Emerald Sea Photography
While diving in Puget Sound can be a bit on the COLD side, we have been enjoying the incredible diversity of fish and invertebrate life in these nutrient rich waters. The extremely close encounters are fun, and the interaction with the larger critters are great. Keep in mind that the visibility is much better in the Winter.NEW: [Central Puget Sound Dive Site Map] your comments wanted!
Agate Pass (3) A shallow, high-current dive that can be a lot of fun to fly along the anemone carpeted bottom of the pass.
Alki (Seacrest Park) (4) This site is extremely popular, and is a great place for a night dive. Drop down to the I-beams at night and say hello to the Six gill sharks that are frequently seen there.
Barbara G (1). A very nice, shallow wreck dive just off the end of the Harper's Fishing Pier in Kitsap County (near Port Orchard). The Pier itself makes a nice dive as well.
Comet (2). Once home to some "wild and crazy guys", the Comet sits just 200' from the Port Hadlock boat ramp, making it a nice shore dive.
Day Island Wall. (7) This is an awesome Wall Dive at the South End of the Tacoma Narrows. But do watch out for the current, it really starts to move as you near the North End of the Wall. The wall itself is just loaded with Wolf Eels, Octopus, Mosshead Warbonnets, etc. I love this dive, but recommend doing this from a Live Boat, rather than shore. [Map and Directions]
Dead Man's Wall (2) Also called Lobster Shop wall, this deep wall starts in about 80' of water off of Tacoma's Lobster Shop restaurant and drops to depths exceeding 140'. Visibility is often poor at this site but encounters with interesting critters keep divers coming back for more. [Map and Directions]
Edmonds Underwater Park (8)(the tug boat and dry dock are very cool). This is a wonderful dive site, with many, many different objects placed in the park. The fish are HUGE, with Ling Cod that get over 5', but the surface swim can be very tiring.
Fox Island Bridge (4) A wonderful dive beneath the current swept bridge to Fox Island. Wait for a day with a low tidal exchange and dive this site on slack, exploring the bridge towers which are covered with colorful critters.
Fox Island East Wall (2) An amazing sculpted vertical wall scoured by the Tacoma Narrows Currents. Loaded with Octopus, wolf eels and nudibranchs. One of my favorite Puget Sound dive sites.
Fox Island Ferry Terminal (1) This used to be a popular shore dive on Fox Island, but is no longer accessible from shore. More of a muck dive for bottle and macro hunters.
Fox Island, West Wall. (5) Really pleasant, hidden dive site with very easy entry and exit. The wall is a little further East than you might think. Great place to collect golf balls. We saw our first Octopus here, along with an odd looking Sturgeon Poacher.
Gold Beach Wall (2). A nice wall dive near Maury Island that starts in about 80' and continues down to about 150'. Lots of large glacial irregularities make this a rewarding critter dive.
Hood Canal Bridge (2). The Western half of the old bridge sank on February 13th, 1979 during a severe storm. It makes a fascinating wreck dive now. There's even an old sailboat wreck lying on top of the old bridge deck!
Keystone (2). On Whidbey Island, the jetty right next to the Port Townsend-Keystone Ferry is a great dive site. The large rocks form a pyramid-like jetty with lots of nooks and holes for an abundance of critters to hide in. This site is very current sensitive, but a great dive to catch during a lull, especially if you can check out the end of the jetty ( ~60' deep ).
Les Davis Marine Park(12) This site has piles of large concrete blocks set up as an artificial reef (they are left over from Galloping Gerty, the old Narrows Bridge). Lots of large Ling Cod, Rock Fish, Sea Stars, etc and a very playful Seal, that likes to tug on your fins.
Manchester Pier (12) Located next to the fish pens in Clam Bay, this old Navy Pier from the 1940's is 800' long and contains nearly 1000 pilings to depths of 40' that have every square inch covered with marine life. Permission from NOAA required to dive this site. Macro life is stunning.
Mukilteo T Dock (4) I was fortunate enough to get PAID to dive at this popular site. Very easy access, with a man-made reef beginning to attract lots of critters.
Owens Beach, Point Defiance Park (20). An awesome site in the summer, when the SixGill sharks come up into the shallows to feed and mate. I've seen Sixgills on five dives at this site. Watch the currents though, North Wall is mere feet away, and the currents can get ripping.
Redondo Beach (5). Right next to Salty's Restaurant at Redondo Beach is a very popular South Seattle dive site that is sure to please. Night dives at Redondo often produce the ever elusive Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker and many other interesting critters.
Salt Water State Park (2). A nice artificial reef was built for divers in 2009. A great place to spend the day with the family.
Steilacoom Ferry Dock (2). Easy dive cruising amongst the dock pilings which are covered with anemones of many different species. Watch out for the two working ferries though, you feel it when they dock or leave.
Steilacoom Sunnyside Park (5). This is a great beginner's dive site. Lots of Open Water Classes here. The Pipeline has lots of invertebrates, including a bunch of Blood Stars with only 4 legs (they look like crosses). There is small boat sunk at the shallow end of the pipeline with a really funny sign hanging from it. Something like, "Hi Mike and Deanna, Alaska is 1450 miles North, with lots of good air up there".
Sunrise (15). The wolf eels and Octopus here have to be the friendliest I have ever seen. They see so many divers, they often come out of their holes looking for handouts. This is a great dive, but I prefer it by boat, as walking back up to the parking lot with your gear is a long, long haul.
Tolmie Barges (2) A long surface swim that is better with a boat or a scooter, but these three barges sunk at Tolmie State Park make a very pleasant dive site.
Al-Ind-Esk-A-Sea (2). Deep, dark and very poor visibility make this 336' Freighter one of the tougher wreck dives in the area, but the ship has a very interesting history.
Alki Rock Piles (5). Another Dept. of Fish and Wildlife artificial reef that is just teeming with life. Located just off of West Seattle, south of Alki Point.
Alaska Reefer (1). The old USS Pinon, lies forgotten in Port Townsend Bay after the refrigeration ship burned in 1961 and sank just off of the Indian Island munitions dock.
Blake Island Reef (3). Another fish and wildlife artificial reef on the southwest side of Blakely Island. This site gets a significant amount of current that will pull you into deeper water, so time the tides carefully.
Boeing Creek Reef (3). A very pleasant, bright dive along a sand and boulder strewn reef, just south of Edmonds and Richmond Beach.
The Boss (3). A pair of easy, shallow wrecks, located just 5 miles due West of the Alki boat ramp that make a great second dive to many of the sites around Blakely Harbor.
Burton (5). The Steamship Burton once carried passengers and light cargo as part of the Mosquito Fleet, until she sank in Gig Harbor in 1924. This is an easy, shallow dive, best reserved for Winter.
Dalco Wall (4) This is an impressive wall, just off the South tip of Vashon island. The wall starts at 35' and drops straight into the Abyss to a depth of 110' and beyond. The erosion and structure of the wall is stunning.
Dauntless (1). December 30, 1923 the well known mosquito fleet steamer "Dauntless" broke loose from her moorings at Kingston during a storm and drifted across the Sound to pile up on the beach near Meadow Point, a total loss.
Diamond Knot. (10) One of the premiere dives in the Pacific Northwest. This wreck, actually located in the Strait of Juan de Fuca is covered with marine life and is an awesome dive, but watch out for those wicked, wicked currents! GPS coordinates ( 48°10'18" N, 123°42'38" W ).
Dofflemeyer Point (1). A barren wasteland of steeply sloping gravel, and fallen trees. Not a site I'd return to.
Four Mile Rock Barges (3). A couple of HUGE barges sunk just outside of Elliot Bay near West Point in about 100' of water. Loaded with life, fishing nets and cave line.
Indianola Fishing Pier Wreck (1). Three small wrecks that are piled up together on the bottom in 45' of water just off the end of the Indianola Fishing Pier.
Itsami Ledge (5). Artificial reef created by fisheries near Johnson Point. Very interesting dive with lots of unusual invertebrates that you don't typically see at other sites around South Puget Sound (lots of blood stars, rose stars, etc). GPS coordinates: ( 47°10.520' N 122°50.330' W )
Jefferson Head Minesweeper (2). A wood hulled minesweeper that sank just north of Point Jefferson and Port Madison. There still lots of this wreck to see, though the wood hull is gone.
KVI Tower (14). This is beautiful artificial reef, just off Vashon Island. Lot's of the critters to see, and deep enough that the site has good viz, even in the summer. GPS coordinates: ( 47°25.216' N 122°25.635' W ). There is now a nice Mooring Buoy installed by the WSA in place at this Dive Site.
Mukilteo Fuel Dock (1) Loads of huge anemones and Ratfish of all things. A pleasant way to spend an afternoon diving.
Orca (2). The Orca is a very pleasant dive on a 45' tug that is resting quietly on the bottom in 65' of water just north of the Port Hadlock marina.
Pipers Creek Wreck (1). A relatively new fishing boat hanging out on the bottom along with all of it's crab pots.
Point Defiance, North Wall (4), Tacoma. This site looks like a moonscape due to the high current coming from the Tacoma Narrows, and all of the burrowing Piddock Clams. Huge Wolf Eels and Octopus along with the biggest shrimp I've ever seen.
Port Washington Narrows (1) Bremerton. A very fast current dive below the bridges in Bremerton. Low viz and a Sewage overflow made the Poop dive crappy. It's safe to skip this one.
Possession Point Ferry (2). One of the best dives in Puget Sound. The Washington State Ferry Kehloken (230' long by 50' wide) has been sitting on the bottom since 1983 off the South tip of Whidbey Island, and is completely covered with Marine Growth.
Steamboat Island Wall (1). Very interesting limestone wall that is deeply cut by the scouring currents of South Puget Sound. Best done with a live boat, but lots to see, including hundreds of shaggy mouse nudibranchs.
Tacoma Narrows (5). This is a high current drift dive right under the Tacoma Narrows bridge ( the old bridge, "galloping Gerty" is still laying on the bottom in pieces. This is one of the Premiere dives in Washington, it's deep and dark below the bridge stanchions, but just coasting along at 2 -3 knots along the East side at about 50 - 60' is a wild ride, and there is are a lot more critters to see.
Tacoma Narrows Bridge (4). Free fall down the East Bridge Stanchion to the base of the old tower, then head South around the new bridge support. Lots of life, but a HIGH CURRENT dive, so pick a super small exchange and have a great dive. They dumped a lot of rip rap around the base, so max depth is now only about 140'.
Taylor Bay Tug (3). 200 yards south of the pilings in Taylor Bay lies the remains of an old tug that was burned to the waterline to recover the steel fittings. Very shallow wreck dive, covered with nudibranchs.
Toliva Shoals (2). 2600 cubic yards of quarry rock were added to the old enhancements of this site on April 15, 2005. The berms added to contain the rock are already covered with colorful coralline algae. An amazing dive site, but you are at the mercy of the full force of the Tacoma Narrows currents. ( 47°12 11"N 122°36' 24"W )
Tucksel Reef (8). Huge rocks and rockfish highlight diving the ridge that extends into Peal Passage south of Squaxin Island. A hard rock outcrop bottom and high currents can make for a bit of a wild, but fun ride on this dive.
Warhawk (2) An amazing dive on a Clipper ship that sank 125 years ago in Discovery Bay. This shallow site is only 35' deep but will keep both history buffs and critter watchers enthralled.
Waterman's Wall (4). A massive, craggy wall not too far from Port Orchard that is just loaded with critters. The best section of the wall lies in about 110' of water and the bottoms out at about 175'. Awesome dive site.
Wreck at Taylor Bay (7) An old Sub chaser sunk in 1959, which is completely covered with huge marine growth.
Zangle Cove (2). Lots of "glacial irregularities" in a high current zone make this an interesting dive. The site often develops a back eddy, so you may wind up going a different direction than planned.
Z's Reef, Fox Island (4). This is a great dive. We dropped down right on top of an area with 5 big Octopus, and found one hole with 3 Wolf Eels crammed into one little hole. GPS coordinates: ( 47°14.9'N 122°36.26'W ).
|Boydski's Dive Statistics:|
|Total Number of Dives:||1000+|
|Total Bottom time:||939 hours|
|Deepest dive - Lake Crescent (9/18/09)||330'|
|Longest dive - Nohoch Nah Chich (5/10/10)||187 minutes (3:07)|
|Staged Decompression Dives||157|