went down the descent line, the plankton swirled around us in white clumps. By the time we reached the wreck at the bow, visibility had cleared up to about 40 feet (my guess). A local technical instructor on the trip said he was disappointed by the visibility, and that it's usually much better. As for me, I thought it was pretty good compared to the usual Mackenzie / G.B. Church visibility. I was also surprised by the amount of life that has already colonised the wreck. It's only been down a couple of years, but parts of it were covered with orange and white plumose anemones and crinoids (feather stars). I didn't see any larger fish, but there were quite a few juvenile rockfish. We swam along the upper decks, through the bridge, and went through some skylights down into the boiler room. This room is a wide open space that goes down to around 145 feet deep at the bottom where the ship settled into the silt. Because I was auditioning for a Three Stooges reunion special, I knocked my camera strobe against a bulkhead and cracked the front port, flooding the strobe (good thing it was home-made and cost about 7 dollars) so it was natural light photos for the rest of the trip. At least I still had my video setup as well. Because of the depth (most of my dive was around 90 feet deep) I only managed to stay down for about 20 minutes on my single tank before I had to surface. Most of the other divers on the boat used doubles and stage bottles for deco. This artificial reef is a big draw for technical divers. After all the divers returned to the surface, we headed over to the sheltered side of Snake Island for a 3 hour surface interval with chili, potato salad, strawberry pie, ice cream, etc... and a nap. Diving sure is rough sometimes. - Continued on Saskatchewan Artificial Reef page.