According to the book: "Diver's Guide (Vancouver Island South)", the Green was a 100-foot, iron-hulled whaling ship that sunk in Victoria's Inner Harbour on April 4, 1966. The wreck used to be marked on the marine chart in the shallows behind Value Village. The diving guide book was written over 10 years ago and there's a marina over the site now. I'd always assumed that the wreck was no longer there, but one day I was on the docks at low tide and I could see something big covered with plumose anemones down below in the murk. I had a look  at the B.C. Archives online and found that the Green was part of a fleet of whaling ships (all named after colours: eg. Black, White, Brown, Blue) based in Victoria that worked in the shore-based whaling industry. The ships would go out, catch a whale and tow it to one of the many whaling stations around the coast for processing. There was a story about the Green being rammed and holed by a harpooned whale and drifting without propulsion since the engine room was flooded. The whale almost had it's revenge, but the crew's bailing managed to keep the ship afloat until another ship towed it to shore and beached it for repairs. I also found that B.C.'s whaling industry began when a company was set up in the 1860's to hunt whales in Saanich Inlet(!). Like the other "colour" class steamers, the Green was sailed over from Norway in 1910. It was active until the 1940's, when the owners went bankrupt (1942) and put the vessels up for sale in 1947. Larger, more modern factory whaling ships had made the small shore-based steamers obsolete. I couldn't find out what happened to the ships after that, but I assume that by the late '40s, steam-powered vessels weren't hot sellers.  They may have been broken up for scrap. Somehow the Green (and the only reference I could find calling this wreck the Green was the diving guidebook) ended up on the bottom in the place where the whaling fleet used to tie up. Maybe nobody bought it and it was abandoned. I had a talk with the manager of the marina who lives on one of the tied-up boats and he said he didn't mind if I went for a dive. I drove down behind Capital Iron (which used to be in the ship-scrapping business), past the kayak racks behind Ocean River Sports and dropped off my gear next to the marina at the "Rice Mill Landing Scenic Lookout". On weekends, you can park here, but I was here on a Friday (April 23, 2010) so I drove back up and parked in the lot behind Capital Iron. I walked back, put on my gear and climbed down the steep loose-rock slope to the water. I swam along the shoreline to the opposite side of the marina and descended to the silty bottom about 7 feet below me. Visibility was about 6-10 feet. I started to see piles of iron beams and hull plating. I think that this area near shore was the bow. I looked through a rusted hole in a piece of iron and saw chain down below. This might have been the chain locker. The wreck is mostly fallen apart and covered with plumose anemones. It was difficult to recognise it as a ship because of the bad visibility and the deterioration of the wreck. I swam along the wreck out deeper under the marina. The fantail (the overhanging part of the stern) was recognisable with the railing still around it. Under the stern I could see the half-buried rudder  and what might have been a propeller blade sticking up out of the mud. It seems that a good part of the bottom of the hull is buried under the deep silt. My maximum depth at the stern was 19 feet at a medium tide. I swam along the other side of the wreckage and saw a flywheel, a large crankshaft and a 10-foot long, 6-8-foot wide boiler surrounded by more unrecognisable wreckage. I assume that this is what's left of the engine room. There was a mixed school of perch, black rockfish and yellowtail rockfish around the boiler. I was surprised by the amount of marine life around the wreck. I also saw white-spotted greenlings, dungeness, red rock and helmet crabs, gunnels, various seastars and lots of seahorse-like pipefish. I took a bit of a swim out around the flat bottom looking for bottles, but apart from the wreck, the bottom was surprisingly bare. I suppose that anything old enough to be interesting had sunk into the deep silt. I did find a small medicine bottle though. Despite the bad visibility and easily stirred-up silt this was definitely an interesting, historic-feeling dive. I wasn't sure of the blackwater facilities on the houseboats moored above me so I was careful to give my gear an extra-thorough rinse.
The Green above water
first view of wreck near bow
looking under wreckage covered with plumose anemones
railing around fantail
propeller blade? sticking out of mud
fitting holding rudder to rudder post
next to the stern
hovering over fantail area
no strobe railing around fantail
next to fantail
collapsed fantail seen from the other side
school of fish over wreck with round boiler in background
valves and piping coming out of boiler
end of boiler
over boiler
fish over boiler
black rockfish and perch over boiler
perch over anemones on boiler
perch over anemones
other end of boiler
boiler tubes
red rock crab next to boiler
next to boiler
above boiler, below dock
end of boiler
marina piling in front of wreck
marina piling on left and wreck on right
wreckage below docks
bollards on wreck
rusted holes in side of hull
inside wreckage
stove I think
seastar in wreck
nudibranch and seastar at bottom of picture
white-spotted greenling
looking up under fantail
helmet crab
red rock crab
some kind of metal box. Maybe for hatch covers?
rudder at bottom of photo, marina piling on left
rudder post going into stern
wood on deck
more wreckage
red rock crab and yellow tunicates
perch above boiler
some sort of propeller-like windlass or something on top of fantail
tube worms, sponge, etc. under dock
underside of docks
seastar, yellow nudibranch and rockfish on deck fitting
looking through holes in side of hull
looking under wreckage
california cucumbers on iron hull plating
california cucumber
medicine bottle
remote control
chain in hole in wreck
iron plating near bow
iron plating near bow
buried side of hull holding back higher level of mud
helmet crab
anemone and cement block near shore
clown nudibranch
lookout in crow's nest
Victoria's whaling fleet
towing whale
painting of one of the steamers harpooning whale
harpoon gun
harpoon gun on bow
The Green. This almost looks like the spot where it sank.
The Green beached for some reason
dive gear and old display machinery
display machinery and marina in background
steep slope of rocks to marina. Value Village is the blue building
The wreck is under the smaller houseboat on left