SUMMARY: "THE" dive off southern Vancouver Island.                                                                                  LOCATION: A boat dive off the southern tip of Vancouver Island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.                                                                                                    WHAT TO SEE: The site is a collection of small islands, reefs, walls and pinnacles. There are many places to dive and it would take many dives to see it all. Because of the current, this place is invertebrate heaven. There are walls covered with anemones, soft corals, sponges, basket stars, purple hydrocorals, hydroids and just about everything else. You may see groups of one kind of marine life in one area and in another place nearby, the species are totally different. My favorites are the steep areas where the life is more concentrated. The flat areas seem to be clean-swept rock covered with urchins. The main reason why most charter boats come here is to dive with California and steller's sea lions. There are usually some here all year around, but in fall there are hundreds of them. There are also tons of harbour seals and a few elephant seals. There are lots of fish here; all the usual local species, but I'm usually too busy with the invertebrates and sea lions. Despite the old lighthouse on the main island, there have been lots of wrecks here, so you might stumble across some bits of old ships. This place is a marine reserve so any kind of collecting or harming marine life is prohibited.                                                                                                                                                     CONDITIONS: Lots and lots of current. Even if you dive on slack, you will probably still feel it. You have to dive here with a "live" boat that is ready to pick you up at all times if you don't want to end up in the middle of the Pacific. This site is also pretty exposed to swell and waves if there is a strong wind blowing. If the wind is blowing against the current, the waves are even bigger. There are many days, however when it is calm and sunny and warm out and these are the perfect days to go. Visibility can be as little as 10 feet when the waves are stirring things up, especially in winter. During calm weather in summer and fall, the visibility can be a bright and sunny 50 feet.
LIGHTHOUSE ON GREAT RACE ISLAND
SOFT CORALS AND SPONGES
BLOOD STAR AND CUP CORAL
SEA LION
BASKET STAR, PINK HYDROCORAL AND PLUMOSE ANEMONES
SUN STAR
ANEMONE AND URCHINS
CABEZON
BASKET STAR
URCHINS AND SEA CUCUMBERS
SOFT CORAL
COPPER ROCKFISH WITH PLUMOSE ANEMONES AND SEA CUCUMBERS
KELP GREENLING
DIVER BY WALL
SEA LIONS BY WALL
SEA LION ABOVE WALL
DIVER BY WALL
DIVER TAKING PICTURE OF SEALION
SEALION AND DIVER'S FIN
SEALIONS ABOVE WALL
SEALIONS ABOVE WALL
LIFE ON WALL
DIVER TAKING PICTURE
SEA LION
SEA LIONS BY WALL
SEA LIONS
SEA LIONS
SEA LION
SEA LIONS
SEA LIONS
DIVER OVER URCHINS ON FLAT BOTTOM
COPPER ROCKFISH IN SHALLOWS
ANEMONES
CORMORANTS
DIVER OVER WALL
Sealions