Emerald Sea Photography
The wreck of the Comet is an easy to
dive, just off of the Port Hadlock boat ramp at the south
end of Port Townsend Bay. The 127’ tug is
lying on it’s starboard side on the bottom just 200’ south
of the boat ramp. To access this shallow wreck from
shore, park at the boat ramp and gear up, then walk (or
swim) less than 200’ south on the beach until you come to
the “Clam Farm, Keep Out” sign on the beach. Enter the
water and swim down slope. You’ll find the bow of the
Comet in only 15’ of water (visible at low tides).
As you continue to swim astern (east) on the wreck, you’ll see a slim wood hull, slowly deteriorating under the onslaught of the salt water and boring worms. The aft end of the wreck sits in about 40’ of water, several large fuel and hydraulic tanks are still sitting in the remains of the engine room. The rudder and propeller are missing, but the single engine Comet has a nice, flared fantail, and lots of hydraulic controls. Additionally, you’ll see that there are large towing bitts that make me suspect she originally worked as a tow boat or fishing boat of some type. However, legend has it that in the late 60’s and early 70’s, a group of “free spirited” individuals lived on the Comet, which was anchored off of Port Hadlock, not far from where she now lies peacefully on the bottom. More information about the Comet and the commune that lived on her can be found in Northwest Wreck Dives.
If you visit the Comet by boat, be careful not to allow your boat to swing over the bow of the wreck, as the bow still stands proudly off the bottom, and could easily damage the prop on your dive boat. The location of this wreck is well-marked on NOAA chart # 18464. Look for the outline of a boat shaped obstruction(2), starting at the shore line, just South of the boat ramp. This makes a nice shallow second dive, after visiting the Orca, which is located about 400 yard to the east in 65’ of water. (See the aerial photo to the left)
There are also a couple of small wrecks, up on the beach, but they are on private property and protected by the “Keep Out, Clam Farm” sign. Port Hadlock was once a thriving mill town, shipping lumber up and down the West Coast of the United States at the turn of the century. There is a lot of history surrounding the area, making a visit to Port Hadlock a worthwhile adventure.