By Stephen Pearce. Another installment of our series on scuba diving near Vancouver. This time Stephen explores Lookout Point.
Lookout Point is Whytecliff Park’s quiet, laid back, next door neighbour.
While Whytecliff fills up with picnickers, sun worshippers, bikers, hikers and, yes, scuba divers, Lookout Point beckons with a beautiful sheltered bay and nary a scuba diver or a sunbather in sight.
There are no facilities, parking is by pulling over to the east side of the road, and you have to follow a short path through the woods to a small set of stairs that leads down to the beach. Another option is to drop off your gear at the trailhead, park at the overflow parking for Whytecliff, and walk back to your stuff.
Entry into the water is easy with mostly a sandy bottom, and the drop off is gradual enough to make it a perfect location for divers of all levels.
There are lots of rocks and boulders that offer hiding spots for a variety of critters, but the real appeal is the point of land on the left side of the beach. It drops down to 30+ meters in a gentle series of terraces that provides a haven for all kinds of life. Cloud sponges, nudibranchs (think fancy looking slugs with optic fibers), sea stars, crab and octopus are all found here. Current is seldom a problem but listen for boat traffic and ascend safely.
All the best viewing is in the zone from 10 to 20 meters (cloud sponges may be a little deeper) so it makes for nice long dives. And navigation is simple – keep the wall on your left going out, and on your right coming back into the bay.
To get to Lookout Point, take the drive to Whytecliff but rather than turning into the park continue on Cliff Road until you almost come to the juncture with Arbutus Road. Pull over onto the right hand side if there is room (the left side is no parking). And, as a courtesy to all users, please don’t pull in and park on the trailhead. :-)