I'm not sure of the legality of diving here, but here it is... At the end of Victoria View road in Esquimalt, there are the big, white Esso storage tanks on the left and Department of National Defence property on the right. Both sides are decorated with barbed-wire fences and "No Trespassing" signs. Somebody must have run out of fencing, because between the two, there is a short trail leading down to McLoughlin Pt. This point is just inside Victoria Harbour across from Ogden Point. I showed up on impulse in Mid-June, 2007. When I was putting my stuff together, a big truck pulled out of the Esso compound. It stopped and a guy came out and walked over. I though he was going to tell me to bugger off, but it turns out he was just interested in diving and said to have a good dive. He did think I was a little crazy: "You do know they pump raw sewage in to the ocean, right?" Anyway, I camouflaged myself as a bush and darted down to the water. The bottom was a mix of crushed-shell/mud and rocky reefs sloping down to around 30-40 feet deep. I swam out to the right. Visibility was around 15 feet. Most of the bottom above 30 feet was covered with bottom kelp, making it hard to see much on the rock. I tried lifting up a blade of kelp to see what was under it, but there was just layer-upon-layer of more kelp. From what I could see on the few bare patches, the life was similar to that at Saxe Point. At the bottom of the reefs, there were small undercuts where the rock met the sand. Groups of young rockfish (copper, quillback, yellow-tail, canary) hung out under these tiny overhangs. There were a few anemones here and there (fish-eating, plumose, etc.), but mostly, there was bare, silty rock. There were quite a few mating dungeness and red rock crabs. When I was well around the point, I turned around and swam back towards the Esso facility, where there was a decent-sized dock. I'm a sucker for pilings, so I pretended there were no legal issues and swam under it. The end met the sand at around 20 feet deep. There was a nice amount of life on them. This was my favorite part of the dive. There was a variety of anemones, seastars, encrusting and yellow sponge, tunicates, nudibranchs, etc. There were more mating red rock crabs clinging to the pilings. Schools of tube-snouts, perch and juvenile rockfish swam around and between the pilings. I didn't have enough air to spend much time here, so I returned to shore. There were no goons waiting on the beach and my car was still there, so I guess it's all ok.
CLOSED-UP FISH-EATING ANEMONE
MATING RED-ROCK CRABS ON SILTY ROCK
COPPER ROCKFISH IN CRACK
PILINGS
RED ROCK CRABS AND SEASTAR ON PILING
PILINGS
PILINGS
NUDIBRANCH ON MUD
FISH-EATING ANEMONE
FISH-EATING ANEMONE
DUNGENESS CRAB ON MUD
LOOKING UNDER SMALL OVERHANG
ROCKFISH AND BOTTOM KELP
CRAB
BLOOD STAR AND YELLOW SPONGE
RED ROCK CRABS ON KELP
PLUMOSE ANEMONE
LOOKING AT BUFFALO SCULPIN ON MUD
FISH-EATING ANEMONE
ANEMONES ON REEF
SEASTAR ON REEF
ANEMONE ON PILING
DUNGENESS CRAB AND SEASTAR ON PILING
MORE STUFF ON PILINGS
MATING DUNGENESS CRABS
GOBIES WATCHING CRAB IN CRACK
ROCKFISH IN CRACK
ROCKFISH IN CRACK
UNDERCUT REEF
KELP CRABS ON KELP STEM
ANEMONE AND ROCKFISH
PILINGS
RED ROCK CRAB
COHO FERRY PASSING OGDEN POINT
PARKING BY FENCE
TRAIL BY FENCE
ESSO DOCK
SHORELINE WITH WW2 LOOKOUT
LOOKING ACROSS HARBOUR TO OGDEN POINT
COHO FERRY PASSING ESSO DOCK
PANORAMA OF SHORELINE