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Saltwater Park on 4/20

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:39 am
by vaidhy
The saltwater park will be open to all visitors on 4/20 and there is no need for a discovery pass. I will be diving with another group, but wanted to post here for others who might be interested.

Re: Saltwater Park on 4/20

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 1:39 pm
by mpenders
Just throwing this out there -

First of all, Saltwater is a great site. The artificial reef and rubble fields provide tons of structure and attract a lot of life.

Unfortunately, it is also very exposed to current and it has a long swim to get to the reef. Combined, those two factors make the site pretty current sensitive to dive. Once on the reef, the structure can protect you from the current, but getting there and back can be a long and difficult swim.

Saturday has pretty large exchanges, with hardly any slack. Not an optimal day for this site.

Narrows Current 4.20.2019.png
Narrows Current 4.20.2019.png (6.95 KiB) Viewed 374 times


Many years ago, this was the site that taught me how important it is to check and understand the current tables when diving here in the sound. Our dive shop scheduled group dive there on Saturday. The plan was to meet around 10am, gear up, and splash at 11am. My buddy and I were full of newbie enthusiasm, and decided to show up early, when the park gates opened, and get in a dive before everyone else showed up.

We had our butts absolutely handed to us by the current. Running low on air, we did our safety stop and ascended, surfacing nearer to the reef than the shore. The surface swim in the current back to shore took more than 15 minutes of constant finning (not an exaggeration, I checked). We were exhausted by the time we got in.

Encouraged by the rest of the group, we hesitantly agreed to join the planned dive (the newbie enthusiasm helped). That dive was fantastic. Timing the slack made all the difference.

I learned how to read current tables later that day.

Personally, I'd dive elsewhere on Saturday and save Saltwater for a day with more favorable tides. Go ahead a buy an annual discovery pass. You'll be back.

Re: Saltwater Park on 4/20

Posted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:03 pm
by vaidhy
Thanks for the details. The current plan is to get into the water at 11:45 AM (low tide is at 12:26 PM) and use the current to get back to shore. However, I will take a rain-check as it can be a long walk and a long swim.

Re: Saltwater Park on 4/20

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:53 am
by YellowEye
vaidhy wrote:Thanks for the details. The current plan is to get into the water at 11:45 AM (low tide is at 12:26 PM) and use the current to get back to shore. However, I will take a rain-check as it can be a long walk and a long swim.


1145 seems early, you need to check a current chart not tide chart. Also, as far as I know there's no current that takes you back to shore! :eek:

Super low tide, so it would be mostly walking thru a muddy eelgrass ecosystem... Which is best avoided due to the fragile nature

There are lots of good dives at State parks, so you'll want a pass. Hope you get some in soon.

Re: Saltwater Park on 4/20

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:16 pm
by vaidhy
I do have a pass :) This is more for the info for others.. I think I will be skipping the Saltwater park dive then..