One of the problems with exploring random spots in the Southern half of Saanich Inlet is that on the surface, the steep coastline all starts to look the same. This can make it confusing when I'm trying to find a spot I've visited before, but then years later I'm not sure if I'm in the right place. For this reason, I try to pick new dive spots based on an obvious landmark so I can be sure of finding it again. When taking my boat up Finlayson Arm (the bottom section of Saanich Inlet), I always passed a distinctive rock formation on the East side of the Inlet. It is a large, ramp-like solid rock that slopes down into the water at a perfect 45 degree angle. Next to it is a tall cliff. The marine chart shows this shoreline dropping down underwater to over 300' deep within 100 meters from shore. This "ramp" is just South of where the powerlines cross Finlayson Arm.
        I took my boat out from the Goldstream marina on July 9, 2023. I tied up my boat just South of the ramp formation at the base of the cliff.
        Underwater, the bottom dropped down from shore steeper than any other place I can remember in Saanich Inlet. There were a few ledges with boulders, but I probably could have casually thrown a rock from shore and had it land over 100' deep. Visibility was about 20' in the shallows and it cleared to about 50' below 30' deep. Because of a previous deep dive that day, I limited my depth here to 100'.
        There were some big schools of mysid shrimp that looked like a band of fog next to the wall in places. In the good visibility, I could see dozens of lion's mane jellyfish drifting by.
        In the deeper depths the rocks were covered with lampshells, which to me seem to be a specialty of Finlayson Arm. I didn't see any boot sponges. I looked deeper down the wall from my maximum depth of 100' and didn't notice any down there either.
        I swam across a wide ledge of boulders with a group of yellowtail rockfish.
        I couldn't spend as much time as I would have liked in the deeper areas so I started swimming up shallower. There were lots of seasonal lightbulb tunicates on the shallow walls and I was surprised to see some areas only 20-30' deep with lots of lampshells. Usually, I see them as a deeper species.
        Logically, this spot was probably very similar to the entire Finlayson Arm coastline, but the steeper than average topography and my limited time at depth make me want to re-visit this site for a more thorough exploration of the deeper areas.
Proudly built with SiteSpinner free website maker
Proudly built with SiteSpinner free website maker