Gowland Point sticks out into Boundary Pass on the South end of South Pender Island. This area is part of Brooks Point Park. Underwater, there's a large, fairly flat, shallow area around the point. About 200 meters offshore, the chart shows a steep drop from about 40 feet to over 150 feet deep. There's a trail leading from Gowland Point Rd. to the conglomerate rock shoreline. I took the ferry from Victoria on Feb. 28, 2014 to go for a dive. This South Pender area is swept by strong current so I was careful to time my dive for slack according to the Boundary Pass current correction. The trail through the park was long enough to make me think twice about hauling my dive gear down it. I ended up driving to the end of Gowland Point road, where there's a set of wood steps down to a pebble beach on the North side of Gowland Point. I swam out on the surface to the South side of Gowland Point and descended under the navigational light. The cliffs dropped underwater to about 20 feet deep and then there was a flat plain of sand with some beds of eelgrass and a few sea pens. Visibility was about 20-30 feet. I followed my compass South towards the steep area. I saw a few small, grey, silty rocky reefs topped with stalked kelp, but most of this area was sand. At about 30 feet deep I saw an urchin-covered ledge. A bit past it there was another step-like ledge. I followed it and it turned into a wall at about 45 feet deep. This wall was covered with cup corals, cemented tubeworms and white plumose anemones. There was another ledge out from the base of the wall. I saw a basket star clinging to the edge. Farther along, the rocky bottom dropped down more steeply. I saw a boulder with 4 Puget Sound king crabs on it. There were a few patches of encrusting hydrocoral along with some staghorn bryozoans. A school of black and yellowtail rockfish swam above a ledge at 60 feet deep. There were also some copper rockfish, buffalo sculpins, kelp greenlings and small lingcod. Beyond this ledge the rock dropped away in a steep wall covered with plumose anemones. I followed it down to 110 feet deep where it temporarily ended. In the darkness it seemed like the bottom continued to drop down a bit farther out. Because of the distance from shore and the threat of current I didn't stay long at this depth. I swam back up the wall and worked my way back along the ledges to the shallower sandy area. I could hear the rumbling engines of a large ship passing in the distance. A few minutes later the surge from its wake began stirring up the bottom. Back near shore under the cliffs by the marker light I saw some shallow overhangs covered with tiny white anemones.
Despite the hassle of the current, the distance from shore and the surface-swim, I think this is yet another great South Pender Island dive site.