Diving around Vancouver – Eagle Rock

By Stephen Pearce. Another installment of our series on diving near Vancouver. This time Stephen visits Whytecliff Park.

The first time I saw Eagle Rock was an accident.

I was exploring the Day Marker side of Whytecliff Park, just past the plumose gardens, when I stumbled upon a concrete block about one meter high. It looked like the fitting from an ancient harbour, sitting fairly level a few meters back from the edge of the cliff wall. Its base was a square meter and it tapered up to about half a square meter at the top.

Aside from the fact that we were deep underwater, the real surprise was when I looked closer at what I had assumed was a metal cleat and found instead a small brass eagle.

Time and the sea had softened some of its features but details were still easy to pick out – the hook of its beak, the eyes, even the feathering on the wings that were poised for flight. It was a sentinel, firmly anchored to its perch and gazing out from the wall into the deep of the ocean.
Where had it come from and what was it doing here at such a remote location?

It wasn’t until several days later when I visited my friends George and Dave at their dive shop in New Westminster that some of the pieces of the mystery started to come together.      

Apparently, the eagle, and the pedestal on which it sits, were placed there some decades ago by friends in commemoration of a fellow diver. That location had been selected because it had been one of his all time favourite places to dive.

The name of the gentleman and the date are still unknown, but the eagle is there for anyone fortunate enough to find him. And following the eagle’s gaze out into the ocean it’s easy to feel the same ambience and wonder that a fellow diver must have felt when he dove those waters so many years ago.

Whytecliff Park (15.63 hectares in size) is a regional park located in a beautiful corner of Howe Sound just a short drive from downtown Vancouver. The waters off the Park became Canada’s first Salt Water Marine Protected Area in 1993 and are now famous for incredible underwater diving. Washrooms, picnic areas, and a shower station (on a seasonal basis) add to the popularity of this dive site. The Day Marker denotes the edge of the reef.
You can visit George and Dave at their dive shop in New Westminster. Check out Dive and Sea Sports at http://www.diveandsea.com or by calling 604.524.1188. They offer a wealth of expertise, technical support and local history for new and advanced divers alike.

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