176 Henderson Point

As an experiment, this post about today’s snorkelling session in Saanich Inlet is mostly a copy-and-paste of the Evernote note that I am currently using as a logbook. Doing it this way saved a lot of typing but I don’t like how much space this WordPress theme puts between list items.

Snorkelling at Henderson Point in Saanich Inlet

This first video shows the highlights of what I saw.

Stick-on Lenses for Dive Mask

This second video shows the stick-on lenses that I refer to in the half of item #3 in the Results section.


Session #176

Henderson Point, Central Saanich, BC, Canada

Predictions for 13:00:

  • EC for YYJ … 7 C, SE 20g40 km/h
  • EC for ??? … ??? ?? kt
  • Spotwx … 7fl7 C, ESE 19g24? km/h
  • Windy … E 5g16 kt with SE 0.2 m wind waves plus S 0.1 m swell
  • Current should be < 0.25 kt southward at 13:18, having turned at 12:31.
  • Brentwood Bay tide height … 2.0 m, flooding after a 1.9 m low at 11:56.


  1. Pause before.
  2. Use Scubapro Jet fins at 5+5 and 5+5
  3. Use Aqualung Atlantis mask at 2+2 with Skyway lenses.
  4. Use large float/flag with stabilizer weight.
  5. Use red Olympus carabiner to hold lens cap away from front of camera.
  6. Do several drops with pranayama breath-ups.
  7. Count kick cycles.
  8. Get usable video.
  9. Pause after.


  • Started changing at 12:45.
  • Finished changing at 13:09.
  • Entered water at 13:17.
  • Signalled OK at 13:20.
  • First drop at 13:24.
    1. 2.5 m  11 s
    2. Bounce
    3. 2.4 m  14 s
    4. 1.9 m  10 s
    5. 2.1 m  13 s
    6. 2.0 m  14 s
    7. 1.8 m  19 s
    8. 2.0 m  11 s
    9. Bounce
    10. 1.9 m  10 s
    11. 3.0 m  22 s
    12. Bounce
    13. 1.6 m  14 s
  • Last drop at 14:07.
  • Exited water at 14:12.
  • Started changing at 14:17.
  • Started driving at 14:43.
  • Total of 55 minutes in water this time.
  • Total of 10,915 minutes in water so far.
  • Suunto history says … Time: 10:26  Dive: 802 (2,802). 


  • Sunny almost the entire time. Did not use light.
  • Water temperature was 7 C.
  • Visibility was only about 3 m.
  • After brief cold burn on face at beginning, fingers were only part that were noticeably cold. Using Aqualung gloves with large gauntlet.
  • Saw: stars, burrowing sea cucumbers, one yellow nudibranch, one river otter.
  • Picked up beer can from bottom and small garbage from shore. One advantage of the large float is that it has a bit of cargo space for collected trash.
  • During rinsing, computer said Low Battery and then Battery OK a few seconds later. I replaced it recently but was not sure how old the new battery was.
  • Rinsing in the gear bathtub took the same length of time as rinsing outside with a garden hose but was warmer and required leaving float and weight belt outside.


  1. Forgot to pause before entry but Joanna gave me the reminder signal when I gave the OK.
  2. Right fin was slightly looser so next time use 5+5 and 6+5. They were a good choice for the very shallow dives and for maneuvering among the rocks.
  3. At 2+2 the mask felt like it was going to fall off so tightened it to 3+3. Am not impressed with the buckles for holding the strap position. The metal parts seem too thin. Might benefit from a thicker strap like I put on the Nemrod mask decades ago. The spare I found yesterday might work. Mask felt buoyant when ascending. The fit was perfect. It never leaked but I still had a mask ring around my face more than an hour later. That never happens with the mask I use most often. With gloves on there was no way to use fingers to close nostrils, even with snorkel removed so had to rely on hands-free and slow descent for all drops. The view felt very spacious. This is an excellent choice for surface snorkelling and the shallowest of breath-hold dives. As such, it is well paired with scuba fins. The $16 stick-on lenses worked perfectly. The wrist computer and camera screen were very sharp. I mounted them lower than recommended. There was one time when higher would have been better because of where I wanted to hold the camera. Moving them up a bit is worth trying but not as high as recommended because it was nice having them out of the way. Did not notice mid-range objects being out of focus but did notice the improvement in distance vision. No fogging so toothpaste scrub must have been adequate.
  4. Although it did not feel windy the flag was horizontal at times. Swimming with the float was easy but the moment I released it the wind started to take it northward so I had to spend time chasing after it. Gave up and rested it on rock at the surface. Based on the seaweed, there was no current but I kept being pushed slowly northward, presumably by a thin surface flow even though the very minor waves seemed to be of no consequence. The flag on the pole was not up but the one to the north was almost horizontal. At one point the entire float and flag turtled so it is good that the Pelican cases in the cargo section were clipped to a line over the top.
  5. The new trick of using the Olympus carabiner to hold the lens cap out of the way worked very well. This should now be the standard even though, without the elastic band, there is a higher risk of the cap popping off before I remove it and it is difficult to extract the cap’s tether from the carabiner when wearing gloves.
  6. Only did the pranayama technique once. It felt like that dive was easier and longer than the others but it was too difficult to be sure because of being distracted by other things. The problem was that the breath-up was not as relaxing as it should have been because I had to keep finning to stay upright and in position. Holding on to the float might have been a big help if it had not kept drifting downwind. Try this again when the float is anchored or there is no wind or I am using the Fathom float which should catch less wind.
  7. Did not get deep enough and was too preoccupied with equalization to count kick cycles.
  8. Did get a few minutes worth keeping.
  9. Paused at the bench for a period of reflection. Have been coming here for for about 35 years but now I come and go from the north part of West Saanich Road.

By Brian

Owner and administrator of this website Resident of North Saanich on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada

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