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Re: Titlow Beach (Park) - Tacoma

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:17 pm
by Jeff Pack
well, DIW we generally use minimum of 1 hour before reported slack. 20m before slack at DIW you're gonna get spanked during that dive.

Re: Titlow Beach (Park) - Tacoma

Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:56 pm
by tykeal
From my instructor as well as my dive buddy from my current dive at Titlow.

From Jim Gunderson:
Grab a tide chart. (Plenty on the web - NOAA is a great source) find the peak or valley for the high and low tide. Plan 20 minutes or so prior to the apex for your splash time. The flatter the curve, the less current you will have.


From Andrew Lund:
With the high currents there, if noone is familiar with the site, current directions, etc, I recommend scheduling the dive for low tide. That's what we did, so we would be in shallower water and have a shorter swim to dry land when the flow current started, since none of us knew the site. That also let us put in before slack current and easily be able to get in the shelter of the first set of pilings and enjoy them with little effort while waiting for the current to stop. I'm sure you remember how fast the current picked up after slack, and how much protection from it the closer set of pilings afforded on the way back in, too.

Make sure those planning the dive look at both the tide charts and current charts and times. There is usually a healthy lag between low tide and slack current at that site. A few minutes studying the relationship between the two, and where the buoys are located for Tacoma Narrows and and farther south, gave a pretty good picture of what what to expect at Titlow. I think there were 3 NOAA buoys near there, because of the various islands and channels in that area.

We started the dive a little before projected low tide time and about 15 - 20 minutes before slack current. That, plus the length of actual slack time (check the current charts) will be most of the effective dive time. Unless it is a very low exchange, once the current turns there it gets right with the program. :-) Anyone who is familiar with planning Day Island drift dives will be a good resource for interpreting the charts in that area, too, since it is right next to Titlow.


The final piece of advice was to compare the charts for all the closest buoys.

Re: Titlow Beach (Park) - Tacoma

Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 1:26 pm
by tykeal
Can't say as I do, but my dive instructor seemed to have it nailed when we used Titlow for our current dive during our advanced training. I'll see if I can get the timing from him!

Re: Titlow Beach (Park) - Tacoma

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:12 pm
by Tom Nic
Does anyone have a good formula for predicting slack here? I feel like I've got Day Island down, but Titlow has eluded me....

Re: Titlow Beach (Park) - Tacoma

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 5:02 am
by BASSMAN
Great Map, Thanks!

Re: Titlow Beach (Park) - Tacoma

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:00 am
by Chevayea

Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:11 am
by gcbryan
In case others aren't aware, Titlow really has two seperate dives or dive areas. The one described above is the one straight out from the entry area which is in and among the pilings.

There is another area where there are usually Giant Pacific Octopuses. To get to this area instead of swimming thorough the pilings near shore to get to the larger pilings straight out from shore walk/swim over to the beach on the left and continue until you get to the building on stilts. Swim out to the front of that and keep swimming out until you get to the two pilings directly out in front of this building. Drop down here. You will be in about 30fsw. Once on the bottom start to swim deeper but before you go more than a few yards you will start to see groups of large rocks with ledges below them. The GPO's are in these large rocky areas. They are probably in about 35fsw and they extend to the left (away from the entry area).

Posted: Wed May 10, 2006 6:43 pm
by bet63

Titlow Beach (Park) - Tacoma

Posted: Tue May 09, 2006 8:05 am
by BASSMAN
Dive Site Name: Titlow Beach (or Park)

Current Sensitive: YES! Be sure to dive at slack / small tide exchange.

Directions: Titlow is found on the shores of the Tacoma Narrows. Head North on Highway 16 from I-5 in Tacoma as if you are heading to Gig Harbor. Just before the Narrows bridge, exit on Jackson Ave, and take a left on Jackson Ave. Turn right on 6th Street, and wind your way down to the park.

Free Parking: Yes, parking closer to the beach is reserved for the restaurant, "Steamers", So if you park here you should plan on visiting the restaurant before or after your dive.

Staging Area: Great! Picnic style tables near entry point.

Surface Swim: None needed, can be long if you decide to swim to a pair of Pylons with a board attached between them and start dive from there.

Nearby Facilities: An outside shower for freshwater rinse (50 /50 chance of working). A nearby restaurant caled "Steamers" has bathrooms and great food!

Special Considerations: Dive this site with someone who has experience at this site to help you with navigation, sites and currents

Maximum Depth: Pylons ~ 30fsw (further out ~ 70fsw)

Dive Site Description: Several Pylons from an old pier, smooth entry point can be a little dificult at lower tides (rocky bottom). At the Pylons, you will find the most incredible display of white anemones that form an underwater forest. Also, if you know where to look, you may find a Giant Pacific Octopus there. On the far side of the Pylons it may get as deep as 70fsw.

Many other websites have great reviews and information on this site, such as PNWScuba.