I've never heard anything about what it's like underwater around Saturna Island so I went over to have a look. I caught the ferry Dec. 20,2004 from Victoria at 5:00 AM (which was the only way to get there before 10:00). Once on the island, I drove to Russell Beach (my second dive) and had a nap for a couple of hours until the sun came up. I then drove all the way to the end of East Point Road to East Point Park on the Eastern tip of Saturna. This is probably the most scenic park I've seen yet in the Gulf Islands. Despite being around "slack", there was a nasty rip of white water off the point around Boiling Reef. When I've visited other Gulf Islands and spoken to the locals ("Yes I'm diving". "No it's not that cold" "Yes, I see fish"), two of them (on different islands) warned me never to dive here. Apparently they were horrified by the whirlpools and tide rips off the point. I pretended to be suitably terrified and then made a mental note to check it out as soon as possible.                                                         At the end of the road, there is a private gate to the lighthouse. Just before this gate, there is a trail leading down to the beach on the left. There was a sign labelling it "Trillium Trail", or something like that. The beach was a nice,  protected, crushed -white -shell little bay and looked like a good entry point. There is also a trail down to the right-hand side of the point, but it was down steep, slippery rocks at the end and was much more exposed to the current. I'm sure it would make a great dive on "good slack" days (on the chart, it drops down steeply to around 300 feet).                                                     Anyways, I entered the water in the small bay and swam out to the right towards the point. At first I didn't see much life at all, just sand, gravel and some bare rocks at around 30 feet deep. Then there were more and more rocky areas until they formed a continuous reef. This section reminded me a lot of Cottam Point in the Parksville/Nanaimo area: Smooth sandstone with lots of purple urchins and a few cup corals. A medium-sized octopus was in it's den. These rocks bottomed out in a bit of a wall to white sand at 60 feet deep. Even at this depth there were "out of focus" patches of fresh water. Visibility was around 20 feet. As I continued to swim towards the point, the wall became deeper, eventually reaching 100 feet. There were lots more cup corals here. In some places they covered the rocks. There were also a few sponges that looked just like fuzzy grey tennis balls. I saw a basket star and then they were everywhere, some even clustered together. I was feeling the current pulling me more and more towards the point and open water (It seems the current always flows East here because of a back-eddy). I started to ascend and swim back at a shallower depth. The wall changed to a sandstone slope with rocks and boulders at around 60 feet. There were some copper and quillback rockfish, lingcod and friendly (or aggressive?) kelp greenling hanging around. The current became stronger as I went shallower and I surfaced to get a better idea of where I was. I had gone almost all the way  to the tip of East Point. Next stop: Boiling Reef ( or Washington State) Hurray! I quickly swam to the shore and had quite a nasty hike with my gear back to the parking area. Since you have to swim out pretty far towards the point to get to the good stuff (basket stars/cup coral carpets), it might be safer to take a boat. Then again, If I came here in a boat, I would probably skip this side of the point and try the area around boiling reef or the Southern (Boundary Pass) side of the point, where the current really goes nuts.
EAST POINT PARK
KELP GREENLING
SANDSTONE NEAR POINT
SCULPIN
BASKET STAR ETC
BASKET STARS AND CUP CORALS
LINGCOD
CUP CORALS
COPPER ROCKFISH IN SHALLOWS
ENTRY POINT
ENTRY POINT
NUDIBRANCH, BLOOD STAR, CUP CORALS
HERMIT CRAB, BLOOD STAR ARM
BASKET STAR
QUILLBACK ROCKFISH
SMALL BASKET STAR AND SUNFLOWER STAR
HYDROIDS
URCHIN AND BASKET STARS
BASKET STAR
ROCKFISH IN CREVICE
ANEMONE
COPPER ROCKFISH
NUDIBRANCH
SUNFLOWER STAR, URCHIN, ETC
KELP GREENLING
HERMIT CRAB ON SPONGE
START OF TRAIL
TIP OF EAST POINT