Frequently Asked Questions
Our FAQ’s can help with frequently asked questions. You can also call us at (206) 265-0006 or e-mail us via our contact form if you have more questions as well.
Why do you have an orca on your logo?
The Haida people believed that the orca protected those who travel away from home, and led them back when the time comes. We hope to do the same for our guests and students.
Orcas and the Pacific Northwest are culturally intertwined. They live like wolves and raise each child with care. Orcas will often stay their whole life with the same pod. They also travel in large groups of families, working together to protect all members of their pod. They are now critically endangered due to human causes such as chemical pollution, noise pollution, overfishing of their primary food source and more.
We hope that you will help protect our orca community.
Here are 5 ways you can help.
- Orcas are sensitive to noise and disturbance from boats. Instead of approaching them in your own vessel, spend a day watching them from a responsibly-managed whale watching vessel, or watch them from shore.
- Engage in citizen science by alerting researchers when you spot orcas so scientists can track their travel.
- Get involved in efforts to protect and restore salmon habitat in your community. Chinook salmon are especially important to killer whale populations in the Salish Sea.
- Choose to eat sustainably-harvested salmon and other seafood to help protect wild fish populations.
- Do your part to dispose of unused medicine and chemicals properly. Never dump them into household toilets and sinks or outside where they can get into ditches or storm drains. See if your community has a household hazardous waste collection facility that will take your old or unused chemicals.
Booking a Tour
What is the booking process? Our Book Online link takes you to our online booking site. Select the date you are interested in and click on the book now link. If you are interested in a date greater than 30 days in advance, click on the show more link on the bottom of the page. Next enter your details and click the book now link on the bottom of the page. You’ll receive an e-mail that you will need to respond to in order for your booking to be complete. If you have any problems, just call us at (206) 265-0006 and we’ll process the booking for you.
How far in advance should I book? Ideally as soon as your travel plans are set. Customers booking their tour 6 months out is not unusual. Booking 2-3 weeks out is always good but not required. Also remember the closer you get to your desired tour date, the more likely that date may be filled. Call or e-mail us if you need any assistance with a specific date.
Why are some days not listed, and for tomorrow it says bookings are closed? Once the maximum number of divers have signed up for a particular tour, that date is no longer available. Occasionally, a date also might not be available if we are unable to run tours that day or we have a private class scheduled. In addition, tours close 20 hours in advance. As an example, if you were looking at a Tuesday dive on Monday at 1:00 pm, it would show closed as the booking would have closed at 12:00 pm that day.
I left my certification card at home, can I still dive? No problem. We can look up most PADI diver certifications online. We’ll need your full name as it would have appeared on your most recent certification card, and your birth date. If you need a replacement card, we can order that for you as well. Call us at (206) 265-0006 and we’ll get everything taken care of for you.
It’s a beautiful morning in Seattle and I want to go scuba diving today. What are my options? For staffing and logistical reasons, we need 24 hours notice for our scuba diving tours. We recommend using today to visit the Space Needle or Pike Place Market, and then we’ll go diving tomorrow. If bookings have already closed online for the next day, call us and we’ll have a look and see if we can accommodate you.
Do I need to be a certified scuba diver to go on a dive tour? You must have been certified with a recognized scuba agency such as PADI, NAUI, BSAC, CMAS, etc.
What is the water temperature like? Water temperatures in Puget Sound rage between 49 degrees in the winter to 58 degrees in the summer. You can find out more information at Weather Underground.
Do I need to bring scuba gear? All of your gear is provided and included in your tour price. If you have any gear you would like to use (such as mask, snorkel, and fins), feel free to bring them along. Our PADI dive professionals will have a look and see if the items are appropriate for Northwest diving.
What should I bring for the dive day? Bring your certification card (or arrange to have us verify your certification in advance) and weather appropriate clothing. Check the forecast ahead of time and bring items such as a warm, waterproof jacket & hat (winter) or a light jacket, wide-brimmed hat, and sunscreen (summer). If you are not sure, just call or e-mail us and well give you some suggestions.
Do you have any recommendations on lodging?
We have used Seattle Oasis Vacation Rentals in the past and recommend me them for our guests. They also have some West Seattle rentals.
What is the pick up area for transportation? Thank you for checking. Due to traffic patterns and timelines, we must limit the range of the pick ups. Below you will see our defined pick up area. If your lodging is within the area – we can pick you up there. If your lodging is outside of the area – we are unable to pick up and you may need to arrange for transportation. Return to tour page.