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The ShoreDiving Reviews of
 Curt Johnson

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Review Date       AVG       ShoreDiving Site
04/17/2004        3.73      Kettle Cove Maine, USA East
This is a very easy dive. I saw wheelchair-bound divers entering here. My son and I chose to dive here because it was recommended by the local dive shop. While shallow, and with limited visibility, we enjoyed ourselves. Having to obtain a permit from the park ranger to dive there was a different experience. The rest of my family enjoyed playing on the beach while we were diving.
03/29/2004        3.36      Twin Lights Maine, USA East
This was an easy, pleasant dive. I have limited knowledge of New England diving, but it would be considered an average dive as far as sea life is concerned when compared to my normal Pacific Northwest diving. We had a good variety of algae, plant oriented divers would love it. A lot of lobsters (by my standards) as well a good variety of fish. I may have caught it on a bad day, but the visibility was pretty poor. Being mid-summer, I suspect an algae bloom. There are probably times when this is hazardous, but I felt perfectly comfortable as a newcomer.
03/10/2004        3.50      Les Davis Fishing Pier, Tacoma Washington, USA West
We dived Les Davis because a large tidal exchange prevented our diving more interesting spots. With shore side parking, steps down to the water, bathroom facilities nearby, diving it is easy. Since any dive can be a great dive, I suppose this could be as well. The mud/sand bottom deepened with some artificial reef debris on the bottom. We looked under the concrete slaps for octopus but didn't find any. I am sure regular divers here see them off and on. Some lingcod, rockfish, crab, nudibrachs all made it worthwhile.
01/22/2004        3.90      Agate Pass Washington, USA West
This is a marvelous dive. It takes some planning. My buddy and I each drove our cars and parked a car at one end of the pass and another where we expected to exit. Accomplishing this dive is all about reading the current tables and planning this right. We started from the north end and drifted with an increasing current. Like many drift dives, you fly. Big fish hunker down behind boulders and colorful invertebrates cling to the rocks to sweep up the detritus washing through. The is an adrenaline dive.
01/22/2004        4.33      San Juan Islands Washington, USA West
I have several hundred dives in the San Juans. I believe the best for newcomers is at the county park on the west side of San Juan Island (Smallpox Cove). You can enter by the boat ramp and swim around either point at the opening of the bay. You can also scramble down the bank on the north edge of the park and explore those rocky out croppings. I occasionally swim out to Low Island just off the park and dive that. This is a place where you need to watch the currents carefully. With a rocky substrate you will see all of the attached invertebrates, feather stars, abalone, fish, seals, and orca. The whales are more easily seen from the surface; finding a submerged orca is a challenge. The winter offers better visibility and slower tidal currents during the day, but the weather is more of a problem. There are a couple of guidebooks describing dive sites in the San Juans.
01/22/2004        3.28      Marowstone Point Washington, USA West
I dived this point because I had anchored my sailboat nearby and was looking for a dive. Mostly cobble-sized rock bottom. A few fish. This is an area of high currents so check your tables. A lot of boat and ship traffic passes by. This is a spectacular spot from the beach - lighthouses, mountains, picnic tables. It is a rather pedestrian spot underwater. The exception is the Spiny Lumpsucker, a small fish found here that is a treat for critter watchers.
03/12/2003        3.53      Fort Worden Reef Washington, USA West
This is primarily a sandy bottom with some artificial reef debris scattered around. I dive this because I enjoy anchoring my boat here. The view of the lighthouse and all of the ship and boat traffic I find entertaining. In addition to the expected fish, I have seen some huge crab here. It is a relatively shallow dive, that I find perfectly enjoyable.
03/12/2003        4.68      Salt Creek Washington, USA West
This is worth the drive. Many people from "away" camp at the park to dive there. I feel that the best diving is down the stairs at the west end of the park. It is shallow, but is a labyrinth of gorgeous benthic organisms. It can be dived at any time of the year, but because of the exposure, you must watch for surf. The normal array of fish - lingcod, Irish lords, rockfish, wolf eel, perch - are present. A careful search will most likely be rewarded with several octopus. Organisms normally expected in the ocean often drift in here. A neat dive from a beautiful location.
06/24/2002        3.19      The Tower Washington, USA West
The artificial reef is located toward the northern end of the bay. Drift on south and there is a boulder field. Lots of anemones, mostly metridium, give this a flower garden feel. I saw several species of fish, octopus, and euphsiids in clouds. Since I was diving in summer, lots of jellyfish (multiple species) and ctenophores were present. The admonitions regarding crowds from charter boats certainly apply. We saw several sets of divers, and two charter boats were in their area. It did not detract from my enjoyment of the dive. We kept our depth less than 80 feet, yet saw plenty.
04/23/2002        4.39      Porteau Cove Vancouver, BC, Canada
I dived this to see the minesweeper. As an old minesweep and destroyer sailor myself, I have availed myself to dive all of BC's artificial reefs. This one has the advantage of being accessible from the shore. I believe I covered all of the main features of the park in a single 55 minute dive. Lots of marine life - both fish and invertebrate. Good facilities with a very easy access. People from "away", such as me, will enjoy the drive along Howe Sound to the park. The mountain/fjord views are wonderful. This is definitely worth the trip and can be combined with other dives in the area.
03/26/2002        3.38      The Dock Washington, USA West
I agree with Bruce. I've enjoyed this dive and have seen a lot of fish and octopus there, but held off contributing a review because I had only done it as a boat dive. If anyone knows how to approach this site as a shore dive, I would like to know it. I have no trouble consuming a tank of air, and wishing I had more bottom time here; there is so much to see. We tie our boat off to the pilings, but I have seen people anchor inshore over the eelgrass. Maybe I have only caught this on good days, but I find the visibility excellent for Puget Sound.
03/24/2002        2.39      Kayak Point County Park Washington, USA West
I seldom dive this spot, even though it is the site listed which is nearest my home. I do visit this park often, since it is so near. As for diving, the access and entry are superb, there is rarely any surf, and currents are usually manageable. The problem ? Boring! I dived this yesterday just to make sure of my previous assessment. The only fish I saw were flounder, even though people fishing at the park claim to catch smelt and sea-run cutthroat. I did see a lot of Dungeness crab, however, this area is temporarily closed to crab. I also saw sea stars, moon snails, nudibranchs, hermit crab, and patches of eelgrass. Kayak Point is a beautiful little park, with nesting bald eagles (I saw four yesterday), and all of the appropriate seabirds in the adjoining bay. In the late spring and early summer, it is a place to see grey whales feeding. It also has a protected boat ramp where I like to put in my sea kayak. There is a four dollar charge for using the park. The park also has a campground on the bluff above the beach which includes Yurt rentals. So, if you want a nice place to go on a picnic or campout, and throw in a dive while you are there, consider it.
01/09/2002        3.10      Richmond Beach Washington, USA West
I dive this spot occasionally because it is somewhat sheltered from a north wind. If I am determined to get into the water, it is accessible when others aren't. The scattered debris is supposedly from the wooden steamship "Utopia" which was grounded and then burned in order to salvage the metal from it. There are some remnants of an effort to start an artificial reef. I have seen lingcod, cabezon, crab, and the normal assortment of sea stars and nudibranchs. Since the Edmonds Oil Dock is nearby, it is a much preferable dive.
11/19/2001        3.60      Rosario Beach Washington, USA West
Please,please,please - check your currents. This dive can be many things. A snorkeler can enjoy the reef around the opening of the bay. A beginning or intermediate diver can enjoy the region around the west end of the head. Advanced divers who are willing to swim can experience the wall off the west end of Northwest Island. What you will see depends greatly on the weather. The western exposure causes severe storm damage. Hit it when the conditions are right and you can see anything that exists in Northwest waters. My last time through there on my boat I saw harbor seals, Dall's porpoise, and a pod of Orca.
11/17/2001        2.97      Mukilteo T-Dock Washington, USA West
This site has changed since the picture was taken. A hotel stands next to the dive beach and the beach itself has concrete stairs down from the parking lot next to a sign with a SCUBA diver logo. This spot is used by local dive shops for certification dives, consequently, some artificial reef junk has been placed there. Lots of small fish: greenling, rockfish, gunnels, bay pipefish, tubesnouts... Invertebrates on the pilings. Harbor seals are common as are sea lions in the winter.
11/13/2001        3.59      Mukilteo State Park Washington, USA West
This is another site I dive often - I can see my house from there so I can dive it on my way home from work. Head directly out from the public bathrooms. At 35 ft will be a small wave-cut ledge. At 55 ft will be a larger ledge. These ledges are where most of the sea life is. Look in the cavities left by clams to see shrimp, blennies, gobies, gunnels, crab, sailfin sculpin and grunt sculpin. Occasionally, octopus or wolf-eels will take up residence. Cabezon, lingcod, and greenling are often seen resting at the edge of a ledge. Harbor seals may be seen at any time of the year, but sea lions come by in the winter months. You have a very good chance of a sea lion encounter in the mid-winter. Winter provides better visibility and currents. Hazards include boats, jet skis, and currents. You can go as deep as you want for the bottom drops down to 900 ft.
11/09/2001        3.59      Keystone Jetty (Fort Casey) Washington, USA West
This is an octopus haven. I've seen as many as 10 on a single dive and never fail to find a couple. Add in wolf-eels, lingcod, rockfish, several species of greenling, encrusting sponges, anemones, urchins, it's a marvelous spot. With abundant and convenient parking, restrooms and showers nearby, it attracts a lot of divers. I have seen big skates and harbor seals there. A marvelous view of the Olympic Mountains, ferries, and passing ships make surface intervals pleasant as well. Hazards ? The currents, especially at the end of the jetty can provide a challenge. A strong south wind can provide some spectacular surf.
11/08/2001        3.29      Edmonds Oil Dock Washington, USA West
I agree with Nydia. Divers averse to swimming should avoid this spot. Do not surface past the end of the docks as a lot of boat traffic is out there. It is a marvelous site which I have dived many times.
10/09/2001        4.01      Mermaid Cove Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada
I have dived this site several times and have loved it each time. reat fish, sea stars, magnificent sponges. A wonderful variety of habitats, from shallow reef to deep walls.
10/08/2001        3.13      Mukilteo Oil Dock Washington, USA West
I love this dive. I've seen sea lions, seals, skates, lingcod, cabazon, every common fish and invertebrate, even grey whale. I've dived it at least a hundred times.

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