I came here at the beginning of January, 2006 with Al and Richard from the Hang Time Technical Diving Club. It's on the West side of Saanich Inlet across from McKenzie Bight. There's a mooring buoy on the South end of the point. A waterfall dropped to the water nearby, creating a layer of fresh water on the surface. We went down the line to the mooring block 50 feet deep. After the 10-foot-thick fresh water layer on the surface, visibility opened up to around 50-60 feet. We must have been spoiled in the Inlet lately because we were later complaining that the visibility was less than we expected. The mooring block was on a rocky reef with sand on either side. Al and I swam out and to the left (towards the point), while Richard swam to the right. Underwater, the point was a series of rocky "fingers" pointing down into the Inlet with sandy areas in between. At the tips of these fingers, the rock dropped away in a wall starting at around 90-100 feet deep. Other than some boot sponges, a swimming anemone and a lingcod, we didn't see much life until we reached a part of the wall with several small and medium-sized cloud sponges at around 125-140 feet deep. There were lots of juvenile rockfish in and around the sponges. Many of the sponges seemed to be dead (grey-coloured). One of them had a beer bottle in one of it's openings. There was a group of sponges on a corner of the wall that were all dead. They weren't damaged or broken so they may have died naturally. A large group of yellowtail rockfish hovered around them. Back in the shallows at the point (above 40 feet), there was a lot more colour and life in the piles of rubble and boulders. Everything was bright pink from coralline algae. There were also patches of encrusting sponge. Small rockfish and gobies seemed to live in every hollow between the rocks. Between this shallow area and the deep sponges there wasn't much life. The topography was interesting though, especially with the good visibility. Richard later told us that he found an area with a few cloud sponges 105 feet deep on his dive. There's a large area to explore here. I'll have to come back again.
I came back (End of December, 2006) with Richard and Al on Richard's boat. Visibility was around 10 feet in the shallows, but cleared up to 40-50' when we went deeper. This time we swam to the left (when looking towards shore). There was a wolfeel den near the mooring line and there were more (and bigger) sponges in this area than in the other direction. Richard and Al went down to 200 feet and said the sponges kept going even deeper. I didn't have magic gas so my maximum depth was 134'. Even in these "shallows" there were plenty of big sponges and rockfish to keep me entertained.
The Mystery Staircase that leads into a tree near McCurdy Point:
-Prop for Viking movie?
-Prehistoric submarine dock?
Whatever it is, I'm sure there's treasure involved.