Joy's Joy and Barracuda Bight

I tend to lump these two sites together because I use the same entry point to get to both of them and also because I tend to cover both on the same dive.  I think this is a fascinating area of the reef and would dearly love to see a good site map of this area.  I know my way around well enough here, but it so complex that it would take many days of counting kick cycles and drawing sketches to come up with a decent site map.  The basic topography here is that of a double drop off, just like Ken Wagnon's Beach to the west and Coconut Walk to the east.  But in addition to the double drop-off, there are fingers extending out to the deep and deep canyons in between those fingers.  Additionally, there are many cuts in the fingers which allow you to go from one canyon over to the next.  And throughout much of this area, there is a deep canyon running parallel to the shoreline which is just at the base of the first drop-off.  Some of that canyon is covered by an overhead, which makes for nice little tunnels you can follow as you go parallel to shore.  The net effect of all of this is to create a maze of connected canyon passageways running both parallel and perpendicular to the shoreline.  That could make for a challenging night dive, though I've never done this one at night.  

The entry point for these sites is a path through the woods, so you will have to park on the road.  Go north on North Coast Road from the intersection with Spot Bay Road until you see a hand-painted sign on the left that says "Toto's Escape; Hosack's Hideaway".  This is probably only 1/4 mile or so from Spot Bay road, and the sign is quite visible.  There is a trail just to the left of that sign which goes straight back to the water's edge.  I have met the owner of this property and he says he is going to begin constructing a home here by April of 2006.  Thus the appearance may soon change drastically!  He is quite willing to let divers pass through his land to reach shore, though, but does ask that they trespass with respect.  

When you get to the end of this trail, there should be a large (4') white mooring ball stuck on a tree stump to your left.  That white mooring ball is quite visible from the water, and it marks your exit point.  As you look straight out to see from shore here, you will note two mooring balls, one slightly to the left of you and one slightly to the right.  The one on the left is Joy's Joy and the one to the Right is Barracuda Bight.  Head towards either one, as you please.  Personally, I like to start my dive right in between the two of them, since those mooring balls are at arbitrary points on the bottom and don't mark any particular topographic features. 

The walk out through the shallows here is particularly rugged, I think, so be sure the soles of your booties are in good condition.  There is a little fringing reef off to the left, just slightly to the left of a straight line path from the shore to the Joy's Joy ball, but aside from that there are only scattered coral heads here where there normally would be a fringing reef.  You don't want to go here when the water is rough, but you can get out here on days where the area from Great Wall to Marilyn's Cut would be impossible. 

This area is particularly well-suited to be your second (or third) dive of the day, since you don't need to go deep to enjoy yourself.  You can either enjoy the maze by following the canyon bottoms or cruise the ridgelines and admire the scenery.  I think one of the most interesting paths to take is to go just below the first drop-off, basically following the line of the canyon running parallel to the shoreline but high enough in the water column that I can see the fingers going out to see.  And I usually make my turn-around point the Pillar Coral at Coconut Walk, which looms like a silent sentinel and can be seen from practically anywhere in the vicinity. 

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