Overview of Ogden Breakwater

Ogden Breakwater

Ogden Breakwater
Vancouver Island, BC
Canada

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Site Review by
 Bryan Heit
Date: 09/06/2004

Reviewer

Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  Bryan Heit Entry:    4.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    5.00
City:   Toronto Reef:    5.00
State:   Ontario Animal:    5.00
Country:   Canada Plant:    4.00
Diving:   8 years Facilities:    5.00
 Dives:   80 Solitude   3.00
    Roads:    5.00

Evaluation

*Average:    4.58
Ogden Breakwater is an interesting site, great for beginners and advanced alike. The breakwater itself is a 750m (2500') long 'arm' extending into Victoria harbor. The breakwater is made entirely of large concrete blocks, which forms a series of 'stairs' extending from the surface to the ocean floor. Its location along the Juan de Fuca Straight ensures some currents, which feeds the amazing life found here. This dive site is more like 3 or 4 sites wrapped into one. The breakwater can be loosely divided into three areas. The first area extends from shore to the first bend. This area is basically a shallow sandy bay (~30' deep), with little to see; but makes a good sheltered area for beginners to practice their skills. The second region is the area between the first and second bend. This region, which is about 500m (1500') long, is the most popular with divers. This area is much deeper then the first section (up to 80'), and features a ton of life. Anemones, nudibranchs, ling cod, greenlings, assorted rockfish, wolf eels, and the odd octopus can be found here. In spring & summer the upper levels of this area can have a pretty amazing kelp forest. This section is occasionally exposed to large waves and moderate current (less then 1 knot), so beginners may want a more experienced guide to lead them in this section. The third section extends from the second bend to the end. Because of the long walk involved, this region is rarely dived and as such shows a lot fewer signs of human impact then the rest of the breakwater. This sections is exposed directly to the Juan de Fuca, and as such often has moderate current (1.5 knots) and large waves. This portion has similar types of life to the middle section, but everything is much bigger, and much more densely packed. Along the breakwater are five painted dive flags. Immediately under these flags, in 30' to 50' of water, are large illustrated plaques describing what you'll see in that area. Some divers make a game of finding these plaques - I've found two! To access the first two sections walk down the stairs at the beginning of the breakwater and walk along the blocks until you reach your desired entry point. The best way to access the last section is to walk along the top of the breakwater all the way to the end, descend on the stairs at the end, and enter there. You cannot get off the top at any point but at the end, so don't try to walk mid-way along the top - it won't work.    

Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:    4.00
Beginner:    5.00
Intermediate:    5.00
Advanced:    4.00
Night diving:    4.00
   

Seasonal Information

Season:    Summer
Year:    2004
Visibility:    4.00
Current:    3.00
Surf:    5.00
 
 


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