Fort Flagler

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60south
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Fort Flagler

Post by 60south » Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:32 pm

Dive Site Name: Fort Flagler, Marrowstone Island, Washington

Skill Level: Intermediate to advanced due to current.

Current Sensitive: Yes. Recommended for slack dives only. Pick a day when the exchange is small, so if you miss the slack you can still have a good dive. An approximate current predictor can be found at:
http://tbone.biol.sc.edu/tide/tideshow. ... on+Current.

Update: A suggested slack time is 1 hour before predicted flood. Slack before ebb is still dicey.

Location: Fort Flagler, Marrowstone Island, WA.

Driving Directions: Google Map.

Free Parking: Discovery pass required.

Staging Area: A gravel parking lot, infrequently used. The beach entry is down a couple dozen irregular steps.

Surface Swim: Moderate.

Nearby Facilities: Restrooms are located a couple hundred feet up from the parking area. Camping is available in the park. Showers are located in the camping area. The nearest store is back in Nordland. The park has a lot of interesting things for your non-diving family members to explore so this makes a great weekend outing for everyone.

Special Considerations: The exposure to Admiralty Inlet and the severity of the currents make this site dicey. On the positive side, that current exchange typically makes the visibility fairly good.

Maximum Depth: About 60ft max. You'd have to go very far out or dig a hole to get much deeper.

Dive Site Description: There used to be an old pier here. The end of the pier was a dumping ground for all kinds of junk, especially tires -- lots of treasures lurk here. Beyond the remains of the pier and out in the inlet the bottom drops down to roughly 50-55ft. There are scattered concrete slabs, fish havens, each with many holes where rockfishes, sculpin and crabs hide. In the sandy areas between the slabs are fields of sea pens.
Attachments
pier1.JPG
Pier at Fort Flagler... Which has been removed. :(
ananome2.JPG
A regular cacophony of color.
fishies.JPG
Got fish?
pier2.JPG
Under the Boardwalk, la-la-la-la-la-la
parking area.JPG
Parking Area. Beware of goats.
Last edited by 60south on Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:51 am, edited 9 times in total.

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Dusty2
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Re: Fort Flagler

Post by Dusty2 » Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:54 pm

Nice write up Glenn. My only comment would be to be very cautious at this site. The currents can be wicked and the bottom north of the pier is pretty featureless and slopes very gently so it is easy to get lost. IMHO I would go with intermediate for skill level.

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60south
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Re: Fort Flagler

Post by 60south » Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:13 pm

Yeah, maybe I should say that under the pier is okay for beginners, so long as the tide is slack; beyond that it's an intermediate dive. One redeeming thing is that there's lots of shoreline to either side, so if you lose the pier you won't wash up on some inaccessible, private beach. I thought navigation was fairly straight-forward with a compass: outward is almost due east, the shore is west. Some parts of the bottom can be featureless... one sea pen looks just like another.

Kim and I were discussing those concrete slabs out there. They make great artificial reefs but we can't figure out what they were originally used for.

g

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Dusty2
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Re: Fort Flagler

Post by Dusty2 » Sat Sep 06, 2008 10:41 pm

60south wrote:Yeah, maybe I should say that under the pier is okay for beginners, so long as the tide is slack; beyond that it's an intermediate dive. One redeeming thing is that there's lots of shoreline to either side, so if you lose the pier you won't wash up on some inaccessible, private beach. I thought navigation was fairly straight-forward with a compass: outward is almost due east, the shore is west. Some parts of the bottom can be featureless... one sea pen looks just like another.

Kim and I were discussing those concrete slabs out there. They make great artificial reefs but we can't figure out what they were originally used for.

g


:dontknow: Probably some old overpasses. They have simular stuff at Les Davis in Tacoma only allot more of it.

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60south
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Re: Fort Flagler

Post by 60south » Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:42 pm

The pier is gone.

Bummer. We dove the site today -- and it's still an okay dive -- but without the pier the swim out is long, shallow, and mostly boring. Farther out there's still all the concrete slabs and a variety of life, but the fish concentrations were much less.

Heck.

:crybaby:

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60south
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Re: Fort Flagler

Post by 60south » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:27 am

We dove this site again yesterday... and it was great. No, really. It's a shame the pier is gone but there's still a lot of life out at the fish havens (concrete structures). Vis was 25+. Max depth ~55ft. Wolf eels, old bottles, quillback rockfish, sea pens, the works. Lots to explore.

It's super sensitive to the current, but if you catch it on a low-exchange day... wow.

For an idea of a good dive time, here's the chart for yesterday-- we splashed at 1830 and had very little current.
tide.5126.png

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60south
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Re: Fort Flagler

Post by 60south » Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:47 am

Did another gorgeous dive at Fort Flagler yesterday. Vis 25ft+, max depth 51 ft, 49F. This is my new favorite local dive site.

It takes a bit of a swim to get out to the fish havens but it's worth it. Lots of stuff to explore, loads of fish, especially buffalo sculpin hiding everywhere.

Slack, again, was about an hour before predicted, going from ebb to flood.
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