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As July closes out this week, our Seattle Dive Tours summer season is in full swing. Visibility has been averaging 30′ or more on most dives and wildlife sightings are plentiful. In addition to our Giant pacific octopus, we are also seeing a related, smaller species, Red octopus (Octopus rubescens). Not sure how to tell them apart? The Seattle Aquarium has a handy cheat sheet to help. The great visibility also allows us to see more mid-water schooling fish, such as perch and some Rockfish species. Our most abundant marine mammal at the dive sites right now is the Harbor seal. Last week one delighted our divers by swimming on the surface and diving to catch fish throughout the morning. Our California and Stellar sea lions are at their breeding rookeries along the Oregon and Washington coasts, and we expect them to return around mid-August.
Divers continue to arrive from the United States and Canada, and this summer we’ve also had divers visiting and scuba diving with us from Australia, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Singapore, and the Netherlands. Most divers have commented on the clarity of the water and bright ambient light from the summer sun. We’ve had several divers request PADI courses, with Dry Suit Diver, Enriched Air Diver (Nitrox) and Advanced Open Water being the most popular. Don’t forget that while we regularly schedule all of our PADI classes monthly, we can also teach any class any day of the week for divers visiting Seattle.
Looking ahead, our warm summer should continue through August, then transition to fall in the Pacific Northwest, featuring cool, clear nights and warm, sunny days. Don’t forget to book your dive now to experience the beauty of Pacific Northwest waters for yourself.
Here is a little bit about the Porteau Cove British Columbia dives from last week while I was up in British Columbia:
Dive One we just sort of went down the stairs and swam underwater to the artificial reef and poked around the tires and concrete stuff. Lots of shrimp, Dungeness crab, Decorator crab, and a shy Kelp Greenling. We looked around for an hour or so and headed back for a surface interval and to change cylinders.
Dive Two we did a surface swim out to the buoy marking the Granthall wreck, then dropped down the line. Viz opened up to 40′ below the algae layer on top. Lots of Plumose Anemone, Copper Rockfish, and some very large Lingcod. Also saw Moon jelly, Sea blubber, California Sea Cucumber plus another type that I haven’t seen before, and a single Orange Sea Pen.
Dive site is pretty shallow, don’t think we got below 50″ and the tide was going out. Both dives were lots of fun, I plan to go back soon and take some more pictures. Check out the photographs from this trip on the Porteau Cove, BC Facebook album.
On May 22nd I went up to a beautiful dive site north of Seattle on Whidbey Island, called Keystone Jetty. Also along was my friend and PADI Assistant Scuba Diving Instructor, Ken Bell. Lots to see at this protected marine preserve, including Copper and Black Rockfish, Lingcod, Kelp Greenling, Painted Greenling, Kelp Crabs, and lots of Plumose Anemone.
Once we finished our dive, we headed up to Oak Harbor and some lunch at Seabolt’s Smokehouse for some Fish and Chips and then over to Whidbey Island Dive Center to chat with the owner and check out the vintage dive gear.