Fox Island 20-Oct-2019

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iotium
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Fox Island 20-Oct-2019

Post by iotium » Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:37 pm

We’ve never been to Fox Island before, but the tides looked good for a mid-morning dive so we decided to do the east wall and then a second dive at the west wall.

Fox Island East Wall:

Slack at the narrows (big flood -> small ebb) was at 11:35 at south end of the narrows and based on the advice from NWDC about slack at the wall being 1hr before that, we got in the water at 10:15. We were the only divers there.

The current was quite strong, 1.5-2kts, and heading north which made me think we must have missed slack. I thought it was going to be a new record for shortest dive because the current was so strong that I almost called the dive after just a minute or two. However, my competitive swimmer of a dive buddy was unfazed so I decided to give it a minute and see. Once we hit the wall it wasn't quite as bad as we were able to find a little shelter by sticking close to the wall.

We made our way south, against the current, because we thought the tide had already turned and it was only going to get stronger. However, by the time we got to the south end of the wall it was definitely getting weaker. We turned around and headed north till we got to the northern end and then circled back to where we started, went up over the wall and back to shore. The current died and switched direction for a bit while we were on the wall, but built back up to a stiff current out of the south by the time we got out. For a safety stop we were holding onto rocks.

It’s a fantastic dive site in terms of the structure and life. Plenty of nudibranchs (dirona and opalescent) and sculpins plus a decorated warbonnet and the largest gunnels and shrimp that I’ve ever seen. I didn’t get many pictures because I was too busy trying to keep from getting blown away by the current.
GOPR0679.JPG
warbonnet at east wall
Fox Island West Wall:

For the second dive we headed to the west wall and once again we were the only divers there. The no parking signs are a bit excessive and I had read on NWDC that they’re not legit, but I found a way to park on the S side just before one of the signs so I did that just to be safe.

We headed straight out from shore until we got to about 55’, and then turned left and followed that depth till we hit the wall. Some of the dive site reviews talked about the wall being very small and easy to miss, but it sure didn't seem subtle to us. Big boulders and bits of clay/rock wall that added up to 10’ tall on average.

We spent the dive slowly moving over the wall and looking into all the little nooks and crannies. We were rewarded with three grunt sculpins, a sailfin sculpin, numerous large painted greenlings, tons of gunnels and shrimp, and a big school of pile perch that followed us around for at least 20 minutes. On our way back to shore, we came across a truly monstrous starfish. I had to get a shot with my dive buddy in it for scale.
GOPR0700.JPG
perch at west wall
GOPR0708.JPG
one starfish to rule them all
While there was almost no detectable current for most of the dive, as we made our way back to shore it picked up and once we were at safety stop depth it was probably 1kt. There was also no sign of any yellow line leading to the wall as mentioned in some dive reports from a few years ago.

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ScubaJess
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Re: Fox Island 20-Oct-2019

Post by ScubaJess » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:02 pm

Nice report! It's always great when you can do both sides in one day. Glad you got to see the shrimp :)
Live Long And Prosper!!!

Stay Warm underwater with the Weezle Extreme Plus undergarment! Please let me know if you would like to order one or have any questions. :luv: :partydance: :eric: :taco:

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ScubaJess
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Re: Fox Island 20-Oct-2019

Post by ScubaJess » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:02 pm

Nice report! It's always great when you can do both sides in one day. Glad you got to see the shrimp :)
Live Long And Prosper!!!

Stay Warm underwater with the Weezle Extreme Plus undergarment! Please let me know if you would like to order one or have any questions. :luv: :partydance: :eric: :taco:

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YellowEye
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Re: Fox Island 20-Oct-2019

Post by YellowEye » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:28 pm

Nice! I do like that east wall...

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Gdog
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Re: Fox Island 20-Oct-2019

Post by Gdog » Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:23 pm

Great report! Those are both great dive sites, although entirely different types of dives.

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