This is another shallow, "Juan de Fuca -type" dive in Esquimalt. Macaulay Point is part of Macaulay Point Park. I've never tried diving here before because of the walk to the water, but I figured I'd finally go for it (Dec. 1, 2007). I parked in the parking lot by the Esquimalt Angler's boat ramp and walked down the paved trail past the rock-climbing cliff and the rubble breakwater to the outside, exposed shore. It was a cold, breezy day and there was a bit of a swell, but the little bay I entered from was fairly calm. I swam out on the surface across this bay to the point on my left (when looking out from shore). There were some exposed rocky reefs surrounded by white water from the waves. I descended and swam around the far side of these reefs. Visibility was surprisingly good for this time of year (20-30 feet). The bottom was a slope of boulders, rubble and rocky reefs. This area ended in sand and eelgrass around 20 feet deep. The rocky areas had fish-eating anemones, patches of colourful sponges/tunicates, surf grass, pink branching coralline algae and the remains of stalked kelp. There weren't many fish. There were the usual kelp greenlings and 3 or 4 Irish lords (I haven't seen those in awhile). Out past the point, the reefs continued like a maze for quite a distance. The deepest I got was around 30 feet deep. There was a slight current (the current atlas shows a respectable flow here at times), but I was diving during the change so it was nothing big. There was a decent surge however, that made my self-portraits nearly impossible. This whole place is basically a more gently-sloping Saxe Point with a bit more colour. Back near shore, there were mats of tiny green anemones on the rocks near the surface. I've never seen other divers here. They might be put off by the shallow depths, but I've got a thing for these shallow, surge-swept, colourful Juan de Fuca reefs.
I went back the next week with a close-up lens. Visibility was a bit less (15-20 feet), but still not too bad. I went down deeper this time (45 feet). It was strange to see branching coralline algae at this depth. Normally I see it much shallower. I saw a few more Irish lords, a pile of old brass valves cemented in what looked like iron oxide and a scuba tank (I guess some one else tried diving here). It was half-buried in the mud. I almost pulled it out to look for a sticker, but didn't feel like blowing my arm off. I even saw my first giant green anemone in the Victoria area. It was 3 feet deep right under my entry spot. Back in the parking lot a guy asked me if I found a gun. Apparently there was a murder here a few years ago and the police divers never found the weapon.