I wanted to try another spot around the Chain Islets, but the day I tried (July 5, 2009) wasn't a good day for current. I didn't have time to wait for slack, which was still a few hours away, so I hunted around for a spot that seemed sheltered from the current. Most of the channels between the reefs had an obvious flow of current swirling through them. I ended up at the South end of the island group which didn't look that bad, even though it was facing right into the flooding current. I anchored on the sheltered side of my chosen islet and swam around to the exposed side, where the chart showed a drop to over 30 feet. That doesn't sound all that deep, but most of the Chain Islets are even shallower than that. The shallows had a thick bed of bull kelp with stalked kelp underneath. A school of tube snouts swam through the kelp. The stems of the stalked kelp were covered with brooding anemones. Visibility was pretty bad (10-15 feet) and the current was strong, but not too strong to swim against. I swam against the flow down the steep reef and it bottomed out at about 30 feet deep. The rock was surprisingly silty. With the current and exposed location, I expected more clean-swept colour. There wasn't much marine life either. I didn't see any fish on the slope. At the bottom of the reef there was an area of pebbles, boulders and sandy patches stretching out into the Strait. There was a bit more life here. I saw some rockfish (copper/quillback), a kelp greenling, orange burrowing cucumbers and some patches of urchins. I swam around this area for a bit, but with the current and bad visibility I didn't want to get lost so I swam back up the slope to the kelp near shore. There were large areas covered with clouds of tiny shrimp. I could see the usual branching coralline algae and surfgrass in the shallows behind the blades of kelp. Even with better visibility, I don't think people would bother diving here much, even if it was easily accessible from shore. With so many other spots waiting in the area, I don't think I'll be back either.
cormorants on islet
tube snouts
tube snouts in kelp
brooding anemones
brooding anemones
brooding anemones on kelp
brooding anemones on kelp
sunflower star on silty rock
kelp in shallows
school of shrimp
swimming back above feather boa kelp
under boat
next to anchored boat
looking North from anchored boat
birds flying
birds on islet
seals and Discovery Island behind
seals with Oak Bay in background
bald eagle
Panorama near dive site