Review Date AVG ShoreDiving Site
01/29/2007 4.00 Porteau Cove Vancouver, BC, Canada
I did two tanks at Porteau Cove on 01-27-2007 (after one tank at Whytecliff). First, it does take a while to get all the way up to Porteau Cove. I suggest you have a good chunk of a day planned for diving. Afterward, the drive back to Seattle was loong. HOWEVER, it was well worth it. I believe Porteau Cove is the most southerly fjord in North America. Or maybe that was Whytecliff? Anyhow, lots of divers here, too -probably because it is a sweet site. It is next to a boat launch/ferry terminal thing. Huge parking lot, steps made just for divers, and there was a shower for divers in the summer. Driving there was easy, getting in the water was easy, swimming against the current/tidal exchange was not easy. We definitely planned poorly, in fact, had we waited half an hour we would have been golden. Another diver told us the Nakaya wasn't marked by a buoy anymore, and that it wasn't worth it (wooden minesweeper deteriorating). My friend from TWU said it was (he had dove it a month or two prior) so we set off swimming toward the farthest white buoy (number 5). Others (yellow) mark other wrecks/reef structures. Dropped down to 30 or 40fsw, took the heading we thought would put us there, but had no luck. We worked our way back toward the other buoys and dove the big steel tug/tanker ship. It was sweet, and we even got to penetrate into a large cargo hold type room. Adjacent to that was a "jungle gym"-- large i-beams or similar stacked/standing upright. And multiple other goodies: tires in a line led us to the "Leaning Tower of Porteau". We almost didn't do a second tank, but decided we had to find the Nakaya. Well, our friend did. So we swam back out much more quickly this time (no current = good…100+yd swim) and took a slightly more angled heading. After swimming to about 75-80fsw, we turned around quite upset (told it was between 60-90 fsw and the tide was out). Then we ran right into it (swam in a triangle). It was definitely wooden and definitely falling apart. But had the most fish and other critters on it out of any of the reefs at Porteau cove. They must prefer the natural wood over steel. Peering into holes in the side/top was great fun. And looking back at the whole ship from the tip of the bow was a great sight. It was definitely too dangerous to penetrate, and much of the entry points had debris or wooden sticks for impalement. From the last white buoy, take a heading of 30 degrees. That should put you into the old Nakaya anchor line, which still has a round buoy 10 feet under the surface holding most of the line up. From there go left (out/deeper) and you should run right into the Nakaya. On the way back to shore, we swam through the other reefs. If you are nearby or have a free Saturday, I would recommend Porteau Cove and Whytecliff Park as two great shore dives.
01/29/2007 3.88 Whytecliff Park Vancouver, BC, Canada
On Saturday January 27th 2007 I dove Whytecliff Park. This was my first dive in Vancouver B.C., and I enjoyed it very much. The drive up from Seattle is not too terrible. I didn't hit traffic, as I made the drive late Friday night and stayed at TWU. The site is easy to find, and has great mountain/water views. If you have never been up there, or have never gone to Whistler, etc., it is a very scenic area. Despite the abundance of parking, arriving at 9am was a bad choice. The water was already being infiltrated by a large dive class and multiple, no tons, of other divers. Lots of guys with duals, for good reason -wall dive. While the class went straight out into the bay, most other more experienced divers should go to the right (the cut? I think it's called) and dive along the wall. My buddy has seen a decent sized octo on the wall (shallower, maybe 30 fsw) and there is lots more to see as you keep going farther. We turned around at 110 fsw as the dual manifold divers armed with scooters zoomed past and around and up and down. I would definitely dive here again, as there is much to see on the wall. Plus, the thrill of not having a bottom for much of the dive is always fun. If you plan to visit Whytecliff, beware of the Saturday class crowd and weekend warriors. 50fsw and up was pretty churned up. Solid site with easy entry, and a huge park for topside walkers / joggers / swing set / toys / restrooms / showers? (in the summer most likely).
01/04/2007 3.78 Lahaina Pier (Mala Ramp) Maui, Hawaiian Islands
This old concrete pier that has fallen into the water is a great dive! My instructor suggested it as an alternative to Black Rock (famous or infamous for massive crowds) and I would strongly agree. Save it for a day you want some new scenery and a fun time. Most of the pier is in pieces under water. Great fish/plant/turtle life. It is a fairly new reef so don't expect the rainforest, but the best part are all of the little swim throughs and nooks and crannies to check out. The outdoor shower and restrooms are quite handy. I would think twice before you dive here with the surf up, but definitely make time to check this place out. Nearby, in Lahaina, you could grab a bite at Bubba Gumps Shrimp Co. The smoothies are tasty and they have some of the best ribs on the island.
01/04/2007 3.63 Makena Landing Maui, Hawaiian Islands
During my stay in Hawaii, I preferred 5 caves over Makena Landing. Being just around the corner, they are quite similar though. I think an experienced diver with decent air consumption could go from Makena Landing to 5 caves. Facilities are good: shower, restroom, sandy beach, large parking lot (by island standards) and a much easier shore entry than 5 caves. Just walk out from the sandy beach. Also, Maui Dreams Dive Co. does a scooter tour from here, rather than checking out the reef and caves (fun white tips). They go straight out to a house sized reef (60 fsw) that they claim has more life on it than you could imagine. I didn't have the extra 80 bucks, but it sounded fun. They also go to the St Anthony wreck on scooters. So, Makena is a solid spot, which has similar underwater features but a more friendly pre/post dive topside than 5 caves.
01/04/2007 3.00 La Perouse Maui, Hawaiian Islands
I drove down here twice, with the surf up each time. It was a bummer, because it sounds like a sweet spot to dive. A rather unhelpful and unfriendly ranger said no one ever dives here. Well, my instructor at home as well as over 20 people on this site think otherwise... It was a scenic drive. Traveled through an old lava flow, and past Ahihi cove/bay and some other spots. Big beach is along the way too. I will try again if I am back to the islands sometime.
01/04/2007 3.87 Seacrest Park Washington, USA West
Alki Cove 2 and Edmonds Underwater Park are my most dived spots. My last dive at cove 2 (12-10-06) was a night dive, and my buddy and I got to play with a harbor seal! Well, (s)he got to eat fish we so kindly illuminated with our lights, so that's what we would like to think. Fun little guy, like a puppy dog. I usually surface swim to the buoy and drop down, then go out to the I-beams (pretty white things all over them…gosh I am terrible with correct names of species), come back and hit the honey bear (35ish fsw). If you are lucky, you might find the resident octo. Or, as some German (I believe) video guy said, the female is gone, but the male is around (about 8 feet) watching the eggs, so keep an eye out for new guys. Anywho, it is a fun site. Watch out on the weekends. We usually go on a weeknight and search for an underwater friend.
01/04/2007 3.98 Edmonds Underwater Park Washington, USA West
I have dove Edmonds Underwater park many times. My last dive there was on 11-24-06. Each time there is something new to see! The triumph is fun to check out. This was the first manmade reef structure I dove at. Tube hinge is another good place you should plan to see. Check out the map on the restroom, and follow the handy lines which have so kindly been placed throughout the park. The best part about Edmonds are the large lingcod. Cabezon are frequent, as well as the usual northwest marine life. On my first dry suit dive here (that was a day to remember), my buddy and I saw a small dogfish or whatever they are called…it looked shark like. This is definitely one of those places every Northwest diver should at least check out once. There are quality facilities, including restroom/changing room, outdoor shower, and parking (Saturdays you almost have to get here before the Sun comes up). UWS is just up the street for air fills etc. I would consider this my "home" dive site, because I live less than 10 minutes away, and recommend it to any diver. It may seem a bit easy, since it is shallow (never more than 40fsw it seems) and without much current. But I don't have to dive a crazy wall with ripping water to prove my diving abilities or enjoyment of the sport. I just give the friendly lingcod the peace sign and everyone's chill. (This is a marine preserve, so the lingcod are getting huge here)
01/04/2007 2.44 Alki Pipeline Washington, USA West
I have dove Alki Cove 2 numerous times, and have just recently done Pipeline, the mysterious other site that didn't have huge attractions (word of mouth), for the first time. It was on New Years Eve 2006, and I enjoyed myself thoroughly. The marine life was smaller, but different than other spots. Some good sized skates, stars I had not seen before, and a couple crab and anemones. Multiple little fish buzzing around, and goofballs sinking everywhere…well, we found quite a few. Shallow dive, so be sure you're weighted correctly. The pipe is fun to look into. Our lights didn't penetrate too far, and we could not see the end. It was tempting to swim into, but… This would be a fun dive to do at night. If cove 2 is crowded, drive a little farther, and see a new landscape. It was an entertaining dive number 49 for me.
01/04/2007 3.58 Five Caves Maui, Hawaiian Islands
I preferred this over Makena Landing. Less people (well, actually no people) and better vis the days I dove 5 caves/graves. Entry could be tricky for some. Boots are handy. Sometimes there was a bit of surge, but it was not difficult or threatening. After exiting the sheltered entry point, we veered to the left. There were multiple caves along the way. Fun little walls and reef structure. Farther south, after you pass the rock which has a cave and protrudes pointy-like outward, there is also a buoy line/rope thing and some fun little reef structures. Found the biggest turtle all week chilling out there. Keep your eyes peeled for a little white tip reef shark in the caves. This is a site I would recommend in the Kihei/Wailea area.
01/04/2007 3.31 Mukilteo T-Dock Washington, USA West
For my open water certification last spring I dove Mukilteo T-dock. In late September 2006 I got my advanced and did all 5 dives here as well. The easy entry and lack of crazy currents make this site ideal for classes (but beware of diving here on Saturday mornings). It has a nice slope downward, so our deep dive was easily accomplished, and shore is not hard to find. I've seen a couple of smaller octos here, crabs, stars, and a plethora of other small guys. If you go at night, you'll be sure to see those funky looking fish that will drift into you. The pilings are interesting, and there are some random pieces of "junk" or manmade reef structures, such as an old porcelain throne that my dive buddy and I swear we saw a wolf eel in. I have yet to dive the oil dock but would say this is a low key dive, and good for beginners.
01/04/2007 4.12 Ulua Beach Maui, Hawaiian Islands
Dove Ulua three times during winter 2006. It was my first dive on Maui, to get a feel for everything. For a night dive, I took out my buddy's dad and bro for their first dive on Maui. Great parking; I suggest pulling up to the small turn around, unloading, and then parking. There is a nice outdoor shower, restrooms, and a fun beach. All of these features = lots of people. The only hazard might be snorkelers and other divers. There are two reefs, so definitely continue straight out and dive on the second one. I feel there was more life, and it made for a more interesting dive. At night, we saw a puffer fish, and various other fun stuff. Lots of moorish idols, butterflyfish, and needlefish. Saw a couple of turtles, although I think I saw a turtle at every shore dive on Maui. Easy site to navigate, thus a good one for an initial night dive on the island and for beginners.
01/04/2007 3.05 Black Rock (Sheraton) Maui, Hawaiian Islands
My dive buddy and I snorkeled above his dad and bro while they dove. This was fun, we would dive down and snap shots of them sucking their air away. The current can get going out at the end of the rock. This would make for a good drift dive from the other side (north) back to the heavily snorkeled spot. If you want a great dive, and a notable place, don't go to the Black Rock. Yes, it has a cool wall reef structure, but the Mala wharf/ramp/old concrete pier will excite you more. It gets you away from the same reef/fish/turtle dive that many shore dives on Maui offer. These are great, but Mala is a good place to save for a day you want a fresh dive. Beware of snorkelers and other divers at black rock. You just might trip over someone on the beach, too. There are a few parking spots, but it is quite a pain to access this area, unless you are staying at a resort/hotel on the beach. Snorkeling was fun, but if you are in the area, hit up the old Mala pier.