This was a second dive after Arbutus Point in mid-March, 2007. There's a parking area in front of the government dock in the middle of Maple Bay. There's a rocky reef a bit past the dock if you follow a compass-heading  more or less to the East (towards Paddy Mile Stone). This is probably the most popular dive in the area (I met a few divers in the parking lot and underwater). It's current-free and relatively shallow. As at Arbutus Point, I was expecting bad visibility, but again, I was surprised to be able to see 20-30 feet as soon as I flopped in the water. I submerged right away and swam under the dock. The pilings were covered with plumose anemones, sunflower stars, some kind of transparent tunicate and several species of nudibranchs. On the sandy bottom under the dock , there were giant nudibranchs scattered all over the place. I could probably see 20 of them around me at any one time. I even saw the classic closed-up tube-dwelling anemone with a bit of predatory nudibranch sticking out. There were probably 4 or 5 species of nudibrach on the pilings, including ones we don't usually see in Victoria (like the "shaggy mouse" variety). Clouds of silvery sandlance wriggled out of the sand and swam away as I swam over them. I saw 2 pipefish drifting over the sand and piles of sunflower stars. All this was 15-20 feet deep right off the shore and I hadn't even gone out to the reef yet. I reluctantly tore myself away from the pilings and swam out for the reef. Just past the end of the dock there were piles of bottles and a mass of squid eggs. After a few minute's swim, I reached the reef around 30 feet deep. It was basically a flat area of boulders, rubble and areas of sand. Like Arbutus Point, it reminded me of the shallows in Saanich Inlet, but with more colour. I had expected Maple Bay to be silty and fairly lifeless, but despite the lack of current, the rocks seemed clean-swept and colourful. There were the usual orange plumose anemones and Saanich Inlet-like seaweed. Moon jellyfish pulsated overhead. All this was around 30 feet deep, but as I swam out to the left (North), there was a steep rocky area that went down to 50-60 feet. Near the bottom of this "wall" there were lots of smaller copper rockfish and a school of perch. More orange plumose anemones were in the sand. The reef seemed to end around 60 feet deep. Eventually, I swam back to the dock and used up my air taking pictures under the pilings. This is a great easy dive when the visibility is good. I'll have to come back with a macro lens for those nudibranchs.
GIANT NUDIBRANCH UNDER DOCK
UNDER DOCK
GIANT NUDIBRANCH
UNDER DOCK
UNDER DOCK
UNDER DOCK
UNDER DOCK
SUNFLOWER STARS UNDER DOCK
SUNFLOWER STARS
UNDER DOCK
UNDER DOCK
UNDER DOCK
GIANT NUDIBRANCH
ANOTHER GIANT NUDIBRANCH
DIVERS
COPPER ROCKFISH
PLUMOSE ANEMONE
DIVER ABOVE ROCKFISH AT BASE OF REEF
OTHER DIVER AND ANEMONE
DIVERS BEHIND SUNFLOWER STAR
OTHER DIVERS IN BACKGROUND AGAIN
COPPER ROCKFISH
PLUMOSE ANEMONES ON REEF
COPPER ROCKFISH
FINGER-TYPE SPONGE
SEASTAR ON REEF
ANEMONE ON BOULDER
LIFE ON REEF
PLUMOSE ANEMONE
SEA-LEMON NUDIBRANCH
SEA-LEMON NUDIBRANCH
MOON JELLY
OVER PLUMOSE ANEMONE
PLUMOSE ANEMONE ON REEF
SQUID EGGS ON SAND
OVER REEF
NUDIBRANCH ON KELP
PERCH
SUNFLOWER STAR AND NUDIBRANCH
ALABASTER NUDIBRANCH
BOTTLES
BOULDERS
DOCK
DOCK
DOCK
DOCK
STEPS FROM BEACH
PARKING
DOCK SIGN