Mt. Baker View Road is the name of the road where this beach access is located. It's the next public access point North of Spring Bay in the Ten Mile Point neighborhood. It looked like Spring Bay on the chart so I showed up here in February, 2007. There is a beach access sign and a reasonable grassy trail down to the rocky shore. The shoreline is fairly steep, but not as steep as a cliff. I swam straight out from the end of the trail. For awhile there was a gentle slope of rocky reefs that was swarming with large alabaster nudibranchs. Eventually, the rocks dropped down steeper to a flat sandy bottom at around 50 feet. This area reminded me a lot of Spring Bay, with it's piles of urchins, giant barnacles, warty tunicates and sunflower stars. Even the visibility was Spring Bay-like (only 10-15 feet). There didn't seem to be as many fish as at Spring Bay, only a few kelp greenlings and small copper rockfish. There were quite a few inhabited octopus dens under the boulders. The dens were littered with giant barnacle shells instead of the usual crab shells. I started swimming to the left (when looking out from shore). Eventually I reached an area about 40 feet deep that looked like a miniature version of the wall at Ten Mile Point. It was covered with white plumose anemones and multicoloured lobed tunicate colonies. If anyone was around, they would have heard my excited hoots as I anticipated burning off my roll of film here. The celebration quickly turned to vicious underwater swearing when my stupid new "store-bought" underwater flash housing decided to let some of it's internal electrical contacts come loose. So I was left with piles of life and colour and no means of taking wide-angle photos. At least I still had my Nikonos 3 for macro. Grumble, grumble.... Now I want to go back as soon as possible with a proper, ugly-but-reliable, home-made strobe to take some decent wide-angle photos of that area.
After seeing the kind of invertebrate life on my last dive, I checked the "Tide View" program and sure enough, there can be over 3 knots of current here. I was lucky enough to show up during slack last time and I made sure to show up this time when the software said it was ok. I also brought a working strobe. I didn't feel much current at the beginning of the dive, but it took me longer than expected to find the "colourful wall" area. I swam too far to the left and had to swim back until I found it. By this time the current had picked up quite a bit and taking my usual self-portraits was a challenge. I would set the camera down, set the timer and flail myself ungracefully into the picture- Just in time to watch the camera "blow" over. Half of these photos were taken as the camera was falling over. The swim back against the current followed by the hike up the slope filled my quota of exercise for the week.