Want to dive Puget Sound from our MacGregor

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Scubanos
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Want to dive Puget Sound from our MacGregor

Post by Scubanos » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:04 am

Hi everyone. We are new to the board. We have a little sailboat on a trailer and would like to sail and dive Puget Sound in 2012. Need some advice first on best time of year to come, recommended dive sites and good launch ramps. We are comfortable with advanced diving, have drysuits and cameras ready to go!

We are originally from Northern California, now we live in Los Angeles and dive Catalina frequently. In Northern CA the fall is best for viz, is it the same in WA?

Anybody heading this way? We are full of info (or something...)


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CaptnJack
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Re: Want to dive Puget Sound from our MacGregor

Post by CaptnJack » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:30 am

Most of the "best" dive sites are massively current dependent. Will you be anchoring your sailboat or have someone aboard live boating?
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Scubanos
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Re: Want to dive Puget Sound from our MacGregor

Post by Scubanos » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:18 am

We will be anchoring. We usually dive from our 8' inflatable, so if there is a dive site near a mooring or marina this is an option as well.
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Dusty2
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Re: Want to dive Puget Sound from our MacGregor

Post by Dusty2 » Tue Sep 13, 2011 11:39 am

As with California fall and winter are the best months for viz. However we do get lots of wind, rain and cold too so you need to temper one with the other. Hood canal is a good area for less current and some pretty good viz but good launch sites are few and far. As said most dive sites in the Sound and San Juan's are current sensitive. Some more than others. Usually the more current driven a site is the better the underwater sights. There is also the Straits of Georgia in BC which has some awesome diving.

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Re: Want to dive Puget Sound from our MacGregor

Post by CaptnJack » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:16 pm

Scubanos wrote:We will be anchoring. We usually dive from our 8' inflatable, so if there is a dive site near a mooring or marina this is an option as well.


Can you plane dive gear in the inflatable? There are very few premo dive sites near anchorages. Sucia and Patos in the San Juans being notable exceptions. BUT those sites are very current intensive and not suitable for novice Puget Sound divers off untended boats.

In general, Hood Canal south of Bangor (submarine base) is current friendly enough for untended boat diving and there are small coves adjacent to most of the wall sites suitable for anchoring a Macgregor. Launching sucks though. Best launches I have used are Tacoma Power's ramp at the Cushman powerhouse, and Triton Cove State Park. You won't be launching or retrieving a Macgregor at less than a 5ft tide at either though.

I would recommend visiting and boat diving off a few of our charters before attempting to dive off your own boat here. Some options are:
Bandito in Tacoma
Pacific Adventures out of Pleasant Harbor in Hood Canal
and
Lu Jacs Quest or Diver's Dream out of Anacortes

Any/all would give you at least a smidge of local experience to build upon with your personal boat.
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Scubanos
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Re: Want to dive Puget Sound from our MacGregor

Post by Scubanos » Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:06 pm

A charter sounds like a great idea, thanks for the input. I wish it wasn't such a long drive, hard to fly with drysuits and steel tanks.
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Re: Want to dive Puget Sound from our MacGregor

Post by dsteding » Thu Sep 15, 2011 6:38 am

Scubanos wrote:A charter sounds like a great idea, thanks for the input. I wish it wasn't such a long drive, hard to fly with drysuits and steel tanks.


My guess is, if you ask around here, you could find tanks to borrow/rent (some shops have steels) and a buddy or two to show you around.
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Re: Want to dive Puget Sound from our MacGregor

Post by nwscubamom » Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:00 am

When I dive down your way (Monterey, Catalina), I ship my drysuit ahead of time, rent steel DIN tanks and weights from shops down there (or use my adapter with steel yoke tanks), and put my other dive gear in a checked bag (southwest doesn't charge for up to 2 checked bags). And then use mostly boat charters.

I'm betting you'd have pretty good luck doing the same thing up here, and without the hassle of towing your boat that entire distance, and the worry of diving in dicey currents in an unfamiliar area.

Would make for a much more carefree vacation!
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Re: Want to dive Puget Sound from our MacGregor

Post by oldsalt » Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:10 pm

If your primary goal is to get as much diving in as possible, leave the boat and charter. If you, like me, want to cruise and dive, then by all means do so. I cruise extensively from my sailboat and dive from it as well. I dived from all of my previous boats, including a 21 ft sail boat when I still had kids with me. There are many places in the San Juans and Gulf Islands in which you can safely anchor and dive. If you choose to bring your boat, send me a PM and we can arrange a rendezvous.
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Scubanos
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Re: Want to dive Puget Sound from our MacGregor

Post by Scubanos » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:04 pm

Thank you everyone for your input. We will take your advice to heart and plan accordingly, probably start out on a pro boat this winter and scout it out for MacVenture 2012. Truly appreciate everyone's 2psi.
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Re: Want to dive Puget Sound from our MacGregor

Post by BASSMAN » Sun Nov 06, 2011 11:50 pm

Here in the Puget Sound, we have plenty of shore dives to choose from as well. :supz:
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