This is a steep point sticking out near Iron Mine Bay in East Sooke Park. It's another spot I've wanted to dive for years, but whenever I showed up before, the current was too strong or the visibility was too terrible to dive. I recently hiked down the trail to the point to see if shore access was feasible for divers. I decided it wasn't. The trail is too steep and irregular to be carrying 100+ lbs of gear on your back. The trail to Iron Mine Bay is almost reasonable, but then there's a long swim to get to the point. As much as I prefer shore diving to the hassle of diving from your own boat, I decided the only way I was going to dive here was if I came by boat, so I did on Sept. 13, 2020. I launched at the public launch in Sooke and motored out through the wildfire haze and windless still water to Pike Point.
When I arrived at the point I could see that the current was still swirling around so I went for a dive somewhere else (Secretary Island). I came back to Pike Point after that dive and saw that the current had almost stopped so I tied up my boat behind a small islet at the tip of the point.
I swam down the slope. The rocks stepped down in small walls with rubble and boulder-covered ledges. The rocks seemed to meet a sandy slope about 65-80' deep. The side of Secretary Island facing Pike Point has lots of colourful high-current invertebrate life covering the rocks so I was expecting to see a similar ecosystem here. I was a bit disappointed that that wasn't the case. There were still lots of urchins, burrowing cucumbers and fish-eating anemones. There were also a few crimson anemones and orange peel nudibranchs. There were a couple of areas where I was impressed by the rockfish. There were vermilion, canary, yellowtail, black, quillback and brown rockfish. I'm intentionally not describing in detail which part of the point I dove to try and protect the rockfish from all the people that are trying to kill them. I'm hoping that the current and depth will help this population survive the resurgent spearfishing.
My camera strobe had battery problems on my previous dive so I used video lights for the photos on this dive. Unfortunately, they don't freeze motion like a strobe and even the brightest video lights are dimmer than the dimmest strobe so taking photos was a bit frustrating. Visibility was 20-30' near shore and 40' farther out.
Even though this site wasn't as colourfully-coated as nearby Secretary Island, it was still a great dive and worth coming back to. It would be nice if the conditions (wind, current, visibility) all cooperated more often like they did today.