Keystone Jetty

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60south
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Keystone Jetty

Post by 60south »

Dive Site Name: Keystone Jetty

Skill Level: All Divers, with caution

Current Sensitive: Yes. Use current tables for Admiralty Head: http://tide.arthroinfo.org/tideshow.cgi ... on+Current
Quoting Brandon Cole's recommendations: "Usually you’ll want to enter the water about 30 minutes before the predicted time for slack current. Don’t dive Keystone during a strong south or southeast wind, because the wind chop and surf break can be formidable."
The exposure to the straits and long fetch often make slack timing unpredictable.

Location/Address: Fort Casey State Park, Whidbey Island, WA

Directions: Driving from Seattle, take the Mukilteo Ferry to Whidbey Island. Drive 22 miles north on Highway 525, turn left to the Port Townsend Ferry and Fort Casey State Park, and drive 3.5 miles to Keystone. From Port Townsend, simply take the ferry to Whidbey Island and you're there.

Free Parking: Discovery Pass Required. $10/day or $30/year, as of 2017

Staging Area: Good -- Parking is near the water, with picnic tables for staging.

Surface Swim: Short.

Nearby Facilities: Washrooms and a shower on site. The nearest dive shops are in Oak Harbor Anacortes and Port Townsend.

Special Considerations: No underwater hunting or fishing in the conservation area.

Maximum Depth: 60ft, although much of the life is shallower.

Known Hazards: Strong currents are frequent here, and the ferry arrives on the other side of the jetty. Do not go 'around the corner' into the ferry lane!

Dive Site Description: Dive along the east side of the spit and find a seemingly endless variety of life in the rocks. Wolf eels, octopus, nudibranchs, ling cod, rock fish, and many other species are commonly seen here. Be careful as you approach the end of the spit because the currents may be rippin', even during a supposed slack tide. Up the beach is an abandoned warf. It's shallower but also shelters an amazing array of critters. It's possible to drift from the warf to the jetty in a single dive, sometimes helped by a push from the current. There's a rope at ~45fsw that runs from the warf to the about the middle of the jetty, follow that. Keystone Jetty is indeed a crown jewel of Northwest diving.

Check out Brandon Cole's excellent article in Alert Diver.
keystone.png
Last edited by 60south on Thu Jun 23, 2022 7:26 am, edited 13 times in total.
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jmartel
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by jmartel »

60south wrote: It's possible to drift from the warf to the jetty in a single dive, sometimes helped by a push from the current.
In my experience, drifting from the wharf to the jetty is unavoidable. Even more fun off slack. :rofl:

Should probably put a note in that there's a thick line around 45ft FSW from the wharf to the jetty. Drops you off right at the middle of the jetty. No need to worry about if you will get blown past if you follow that.
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60south
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by 60south »

We did a "drift" from the pilings to the jetty yesterday. I put drift in quotes because the current was so light it was actually a swim. And it's a looong swim if you aren't being helped along.

Also, the thick rope that leads from the pilings ends about 2/3 of the way. There is a large anchor (~45fsw) and then... pfft. No more rope. If you continue to follow a contour at, say 45ft, you'll eventually hit the jetty.
Last edited by 60south on Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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YellowEye
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by YellowEye »

60south wrote: Nearby Facilities: Washrooms and a shower on site. A cafe across the street. The nearest dive shops are in Oak Harbor and Port Townsend.

Note: the café across the street is now closed and out of business. Hit Pickles, Greenbank Farms pie shop, or one of several shops in Coupeville instead...
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ScubaJess
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by ScubaJess »

Someone needs to buy the old keystone cafe and turn it into a 1/2 dive shop & 1/2 coffee & dive bar!!! :-)
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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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60south
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by 60south »

YellowEye wrote:Note: the café across the street is now closed and out of business. Hit Pickles, Greenbank Farms pie shop, or one of several shops in Coupeville instead...
Site description updated, thanks.
ScubaJess wrote:Someone needs to buy the old keystone cafe and turn it into a 1/2 dive shop & 1/2 coffee & dive bar!!! :-)
Absolutely! Um, anybody care to loan me $700,000?
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by mike77jm »

The above chart has changed from Admiralty Inlet to some place in New Jersey. I typically use Northwest Shore Dives (Fischnaller) as a reference; Fischnaller references Admiralty Head, but NOAA appears to have discontinued use of that station. At this point, the closest current prediction station I can find from NOAA is Marrowstone Point, 1.65 mi NE of. If I apply Fischnaller's -31min SbF and +1min SbE to the prediction 1.65mi NE of Marrowstone, I get a prediction that roughly lines up with what planyourdive.com gives me for Keystone. The couple of times I've been to Keystone recently, planyourdive.com seemed to be fairly accurate, but I have been warned not to trust its predictions.

For those of you familiar with Keystone, which current prediction station do you use, and what adjustments do you apply?
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60south
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by 60south »

mike77jm wrote:
The above chart has changed from Admiralty Inlet to some place in New Jersey.

Thanks. Yeah, mobilegeographics keeps changing their site. Lately, the normal Point Hudson prediction brought up someplace in China... :tomnic:

Try this one:
http://tbone.biol.sc.edu/tide/tideshow. ... on+Current
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by mike77jm »

Thanks!
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by mike77jm »

Regarding the cafe, it appears to have reopened under new owners:
https://www.callensrestaurant.com

It's a little pricey, but the food and service was pretty good.
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carlk3
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by carlk3 »

Here is a new un-official crosssection of the Keystone Jetty at the deep end.

Image

Diving the Keystone Jetty last Sunday made me curious about the structure itself. I found an Army Corps of Engineers report(p155-6) and created the mash-up above.

From this we can calculate answers to questions like:
  • Q: How much of the jetty is underwater on a +10 high tide?
    A: By area, at the deep end, 1% of the jetty sticks out and 99% is underwater.
  • Q: What volume of the whole jetty is underwater on a +10 high tide?
    A: Via some assumptions and Excel-approximations, about 2.5% sticks out and 97.5% is underwater.
This all assumes the straight part of the jetty ends at 60 fsw on a +10 tide. Is that right?

I also wondered about the length of the jetty. An Alert Diver article gives the length as 75 yards. To my eye, that looks right
20190512_053724-Edit.jpg
but (measuring from around the high-tide mark) Google Earth says about 127 yards, so that's the figure I used.
GELowTideJetty.JPG
Finally, here are two items from the Army Corps of Engineers report. First, their official crosssection for about 30 fsw on a +10 high tide:
crosssection.JPG
and this dateline for the jetty's Construction and Rehabilitation:
  • 1945 The project was adopted.
  • 1947-1948 The project was constructed, including 28,000 tons of rock for a 1948 breakwater, and the basin and entrance channel were dredged.
  • 1950 The breakwater was repaired.
  • 1954 The breakwater was repaired with 700 tons of rock.
  • 1960 The breakwater was restored to design height and lengthened 175 ft, and an easterly spur was added for protection against southeasterly storms. The repair work required 871 tons of rock for the breakwater plus 505 tons of quarry spalls. An additional 6O6 tons of quarry rock were added to a revetment.
  • 1971 The entrance channel was widened to 200 ft to reduce the frequency of dredging.
  • 1985 The harbor and cross section of the breakwater are illustrated in Figure 72. No repairs or rehabilitation to the structure have been recorded since 1960.
We stayed overnight in Oak Harbor. Awoke at 4:20 AM and drove to the site (be careful of deer on the pre-dawn road). The dive books -- Fischnaller, Pratt-Johnson -- say to adjust the slack before flood by -31 minutes (PlanYourDive.com misses this). We dove the jetty for the first slack. Ate at the under-new-management resturant (recommended) and then dove the pilings on the second slack. We had great dives, with 30' vis.

- Carl
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YellowEye
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by YellowEye »

Very cool! Its definitely not a square pyramid at the bottom though. The bottom shape is more of a horseshoe on an uneven bottom. So its easy to go around the jetty and not even realize it! It might be interesting to map how far you are out in the water column if you were to come straight up from the farthest out point... Its fairly far out! Not sure if its 168'/2.
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ScubaJess
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by ScubaJess »

Great info carlk3 , thanks for posting this :)
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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carlk3
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by carlk3 »

YellowEye wrote:Not sure if its 168'/2.
Probably about that, but if the water gets (for example) 4 feet deeper, the rocks have to go out another 5 feet!

We turned around when we saw an orange-painted concrete block on the sand in about 54 fsw. We don't know, however, if it was put there as a turn-around marker.
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Stayingfrosty88
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by Stayingfrosty88 »

Here is a fairly up to date map of Keystone.
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eh.haole
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by eh.haole »

Cool map, I'm having trouble reading it though, am I doing something wrong or is a higher resolution needed?
Stayingfrosty88 wrote: Sat May 30, 2020 3:04 pm Here is a fairly up to date map of Keystone.
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by eh.haole »

Here is some bathymetry data (Finlayson 2005; https://www.ocean.washington.edu/data/p ... m2005.html) plotted out for the Keystone area. Blues: recreational diving depths, pinks: 40 to 60m range; oranges: deep; green: land (x>0).

I haven't ventured any deeper than 23 metres. All I've seen so far beyond the jetty are pebble fields, but stuff lives out there.
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Stayingfrosty88
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by Stayingfrosty88 »

93354542-6948-4DF1-A1B0-DAFC33D3CD5F.jpeg
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jmartel
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by jmartel »

What's at Jack's reef? I don't think I've been there before. I've been out to the barnacle reef once or twice on favorable current days.
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60south
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by 60south »

Bump. Same question!
jmartel wrote: Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:42 am What's at Jack's reef? I don't think I've been there before. I've been out to the barnacle reef once or twice on favorable current days.
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Jan K
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by Jan K »

60south wrote: Sun Apr 03, 2022 2:44 pm Bump. Same question!
jmartel wrote: Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:42 am What's at Jack's reef? I don't think I've been there before. I've been out to the barnacle reef once or twice on favorable current days.
Twelve years ago Pete Pehl piled up rocks, named it I believe after his Navy buddy Jack. I think it has been ten years since I visited it.
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eh.haole
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by eh.haole »

How deep is Jack's Reef?

My latest glance at the NOAA Bathymetry Viewer (https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/maps/bathymetry/) shows some new data with higher resolution of interesting(?) topographies between 18 and 30 meters (60 & 100ft) depth, ~300 meters @120º, 175º or 220º (~3 jetty lengths in each case). For reference, Northwest Island is about 400 meters off the beach at Rosario.

What's out there? Anything hard enough to support 'deep' reefs with life on them? Gnarly currents when mis-timed? I'm curious if anybody has been curious enough to run different entries, boats, reels or DPVs out there to see what it is.
Screen Shot 2022-09-03 at 12.23.17 PM.png
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eh.haole
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Re: Keystone Jetty

Post by eh.haole »

How do we think the tides (currents) work at Keystone? Is it something like this?
Screen Shot 2022-09-03 at 1.42.32 PM.png
Here is a closeup image if anyone wants to try drawing in what they think is happening on either tide : )
I've certainly felt moved there myself
Screen Shot 2022-09-03 at 1.41.30 PM.png
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