This is a semi-popular shore dive in Nanaimo. It's part of Neck Point Park, but it's accessed from the end of Keel Cove Lane, just West of the main park entrance. According to info on the internet, there's a rocky reef and two small, disintegrating wrecks. I came here on Jan. 31, 2010. At the end of the road, there's room for a few cars to park and a steep, but reasonable trail down to a rocky beach. I heard that the reef is out from the left side of the beach. I noticed an exposed rock poking up from the water out past the left-hand point so I figured this was the reef that divers visit. I swam out on the surface to the reef. I could see the bottom (about 20 feet deep) during the whole swim across. When I reached the reef I descended and swam around it counter-clockwise. The shallow part  had some jagged "peaks" and lots of bottom kelp. The far side of the reef went down to a sandy bottom at about 60 feet deep. Visibility was 40-50 feet. There wasn't as much marine life here as at nearby Neck Point. Even though they are right next to each other, have a similar depth range and stick out into the same body of water, the two dives seem very different. There were no piles of urchins, plumose anemones, cup corals and pink coraline algae covering everything here like you see at Neck Point. The reef and small walls here were mostly bare although I did see a good variety of seastars and some scattered cup corals. There were also very few fish here. I saw 2 small copper rockfish and some kelp greenlings. I didn't see any sea pens or adult feather stars, although I did see a few tiny feather stars swimming in mid-water. I swam all  the way around the reef and I was back near the steep, rocky shore. There is supposed to be a rope leading out to the wrecks, but I didn't see it. I swam back to the bay and saw a float anchored to the bottom with a rope leading off across the sandy slope. I still had lots of air left so I followed it out. It ended up crossing over another, lower reef that was farther East than the one that broke the surface. There was lots of bottom kelp here too. I still didn't see many fish or invertebrates here. I did see a Puget Sound king crab near the rope. On the far side of the reef (maybe 45 feet deep), the rope led past some scraps of one of the "wrecks". It seemed like a few pieces of the deck or hull of a small, 10-foot-long-or-so boat. The rope then passed a cluster of tires about 50 feet deep. In the distance I could see the "main" wreck. It looked like about a 15-foot-long double-ended sailboat hull lying on it's side with the bottom missing. The deck and mast (if it was a sailboat) were gone too. It looked like a big canoe with bulkheads. There were rocks in the hull so maybe it was sunk intentionally. There was a closed-up plumose anemone or two on the wreck, but that's about it. I probably won't be back. It was interesting to explore a new-to-me spot and the visibility was great, but I think there are much better spots nearby.
looking down to Keel Cove
gap in reef
shallow part of reef
peaks on shallow reef
big boulder near reef
seastars and California cucumber with tiny feather star on right
copper rockfish and seastars in crack
seastars at base of reef
California cucumbers on reef
seastars and bottom kelp
near top of reef
seastars in shallows
seastar near shore
near bay
looking at small plumose anemone
float and guide rope
Puget Sound king crab and bottom kelp
Puget Sound king crab
king crab
piece of wreckage
sailboat wreck
bulkheads in hull
rocks in hull
over-under in cove
over-under in cove
looking towards Neck Point
exposed reef
bench at lookout above Keel Cove
on trail
Neck Point
Keel Cove
viewpoint above cove
beach at Keel Cove
Keel Cove panorama