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May 7th 2004

Bare Point, Chemainus with 49th Parallel Dive Charters

This started out as another exploratory dive looking for a new easy access location for us to take divers to. And what a dive it turned out to be. I had been wanting to dive the very point of Bear Point for some time, visibility has been pretty good and was not going to last much longer. I had dove the entire east side of the point from the big house at the far end to the fuel dock with interesting but not exciting topology the underwater  structure of the fuel dock is interesting. So I was keen to check out the remainder of the North end where what dried at low tides looked interesting.

We anchored just North of the Fuel dock and rolled in to about 40 feet of water, after checking the anchor we headed south along a sloping shell strewn slope.  After not long we dropped down a shear cliff to about 66 feet.  Exploring along here we found all kinds of small rockfish, Crabs in mating season and brittle stars. The entire wall for a few hundred feet was full of small caves some shallow with fishing hanging out in them and others very deep, deeper than our lights could penetrate. These had smooth walls as if something had been coming and going on a regular  basis. Some very large ones were right at the sea floor but not filled in with the shell sand mixture of the bottom, this lead us to believe something must be about. ( On a later dive my buddy thought that they might be Octopus dens ? no crab shells though, any idea's ?) Further exploring south found huge caves and crevices filled with fish, star fish, nudibranch, squirts, anemones and everything else you would expect to find under the water. As we reached the point the cliffs began to breakup into huge tumbled boulders with deep holes and swim throughs everywhere ( not recommended for new divers). Turning around and heading back a little shallower we found rich life in a boulder strewn cliff top, with more of the fabulous topology we had experienced  on the way out, just at the end a seal caught up with us and examined my buddy close enough to know it did not like the smell of Neoprene. Finally coming across a big old tire I had seen on previous dives I knew we were close to the fuel dock and where we had anchored the boat. Rising to the surface I was assailed with hoops and hollers and screams of ecstasy from my buddy who just could not contain himself with joy of the experience.  I to had to admit it was one of the best finds we had all year as far as a new dive site went. I would recommend this as a weekend dive to avoid the tugs and fuel  barge, a live boat would be best unless you are familiar with the area and the associated boat and ferry traffic. A dive flag would be a MUST, lots of small pleasure craft cut this corner as it is know to be surrounded by deep water, ascend near the edge. 

Update:

We have since done another 5 dives on this site and it has entered our list of top 10 sites. This spot is not real rich in life but we have found  everything from Warbonnets to Puget sound king crab. The topology here is great, caves, crevices, huge boulders and a number of swim through possibilities.