Octopus Hole

Octopus Hole
USA West


Site Review by
 Edward J. Palumbo
Date: 09/12/2005


Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  Edward J. Palumbo Entry:    4.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    3.00
City:   Tualatin Reef:    3.00
State:   Oregon Animal:    4.00
Country:   USA Plant:    3.00
Diving:   17 years Facilities:    1.00
 Dives:   200 Solitude   2.00
    Roads:    4.00


*Average:    3.16
Directions have already been provided to this site so I will not be redundant except to say it is located 18 miles from Kneeland Road in Shelton and it lies on the right (east) side of northbound 101. As you pass the Tides Restaurant (left side of the road), you have less than a quarter-mile to Octopus Hole on the right, but it's easily overlooked. There is parking for 5-6 vehicles to the right, and 5 or so on the left or S/B side of the road, but these spaces fill early so you do well to plan to arrive by 0900. Access to this site, which is privately owned by Mike & Sherry Smith of Mike's Dive Shop, is free of charge but ethics and gratitude dictate that divers who use this site get their air refills and accessory needs at Mike's, which is about 6 miles south of this site on 101. There is another dive shop nearby, Hood Sport & Dive. Access from the road is accomplished on a stair step of rocks. Classes are frequently conducted here. There may be a wind-driven surface current, but the exchange is generally mild. The site offers a variety of marine life, including an occasional glimpse of wolf eel and octopus, pile perch, rockfish, crabs (decorator, kelp, dungeness), plumose anemones, lemon nudibranch and many other critters. There seems no pattern for visibility; it varies from poor (arm's length) to 20+ feet. This weekend, my son and I noted a thermocline at 22 fsw, beneath which the temperature was 50-51 deg F. Viz seemed to improve noticeably beneath that temperature layer. Morning conditions are often smooth and calm, but wind and chop may develop by afternoon. The weather is beyond prediction (this is the Northwest) but, if you wait just a bit, it'll change. Lodging is available nearby, though I'd recommend calling at least 2-3 weeks in advance during the summer. Cell phone transmission may be a problem here; the nearest land line is the Tides Restaurant. There is an ambulance (volunteer fire department) in Shelton. I hadn't visited this area in a great while because the site appeared to be in decline, but I am reassured that the biosystem is recovering well, and I hope that continues to improve.    

Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:    3.00
Beginner:    5.00
Intermediate:    4.00
Advanced:    4.00
Night diving:    4.00

Seasonal Information

Season:    Summer
Year:    2005
Visibility:    3.00
Current:    3.00
Surf:    3.00

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