Sares Head

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I've Got Gills
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Sares Head

Post by CaptnJack » Thu Dec 27, 2007 10:07 pm

Dive Site Name: Sares Head, Fidalgo Island

Skill Level:
Intermediate and up

Current Sensitive:
Not really, you can drift along the wall during an exchange if you want. You can also swim against most exchanges. The closest current correction station is ~2 miles due west. Rosario Strait slack before ebb add 0:38 slack before flood add 1:08. Or just go at high or low tide.

Location/Address: NW of Deception Pass


Directions: About 2/3rds of a mile NW of Bowman Bay in Deception Pass State Park

Free Parking: Yes for vehicles without trailers at both Bowman and Cornet Bays.

Staging Area: Boat

Surface Swim: none

Nearby Facilities: Bathrooms at both Bowman Bay and Cornet Bay boat ramps. Shore/kayak access from Rosario Beach too. Nearest real food is in Anacortes. For trailered boats, Bowman Bay's ramp is ONLY usable during highish tides. The ramp at Cornet Bay is useable anytime.

Special Considerations: Potential for serious depth, vis and nets.

Maximum Depth: Choose your preferred depth, can be up to 200ft

Dive Site Description: This is another of the readily accessible walls within decent driving distance of Pugetropolis. It extends 1/2mile north and a short ways south of the point of land called "Sares Head".

Currents are pretty mild. The site is accessible by real boat or by dive kayak with a ~1mile paddle. The biggest surface challenge is finding a place to anchor. Its hard to find anyplace shallow enough since the wall is essentially vertical with small overhangs. On the dive among other life you'll find basket stars, octos, yelloweye rockfish.

Visibility at this site is generally poor, 15ft would be a good day. 8-10ft is typical at depth. Commercial salmon fishermen set gill nets out from the wall in certain times of the year. They are square and marked with floats at the corners, keep props and divers clear. Storms have blown some of these into the rocks and they form a big solid ropey-like mass of net, line, and sealife in places. Stay clear, do not try to remove nets.

There is often a small shelf underneath a grotto at about 70ft, this is a good place for recreational divers to cruise. For deco dives the wall continues to a bit over 200ft.

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Post by Grateful Diver » Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:19 am

Great place to find candy-striped shrimp ... look closely around and under these types of anemone ...


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I've Got Gills
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Post by CaptnJack » Fri Dec 28, 2007 8:21 am

Nice pic Bob.

I should add that the salmon nest are deployed offshore in the August-September timeframe. You won't see them any other months.

Also recognize that the site basically facing west down the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It gets a little protection from N-NW summer breezes but none from W-SW winds. Check the weather here:


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Sares Head

Post by kjc » Fri Dec 28, 2007 4:15 pm

Rosario Beach is a great place for picnics and gatherings. Easy access and very simple kayak launching. Sares Head is just around the corner.

Once there you can tie off to bull kelp and dive. Its easy.

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Post by Jeff Kruse » Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:54 pm

Watch out for nets. The first time I did this I was freaked out by all the nets half attached half floating. I ended the dive early because of them.

With vis only 8' and the currents pushing you along (not always swim againstable for more than a minute) it was freaky to have this 20' tall net with one end firmly attached to the rocks and the other end just hanging in our path. There were lots of nets at one time. Somehow all the nets we knew of were removed but that doesnt mean they wont come back.

Its a great kayak dive or second dive after diving DP.

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