SUMMARY: A boat dive to see the biggest and most abundant cloud sponges that I know of.           LOCATION:  A reef off the north -west corner of Senanus Island outside Brentwood bay in Saanich Inlet. A buoy marks the dive site, making it easy to find. You can also tie up to the buoy, preventing anchor- damage to the sponges.                                                                                       WHAT TO SEE: There is really nothing here  except the sponges, but if you are into cloud sponges, you will love this site. If the visibility is halfway decent, you will be greeted by a massive sponge near the bottom of the descent line at 85 feet or so. Continuing down the slope, there are many more in all shapes and sizes. Most are pale yellow, but some are white. There are a few brown dead ones, but most are alive and well. Hopefully they will stay this way, since most divers know not to touch them. This can kill a portion that may have taken decades to grow. New research shows that only certain parts of the sponge are growing tissue (usually the extremities). If you break off any other part of the sponge, it won't grow back and other divers will probably beat you up. I didn't see any fish or obvious invertebrates other than the sponges, but who cares. Divers come here for the sponges.                                                                         CONDITIONS: The bottom of the descent line is 80 feet deep. Most sponges are 90 - ? feet deep.  I wouldn't worry about current on the bottom, but It's best to ascend and decompress on the line. If you ascend and do a safety stop in mid-water, you might drift away from the boat. Since this is in Saanich Inlet, I wouldn't bother diving in late spring or early summer because of visibility-trashing plankton blooms. The rest of the year, visibility can improve to 30 - 100 feet.
DIVER CAREFULLY LOOKING AT CLOUD SPONGE
DIVER BEHIND CLOUD SPONGE
SAFETY STOP
CLOUD SPONGE
CLOUD SPONGES
UP THE LINE
DIVER BEHIND CLOUD SPONGE
CLOUD SPONGES
DIVER ABOVE CLOUD SPONGE
SPONGES
SPONGES
DIVER OVER SPONGES
MOORING LINE
SPONGES
SPONGES
DIVER LOOKING AT GIANT NUDIBRANCH
*The mooring bouy has been moved a bit and is now anchored 60 feet deep.
REEF NEAR MOORING LINE
SPONGE
JELLYFISH NEAR MOORING LINE
UNDEREXPOSED SLOPE OF SPONGES
UNDEREXPOSED BOTTOM NEAR MOORING LINE
UNDEREXPOSED SPONGES
REEF NEAR MOORING LINE