ALKI FISHING REEF:

GENERALLY A BOAT ACCESS ONLY SITE

SKILL LEVEL: All, however currents can be anywhere between slack to “moderate plus”. Divers should be comfortable with descending using either an anchorline, drop descent line, or a mooring line attached to seafloor structure. As a rule, divers put on this site can be required to make a vertical ascent without a visual reference or line to the surface. Unless the diver can locate one of the mooring lines attached to the reef, they will need to perform their safety stops mid water. A Surface Marker Buoy (SMB) deployed by the diver is our recommended practice for mid water ascents.

HAZARDS:  Boat traffic, fishing line, current, mid-water,  mid-water ascents, and weather (wind).

DESCRIPTION: This man made artificial series of reefs was created to encourage the attraction of fish and other marine life.  This goal has definitely been accomplished, and provides a terrific environment for diving activities.

The reef consists of numerous (we count 14) piles of concrete and rock debris that provide great structure for marine habitat.  These reefs are set in  patterns parallel to shore with depths between 40′ to 80′ depending on the height of the tide and the location of which reef the diver chooses toexplore.

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:  Approximately 90 minutes at 8 knots and calm water

BLAKE ISLAND FISHING REEF:

Boat access only.

SKILL LEVEL:
Advanced or Higher.*

DESCRIPTION:
Man made structures consisting of concrete slabs, boxes, and other debris to encourage the attraction of marine life. These were barged in and deposited on a sandy/silt sea floor ranging in depths of 40′ to 100′ plus. The structures generally run parallel to the shore of Blake Island and are spread over a considerable distance which can accommodate multiple divers and boats.

HAZARDS:
Boat traffic to include Fishing Charter Boats during salmon and lingcod seasons, fishing line, currents, and weather (wind).

*We encourage at least an advanced certification with experience diving in currents, depths deeper than 60′, good buoyancy skills so as not to become entangled in fishing line etc. and experience in mid water ascents using a Surface Marker Buoy (SMB).

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 60 minutes at 8 knots and calm water.

BLAKELY HARBOR FINGERS:

Boat access recommended.

SKILL LEVEL:
All levels.

DESCRIPTION:
Natural reef formations of sandstone and rock. There are several “fingers” extending out from shore providing raised structures off the seafloor. On a standard high tide the dive will begin from a descent line at approximately 20′ and run out to roughly 100′, although deeper depths may be encountered depending on what direction you end up traveling. On a low tide many of the fingers become exposed which makes for a good second or third dive of the day to allow a dive with more shallow depths.
There is a great deal to see on this site, so we encourage you take your time and explore the small nooks and crevices.

HAZARDS:
Fishing line/lures, boat traffic if the diver surfaces out from shore, current at times, and wind.

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 60-90 minutes at 8 knots depending on weather.

BLAKELY ROCK:

Boat Access Only.

SKILL LEVEL:
Advanced or Higher*

DESCRIPTION:
This is an exposed rock reef off the East Shore of Bainbridge Island. It affords a lengthy area to explore from depths running right up to shore and out to over 100′.

HAZARDS:
Depth, current, boat traffic, fishing line/lures.

*This is an exposed rock with a variety of depths surrounding the shores. Windy conditions can make for an uncomfortable entry and exit for those not experienced to boat diving. Charter captains and crew may ask that you swim away from shore and submerged rocks while being exposed to waves and or current running against your direction of travel.

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 90 minutes at 8 knots depending on weather and currents.

FOUR MILE ROCK BARGES:

SKILL LEVEL:
Advanced *

DESCRIPTION:
Two 200 + foot long intact barges sitting aside of each other in approximately 90′ of water. These look more like ships than they typical square barge shape and offer a good introduction to wreck diving.  They have been down for some time and have a great deal of marine life growing on them. Expect to see octopus, wolf eels, lingcod, warbonnets, and various macro life making homes in the barges.  We recommend that this be your first dive of the day due to the depth, watch your bottom time and be prepared to ascend using a Surface Marker Buoy (SMB) for your safety stops. We drop descent lines with surface buoys to make it easier to locate the wrecks, but weather and underwater visibility may cause you to lose site of them when you are ready to ascend and require the use of your SMB.

HAZARDS:
These wrecks are located in Elliott Bay where boat traffic can be heavy. Watch your bottom time and plan your safety stops accordingly.  Beware of fishing nets/line that are still draped on these barges and on the sea floor.

*We consider this a deep dive with a “flat dive profile” meaning the diver must be aware of their bottom times and be familiar with their bottom timer and computer aids. Divers must be experienced in deep diving and SMB deployment and its proper use during safety stops. Sometimes surface conditions can be choppy or rough; experience in departing and re-boarding a boat in these conditions is recommended.

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 120 minutes at 8 knots depending on weather and currents.

WRECK OF THE OMAR:

SKILL LEVEL:
Advanced*

DESCRIPTION:
This is a 65′ tug boat sitting in approximately 80′ of water depending on tide height. She has been down since 1995 when she sank due to neglect at moorage. She is a true wreck and still has some of her upper structure and machinery in place. The Omar sits upright and is another great structure for introduction to wreck diving.

HAZARDS:
Watch for fishing line and possible snagged fish nets. The site is right outside the entrance to the Lake Washington Locks so boat traffic can and often is heavy.

*Advanced level required due to depths, potential for currents,and may require the deployment and use of a Surface Marker Buoy (SMB). Surface conditions can be rough depending on the weather so we require experienced divers only for this site

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 120 minutes at 8 knots depending on weather and currents.

SHILSHOLE BARGES:

SKILL LEVEL:
Advanced*

DESCRIPTION:
Two large square end style barges sitting in approximately 70′-90′ feet of water depending on the height of the tide. The deepest of the two which lie about 200′ feet apart from each other is the largest of the two. She is sitting upright in approximately 90′ of water. The more shallow barge is sitting on her side and rises vertical in the water beginning in approximately 70′ on the sea floor and the top edge of her highest side at about 40′ shallower as that is her width overall.
These can be two seperate dive sites due to depth and the size of the structures, however good navigation skills may allow some divers to locate both, but due to their size, you should not expect to investigate both wrecks fully on a single dive, unless you have a scooter!
The wreck of the Omar also is located in the same general area and is approximately 200′ away.
We have site diagrams on board to assist you in your navigation and understanding of what you will see.

*Advanced levels only due to heavy boat traffic, surface conditions can be rough at times, and depending on tides there may be some current. We do drop descent lines, however there may be limited visibility at times and if the diver cannot locate the line you will need to deploy a Surface Marker Buoy (SMB) to perform your safety stop.

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 120 minutes at 8 knots depending on weather and currents.

BOSS WRECK:

SKILL LEVEL:
All levels

DESCRIPTION:

The Boss is a 65-70′ fishing boat sitting upright in approximately 60′ of water at high tide.  An interesting note about this wreck is that there is a second boat about 25-30′ in length sitting atop the deck of the Boss. We use this as an alternate dive site in case we get blown out of our primary planned locations. The wreck is reasonably shallow so visibility may be reduced, but it offers some interesting structure and features to explore.

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 90 minutes at 8 knots depending on weather and currents.

KVI FISHING REEF:

SKILL LEVEL:
All levels

DESCRIPTION:
This is an artificial reef consisting of two separate structures that parallel each other. One consists of mainly large boulders beginning at around 30′ depth and ending at about 80′ depending on the tide. The other is comprised mostly of concrete pilings that are hay stacked so as to give some height off the sea bottom.
This site offers a great deal to explore and houses several varieties of fish and other wildlife. The Washington Scuba Alliance has installed a mooring buoy at this location and is situated at the shallow end and between the two structures.

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 30 minutes at 8 knots depending on weather and currents.

MAURY ISLAND GRAVEL MINE:

SKILL LEVEL:
All levels

DESCRIPTION:
When this mine was in operation a very long time ago, several of the wooden barges used to carry gravel to construct SeaTac Airport sank while still tied to the row of pilings just off shore in approximately 40-70′. Since then the barges have deteriorated and are not providing the structure they once did, however they still offer home to a great deal of marine life – especially for the dive photographer that likes to shoot smaller creatures.
North of the barges is a second dive site where the conveyor belt loader was situated to load off a concrete structure. As a result of some of the gravel boulders being dropped while loading, there is a large pile of them beginning in approximately 40′ and spreading out down to around 90, larger marine life and fish are located here (and the lone giant Sand Rose anemone…look for it!).

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 45 minutes at 8 knots depending on weather and currents.

SALTWATER STATE PARK:

SKILL LEVEL:
All levels

DESCRIPTION:
Another very successful man made reef consisting of three different structures running parallel to each other, beginning in around 40′ and each ending at around 90′.
There is so much sea life here that many divers spend their entire dive at one reef and visit the other structures on different dives.
There are two mooring buoys installed by the Washington Scuba Alliance which makes for easy descent/ascents. Although this can also be dove from shore, more and more divers are opting to do it from boat to avoid the very long walk from the parking lot and the long swim from shore.

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 15 minutes at 8 knots depending on weather and currents.

DALCO WALL:

SKILL LEVEL:
Advanced *

DESCRIPTION:
This is a true wall dive. Most often we anchor in approximately 30′ of water and direct the divers out to approximately 40-60′ depth where the wall begins. This is where the sea floor is like walking to the edge of the Space Needle and provides a vertical drop down to 130-160′ before the sea floor becomes visible again.
Current swept most of the time, this wall provides a great deal of food for small clinging marine life as well as cut back holes for wolf eel and octopus. The wall itself is often covered with shrimp so thick at times you cannot see the wall itself.

*We encourage and strongly recommend that divers be advanced level or higher for this dive due to current and depth. We recommend that all divers carry Surface Marker Buoys (SMB) in case you need to make a mid water ascent. Plan to explore the wall and go with the current which nearly always will carry the divers around Dalco Point and into Colvos Passage where the wall will shallow out and provide a good seafloor safety stop area. This is a heavy fished area during salmon season so a SMB is valuable safety tool to let boats know you are there.

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 90 minutes at 8 knots depending on weather and currents.

POINT DEFIANCE NORTH WALL:

SKILL LEVEL:
All

DESCRIPTION:
This gentle sloping wall consists of sandstone and rock structures beginning at 20′ and generally running down to 70-100′ but most divers choose to stay 70′ or more shallow.
Clams that bore horizontal into the wall have made thousands of holes that have become homes for a great deal of marine life. Although this area has octopus and larger fish, most divers admire it for the structure it provides and the often very clear water (although as with most Puget Sound, it can have limited visibility as well).
Live boat drop right near shore and your ascents will be similar as the slight current will carry you down to the point where you can ascend using the shallows for a live boat pick up.  If you are lucky you may make it down to the small cove where the harbor seals like to hang out, you may even have one sneak up on you and tug at your fins or greet you nose to nose!

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 90 minutes at 8 knots depending on weather and currents.

SUNRISE REEF:

SKILL LEVEL:
All

DESCRIPTION:
The premier of natural underwater reef structures. This reef consists of clay, sandstone, and rock and runs parallel to shore (north/south) beginning at about 45′ and max’s out at around 55-60′. This is a marine protected site, so it contains lots of colorful life – especially wolf eel and octopus, which are the main attraction.

There are two mooring buoys installed by the Washington Scuba Alliance which makes this an convenient site to boat dive. Currents at times can be unpredictable, so always be prepared to expect some current and hope that it will be slack at dive time! Live boat pick up makes an easy exit at this site.

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 90 minutes at 8 knots depending on weather and currents.

TACOMA NARROWS:

SKILL LEVEL:
Advanced, with experience in drift diving*

DESCRIPTION:
Depending on the direction of the current we will place divers on the East side of the Narrows either North of or South of the two bridges. Easy live boat drop near shore where you can descend against the shore rock walls. We recommend divers keep their depth to 70′ or less so as to avoid the potential for a water-down-fall in areas deeper than 70′. Depending on the current flow, this can be a fast drift dive and you will be picked up anywhere from a quarter to half a mile away. Lots of large fish and boulders littering the sea floor.

*This is a heavy boat traffic area so we strongly recommend each diver carry a Surface Marker Buoy (SMB) in case you are not able to ascend near shore (which is preferable). Divers must be aware of their depths and bottom times and we require you to be experienced in current diving.
RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 120 minutes at 8 knots depending on weather and currents.

Z’S REEF:

SKILL LEVEL:
All levels

DESCRIPTION:
Very much like Sunrise Reef only three times as long.
A natural reef that runs parallel to shore beginning at around 45′ with a sloping bottom near 60′. Another protected reef from fishing etc., this one is a great dive for wolf eel and octopus. It has some very interesting cut backs in the wall which provides numerous dens for these critters and HUGE lingcod.  Z’s is also a great dive for nudibranchs!
Although we dive it on the slack, as always with the Sound, some current can exist but this reef is long enough to just go with the flow and you can still see the wildlife.

Washington Scuba Alliance has installed one mooring buoy at this site which makes boat diving very friendly. We always cut free after the divers are away from the buoy and follow your bubbles for a live boat pick up.

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 120 minutes at 8 knots depending on weather and currents.

DAY ISLAND WALL:

SKILL LEVEL:
Advanced only with experience in current and deep diving,

DESCRIPTION:
Although this can be accessed from shore, it is a much more pleasant dive by boat as the current, if miscalculated, can cause for a long surface swim to shore or a long walk back to your car!
We anchor in approximately 35′ depth and direct our divers to the 60′ zone where the walls begin. There are really two different walls here; the South is deeper than the North and runs further in distance, and more of a true “wall”.  The North end is more of a series of ledges and cutbacks providing numerous dens and hidie holes for critters. Both provide a nice semi-steep structure filled with friendly wolf eel and octopus as they have been raised their entire lives around divers and often swim right up to your face.

*We dive on the slack but as your bottom time expires some current often does come up and you may experience a drift dive.
In the summer, boat traffic coming out of a near by Day Island marina is extreme and can be dangerous to shallow and surfacing divers. We strongly recommend a Surface Marker Buoy (SMB) for each diver. Watch your depth and bottom time to allow for longer safety stops as needed.

RUNNING TIME FROM DES MOINES MARINA:
Approximately 120 minutes at 8 knots depending on weather and currents.

For maximum enjoyment and  safety, the dives for the day are selected by the group’s skill level and  weather conditions.