Ogden Point Reef Balls

 

Location: There are two sets of reefs balls located at the Ogden Point Breakwater. The first set is placed just pasted the first bend in the breakwater. This set starts in about 30 ft. (10 m.) of water and the first reef ball is only about 20 ft. (7 m.) off the breakwater wall in the sand. The second set of reef balls is off flag 3 along the breakwater starting in about 50 ft. (15 m.) of water.   

 

Type: Shore dive

 

GPS: Reef Balls #1: 48.41342, -123.38642 / Reef Balls #2: 48.41246, -123.38926 

 

Above Water: The Ogden Point Breakwater is one of the busiest shore diving sites on Vancouver Island. The most common entry point to gain access to the first set of reef balls is by walking along the breakwater to an area just past the first bend and entering the water where a grey patch of paint is painted on the breakwater wall. The second set of reef balls are accessible by walking further down the breakwater to past flag #3. There is another patch of gray paint signaling where to enter at that point.

 

Underwater:   The first set of reef balls starts about 20 ft. (7 m.) off of the breakwater in about 30 ft. (10 m.) of water. The compass heading is 150o . The first set of reef balls you will encounter are laying upright and side-by-side. This is the start of the reef ball trek. Placed on the ocean side of these reef balls is a cave line (thin, white cord) held in place by dog screws. This cord leads divers to each of the different area where the reef balls are placed. Due to the indicial placement of the reef balls not all of them are upright, some are placed one on top of the other. During the summer months kelp and other debris can attach itself or be caught on the cave line, in low visibility conditions please be aware of your location at all times underwater it is quite easy to loose the line. The bottom composition in this area is sand and can be problematic if divers are not careful of their buoyancy. The last group of reef balls can be found in 50 ft. (15 m.) of water.  The amount of life that has grown on these structures over the last year is amazing. These reef balls have developed into a great habitat for the marine species living in the area.

The second set of reef balls have been placed in a deeper area off of flag #3 along the breakwater. These reef balls have developed into a unique habitat similar to the reef balls placed in shallower water. This set is about 200 ft. (60 m.) off the breakwater and range in depth from 50 ft. (15 m.) to 80 ft. (24 m.) and are laid out in a similar pattern to those in shallow water.

 

Hazards: Current, boats, kelp and limited visibility. This area can be very difficult to navigate if the visibility is low. Take a compass and dive with someone who knows the location of the reef balls. During the spring and summer the cave line that is installed to guide divers to the different areas where the reef balls are placed will be covered in kelp and other debris. Be sure to read the current and tide table to ensure you dive at slack. The current can flow strongly through this area.

 

Note: The Ogden Point reef balls are a scientific reseach site please be careful around the reef balls.

 

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