Before Fanny was a dirty word it was a sailing ship, built in 1856. It was almost 180 feet long and it blew ashore on Discovery Island on a windy day in 1868 after being left to fend for itself by the tug that was towing it. This information is from the book: "Historic Shipwrecks of Southern Vancouver Island" put out by the Underwater Archaeological Society of B.C. The book goes into the story in much more detail. They found the wreck in the 1980's and the book has site survey diagrams showing the fragmented remains of the ship, including a large anchor and a small cannon. The book pinpoints the site as being in the channel between Chatham and Discovery Islands at a depth of 40 feet. The application for heritage status that I found on-line says it's between Discovery and Alpha Islet, which is at the Eastern end of the channel. I went out from the Cattle Point boat launch on July 10, 2009. I went through the shallow channel as a shortcut so I wouldn't have to go all the way around the islands. Last time I went through, the tide was higher and there was plenty of room under the boat. This time it was low tide and there were places where I had to lift up the outboard motor and paddle through. There was a current running through the channel and it was sometimes too strong to paddle against so I had to get out and wade while pulling the boat. I eventually reached the East end of the channel and I anchored the boat in the shallows next to an islet on the Discovery Island side. According to the chart, you have to swim out past the entrance to the channel to be able to get below 40 feet deep so I checked my compass and swam out underwater. Visibility was about 20 feet, except for large areas that were swarming with schools of tiny shrimp. The area between Discovery Island and Alpha Islet was about 20 feet deep and was covered with eel grass in the middle. I swam out past the entrance until I was 40 feet deep and swam around looking for wreckage. I didn't see anything man-made except for a bottle. I eventually reached the kelp forest on the Alpha Islet side about 20 feet deep. I realised that it since it was low tide, the wreck would probably be shallower than described so I swam around at about 30-35 feet deep. The bottom here was mostly sandy with small rocks and some boulders. I didn't feel much current, but, judging by the marine life (small sponges, giant barnacles, etc.) it can probably be strong at times. I ended up back in the kelp forest on the Alpha Islet side and forgot about the wreck while I swam around under the canopy surrounded by large copper rockfish and clusters of plumose anemones on the boulders. Schools of herring flashed above me in the kelp. It was time to go back so I swam through the eelgrass about 20 feet deep back across the channel. About half-way through, I came across an area covered with bottom kelp that had a few brass/copper bolts sticking up from under the kelp. I tried to pull back some of the layers of kelp to see what was underneath, but it just stirred up the silt and with the glare of the sun, it was difficult to see much. I felt around one with my hand and it seemed that it just went straight into the sand. I assume these held part of the wood structure of the ship together and there is probably still wood left under the sand. There was some string running between the bolts which I assume was left over from a past survey.
For my second dive, I decided to have a look at the area closer to my anchorage-islet on the Discovery Island side. I swam out again to about 35-40 feet deep and swam around for awhile, but still didn't see anything. I was swimming back when I started seeing unrecognisable chunks of metal sticking up out of the bottom kelp about 20-30 feet deep. These were mostly beam-like and were probably "knees" that held the deck to the hull. A fish-eating anemone caught my eye and I saw that it was growing on a large, corroded chain. The site plan in the book shows the chain leading to the anchor and the cannon, so I tried to follow it, but it was difficult with all the layers of kelp. I could see more algae-covered piles of metal under the kelp. I lost the chain for a while until I came across a large cylinder with the chain coming out the end. I think this is the "hawse pipe" where the anchor chain left the ship. I tried to follow the chain again, but it was usually hidden by kelp and other piles of metal chunks. There was a large, rusty pile of something about 4 feet high that had lots of copper rockfish hiding in and around it. I should mention before I forget, that disturbing the wreck or removing anything is highly illegal. I lost the chain and I figured that since the anchor was lying down flat, I wouldn't be able to see it anyway. I swam back up the slope to the Islet where I was anchored. A baby seal had been deposited by it's mother on the rocks near my boat. The tide was higher so I was able to motor back through the channel. I think that trying to get a feel for the wreck in summer is pointless since, because of the shallow depths, it's covered with kelp. Even without the wreck, the dive with the rockfish in the kelp forest was impressive.