Squid Eggs Squat Lobster on Cloud Sponge

Les Davis Marine Park

Les Davis (Marine Park) is a nice, easy dive site located on Decorated Warbonnet peering out from the Les Davis ReefRuston Way, along Tacoma's waterfront.   The Dive itself features an artificial reef system that is made up from old blocks from the Galloping Gerdy Bridge.   The park has a large T-dock that is popular with fisherman, rest rooms and free parking.  What more could you want?  Oh yea, it also has a brand new set of diver access stairs courtesy of the Washington Scuba Alliance.

Park your car in the free parking area and walk down the waterfront sidewalk to the picnic tables and benches that mark the short diver stairs to the beach.  Gear up and waddle into the water, expecting a shallow slope to about 30' that is very popular with open water classes.  The reef system starts at about 30 feet and continues down to about 80 feet depth.  Pick your depth and swim into any slight current that may be present and you'll have a pleasant dive.

Do be careful when swimming east (to the right).  When you begin to see a bunch of large tires on the bottom, it is time to turn around as you are approaching the fishing dock.  There is a lot of discarded fishing line around the T-dock, so stay well clear of it.  A Scuba Instructor died in the tire field many years ago from getting entangled in fishing line and losing her grip on her dive knife.  Be Careful.

A Painted Greenling poses for the camera at Les Davis Marine ParkThis site if pretty safe for all but really extreme currents, and makes a nice second dive after one of the other local dive sites.  If you do swim out to the top of the reef and turn left, you'll find a very nice fish sculpture poised on top of some of the large concrete blocks.  This is a good site for macro photography, but you may have to stay on the deeper portion of the reef to avoid the inevitable silt clouds of any open water classes in the shallows.  This site is also a poor choice for a dive when there is a big exchange after a lot of rain, as the discharge from the Puyallup river is nearby and will reduce the visibility to only a few feet at best.

If you take your time and poke around in the large blocks, you'll find all kinds of interesting critters, including octopuses, wolf eels, warbonnets, grunt sculpins, sailfin sculpins as well as the occasional dive light or weight.
 [ Map and Directions to the Les Davis Marine Park dive site ]