This is the South-East corner of Discovery Island (off the Oak Bay area). It was named after a paddle steamer (Sea Bird) that caught on fire in the 1850's and ran ashore near here to save the lives of the passengers. The chart shows a drop to 50-60 feet deep just past an area of shallow rocks and reefs. There's a lighthouse at the point just North of where I hoped to dive. This lighthouse marks the boundary between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Haro Strait. I've been here before in a boat and noticed the swirling current ripping around the kelp. The current atlas shows that flows of a few knots are common here. I came for a dive on Aug. 14, 2009. I didn't manage to make it out during slack, but it was a relatively small exchange (2-knot ebb at Race Passage) and I figured I would be sheltered from most of the current by the island itself. The wind was blowing against the current, whipping up a steep chop when I left the Cattle Point boat launch so it was a wet ride out to Discovery Island. I took the channel in between Discovery and Chatham Islands to take a break in the calmer water. I keep telling myself that I won't use this shallow channel again, but I always end up back here. It's a nerve-wracking place to take a power boat. It's full of sandbars and rocky reefs hidden just under the surface, waiting to take off propellers. It's not too bad on a calm day when the sun is high and it's easier to see what's going on under the surface, but when the sun is low and the water's messed up, you're pretty much going on memory and a piece of a soggy chart. I eventually reached the other side, where it was sheltered from the wind and I anchored in a tiny cove near the point. This would be a nasty spot if the wind swung around and the Juan de Fuca swell came funneling down the cove, but it looked good so far so I swam out into the kelp and down the slope. Visibility was about 30 feet and the bottom wasn't as steep as I expected. It was mostly covered with blades of bottom kelp and there were a few silty-looking reefs with some clusters of urchins. I made it down to about 60 feet where I saw an Irish lord, a Puget Sound king crab and two shy cabezon. It was grey and silty down here too. The current was running at about 1/2 knot and going in the opposite direction to the one I was expecting, probably because of a back-eddy in nearby Rudlin Bay. There wasn't a noticeable slope leading back to shore. There was just an expanse of occasional low reefs covered with silty red seaweed. I didn't have a compass with me so I tried to navigate back to shore using the flow of current as a reference. Eventually I gave up and had to surface in mid-water to get my bearings. I headed back to the bull kelp bed near shore where there were some steep-sided, kelp-covered reefs sticking up from about 30 feet deep. There were a few copper rockfish swimming around, but they seemed nervous and would swim away when I came anywhere near them. One of these reefs was covered with a swarm of mysid shrimp. -Probably the largest group of them I've ever seen. I saw a single plumose anemone and some more urchins, but considering the current and exposed location, I was expecting more colourful invertebrates. Looking closely at one of my pictures later, I could see a few tiny patches of pink branching hydrocoral, but there seemed to be less than the average amount of shallow, Juan de Fuca marine life. Of course most of the rocks were covered with kelp. In the shallows there were swarms of tiny jellyfish with orange tentacles. Back on the surface, I could see that the wind was starting to swing around and a large container ship was about to plow past the point. I quickly threw my stuff in the boat and motored out of there before I became the next Discovery Island shipwreck. Considering the hassle of getting out here and the potential hazards of wind and current, I don't think it's worth the effort to dive here again.