For many decades, Cowichan Lake was surrounded by several logging mills. I've already visited Youbou and Caycuse. Now it was Honeymoon Bay's turn. This small town near the town of Lake Cowichan was the site of a Western Forest Industries mill from the 1940's to 1981 when it closed down. I wanted to see what relics remained underwater from this mill so I drove up from Victoria on May 12, 2014. The area where the mill once stood has been replaced by homes and I wasn't really sure where it actually was located. I stopped at the historical museum in Lake Cowichan to see if I could find out. They brought out and unrolled an old plan of the mill showing where it was. The easiest way to access the area was from a small park at the end of Park Ave. There's a large gravel parking area next to the water and a gravel swimming beach. At first it was very shallow and I had to almost crawl my way out from shore. The silty bottom soon dropped down steeply. Visibility was about 30'. There were a few logs scattered around, but not as much as I expected. I swam straight out down the slope until I reached about 80 feet deep. The slope continued deeper, but I figured any debris from the mill would be closer to shore so I swam back up to between 40-60 feet deep and turned left (West). The amount of logs increased and soon they were piled up on the bottom. There were also areas covered with piles of bark and splintered wood. In one area, the slope of wood was so steep it formed a kind of wall. I didn't see much man-made stuff on the bottom compared to some of the other places I dove around the lake. I saw one small area where there were what looked like large, window-like metal frames with fabric stretched across them. Nearby there were some pieces of rusty metal. Back up in the shallows, there were fields of aquatic plants. I didn't see many fish during the dive. Maybe it was too early in the year for trout and I didn't see any crayfish, but I did see some sticklebacks and freshwater clams.
parking near the beach
plants and algae near the beach
plants in the shallows
wood near the top of the slope
wood near the top of the slope
logs or old pilings
large log
mooring weight
over logs and wood debris
slope of debris
log on metal thing
clam buried in the silt
clam buried in the silt
metal thing and frame in the backgraound
fabric-covered metal frame
metal thing
metal pipe
metal pipe
pile of bark
snorkelling fin
looking down a steep slope of wood
slope of logs
wall of wood
next to wall of wood
over logs
wood and plants in the shallows
rusted pile of chain
under one of the docks
under one of the docks near shore
under a dock
top of the slope near shore
plants in the shallows
at the top of the slope
old view of the mill from the B.C. Archives
the beach
getting ready
beach looking East
beach looking West
old view of the mill from the museum in Lake Cowichan
plans of mill from the museum in Lake Cowichan