Viz & "beginner" questions about Edmonds

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Viz & "beginner" questions about Edmonds

Post by mcereghino » Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:38 am

Hello! Completely new to this forum! I live in Astoria, OR, and my brother and I are "relatively" new divers and would like to try out the Edmonds Underwater Park. It seemed like a decent place for us to get our feet wet with the NW diving. Both of us are ready for the "cold" part, but we have a couple of other questions, and I'm not sure where to go for the answers! It's going to take us over 3 hours to drive up that way, so I wanted to find out before we actually make the trek. Here goes:

1) Does anyone know the visibility right now? I can't seem to find a "report" anywhere.
2) Is it an okay spot to try during an incoming tide?
3) Is there another "beginner" type spot that you would recommend instead?

Any info that you have is appreciated. I don't want to wait for our next trip to the Keys or the tropics to dive...but the only Puget Sound diving I've done is on my Open Water training. Thank You!

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Re: Viz & "beginner" questions about Edmonds

Post by YellowEye » Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:01 pm

1) I haven't been to Edmonds lately but I would suspect viz would be fine. Other spots around the sound have been fine.
2) I'd avoid strong floods, or diving near the ferry during a flood. Likely you should be fine as long as its a mild flood. Feel it out and "hide" from the current behind some structure if its pushing you. If in doubt, bail out. When are you going? With that info, we can better comment. Watch for wind as well
3) Edmonds can be a good place for beginners because it's shallow. This forces you to get to practice your drysuit well. At the same time it can be a long swim, some experience with a compass is recommended and it can have current. Other intro places are cove2, redondo (avoid large ebbs) or sund rock.

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Re: Viz & "beginner" questions about Edmonds

Post by Sharkb8 » Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:05 pm

What dates are you planning on coming up? As YellowEye said, the vis is probably fine these days. One piece of advice is to time your 1st dive near high tide at the tail end of the flood. Edmonds is pretty shallow and the vis will be the best at high tide. I avoid diving there on low minus tides as you have to walk out a ways in the mud and the vis is terrible. I've occasionally noticed some current on bigger exchanges but it's never been enough to affect the diving other than being slightly annoying if you're going into it. Edmonds is one of the best beginner sites imho because it's pretty safe (as long as you don't swim south into the ferry lane....) and there is a large amount of easy stuff to see. It was my very first dive outside of open water class and I was pretty much hooked after that.

One other piece of advice is to bring a compass and know how to use it. The site is set up with ropes to follow on the bottom, but it's so flat it's easy to get disoriented as to what direction you are heading. If you start getting low on air and haven't been heading back east towards the beach it can be a long tiring swim back on the surface.

My favorite easy route to show newer divers is to surface swim out along the south side of the jetty heading west to the nearest buoy. It takes between 15 and 20 min usually at a slow pace. The buoy line is anchored at the start of the Jetty Way rope on the bottom. Drop down to that rope and follow it west, exploring the features you come across. The ropes tend to get buried in seaweed and are hard to follow so your compass will be handy. You will pass several attractions where there will be a north-south rope line crossing. Sometimes these are hard to notice but they are there. After 3 of them you will come to a north-south line running though some plastic milk crates. Here turn to the north and you can then explore the cathedrals area just to the west which is awesome. For the return trip, either retrace your steps and follow jetty way east, or keep heading north to the next east-west rope line. This is cathedral way and there are some nice things to see along your way back. Also keep in mind that both east-west rope lines end well before the beach. I like diving more then swimming so when you reach the end and if you have some air left, keep swimming east to southeast following your compass and you'll end up back at the parking lot. It gets shallow so your safety stop will be cleared and your last couple hundred psi (before 500) should be enough to get you home. The surface is close too so you have a nice safety net at the end of the dive to enjoy yourself and relax.

Edmonds is a big site and there are some large distances to cover between lines when exploring the west and north areas of the park. There is enough to see in the jetty way and cathedral way areas to keep you busy for many dives. When you're air consumption, navigation and dive awareness starts to improve you can start venturing further out. Enjoy and report back on how it went!
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Re: Viz & "beginner" questions about Edmonds

Post by H20doctor » Tue Oct 06, 2020 1:01 pm

right now in the north end .... Viz is 25 feet !!! winter Viz is a commin
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