The Village Islands are a group of three small islands crammed together and separated by  narrow channels on the East side of Becher Bay. The islands are private property (part of the local band's reserve) so I didn't go up past the rocks on the shoreline. I had a full tank of air (sitting idle because of a few days of storms and gales) in my trunk and wanted to try somewhere new so I launched by zodiac at the Cheanu Marina ramp. It was a sunny, calm day for once (April 5, 2010), but the current tables wouldn't let me go to any of the big name-brand dive spots outside the bay. I figured the Village Islands were far enough in the bay to be sheltered from the worst of the current. I nosed my boat into a narrow cut in the Western end of the Western-most of the islands and threw my anchor up onto the steep rocks. I could see a noticeable current running past my anchorage into the bay, but it didn't look too bad. I dropped down under the boat and followed the rock wall South. I was a bit worried about the visibility because of all the recent waves, but I was relieved to be able to see 20-30 feet. Almost immediately, I reached a 6-foot-wide, vertical-sided canyon with a sandy bottom 20 feet deep. One side was covered with urchins and fish-eating anemones, while the side on the island had plumose anemones, tunicate colonies and patches of branching hydrocoral. The far wall of this canyon is formed by some small reefs that are exposed on the surface at low tide. I could feel a mild current, but I heard the hydrocoral whispering that it can sometimes be stronger. After leaving the canyon, I followed the rocky wall down to about 50-60 feet, where there were piles of small boulders and a plain of sand stretching out into the bay. There wasn't as much life here, but there were clusters of plumose anemones, cup corals and scattered fish-eating anemones. I've come to expect schools of colourful, exotic rockfish in the Becher Bay area, but here I only saw a few solitary copper, black and Puget Sound rockfish. I saw a medium-sized lingcod, but wherever I looked there seemed to be at least one kelp greenling. I saw several of those large, white, five-armed sea stars, and these were by far the largest ones I've ever seen. I went back up to a shallower, stalked kelp-topped ledge 20-30 feet deep. There were more fish-eating anemones all over the place and a Puget Sound king crab allowed me to pose with it for a few self-portraits. I swam back through the colourful canyon and back up to the boat as seals swam by on the surface near the exposed reefs. I was expecting this to be a silty, semi-boring "fall back" dive, but back in the boat, I was scolding myself for not bringing a second tank.
anchored with exposed reefs in background
plumose anemones, fish-eating anemone, pink hydrocoral and yellow tunicate colonies in canyon
canyon
fish-eating anemone just before canyon
in canyon
anemones and hydrocoral
urchins and plumose anemones on side of canyon
red fish-eating anemone and urchins
canyon
fish-eating anemones
fish-eating anemone
plumose anemones and canyon
urchins
urchins and plumose anemones 55 feet deep
sand anemone
sand anemone
urchins and plumose anemones on wall
seastar on wall
zoanthids and plumose anemones on wall
seastar
seastar and urchins
plumose anemones and zoanthids
fish-eating anemone 45 feet deep
fish-eating anemone on wall
fish-eating anemones and stalked kelp
fish-eating anemone and urchins
fish-eating anemone and urchins
fish-eating anemone and urchins
fish-eating anemones
fish-eating anemones
fish-eating anemones
Puget Sound king crab
Puget Sound king crab
Puget Sound king crab
Puget Sound king crab
Puget Sound king crab
fish-eating anemone
fish-eating anemone
fish-eating anemone
fish-eating anemone and urchins
fish-eating anemone in crack on wall
fish-eating anemone on wall
fish-eating anemone
urchins
urchins
fish-eating anemone, urchins and plumose anemones
canyon again
canyon
in canyon
canyon
tiny white anemones and plumose anemones in canyon
pink hydrocoral and anemones
urchins and fish-eating anemone
canyon
urchins
canyon again
anchorage
anchorage
at Village Islands
anchorage
view of Becher Bay from road