Alki Fishing Reef

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There are two main ways to do this dive, from a boat or scooter from shore.  As a boat dive compared to other spots in the PNW it’s good, but as a shore dive it’s awesome!

Plan for a high tide, using Plan Your Dive (embedded here):

Puget Sound Tides

Park on the road in front of the stairs across from Me-Kwa-Mooks Park ( 4503 Beach Drive Southwest, Seattle, WA,  98116).

Get your gear down to the water using the stairs on the north end that head into the water.


Take a heading of about 165 on your compass and scoot for 12-15 minutes. You’ll stay shallow for the first 8-10 minutes and then it will start to open up in depth.  You’ll likely intersect the middle row of boulder piles around 50-60′.

Look at the bathymetry maps below to note how the 14 big Rock piles don’t actually parallel the shore.

We typically head down to the row of the deepest piles and head toward the far end… Making our way along the long edge of each pile,  go all the way around it and then head to the next pile.  At the end of the row,  do the same on the next shallowness,  heading back toward home and reverse at each row.

You need to watch your time and air on this dive in particular as you also need to scoot home for 12-15 minutes after you’re “done”.

Have fun and be safe!




There’s also a nice set of pictures over on NWDiveClub

Dive Propulsion Vehicles (DPVs)

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There are a number of great Dive Propulsion Vehicles (DPVs) available. I personally love my Dive-X CUDA 400. If I had more loot when I bought my scooter, I’d probably have an 1150 just for the increased run time. I rarely use what I have, but when you’re trying to plan thirds, a CUDA 1150 sure gives you plenty of time. Then again, you should probbly just drag along a second CUDA 400. But I digress…

There are a lot of options when it comes to scooters, with different trade offs based on the money you’re willing to spend, the scooter size & weight, battery chemistry (NiMH, LiPro), and range desired.

Depending upon your application, some scooters may be entirely out of the running (e.g. a Dive X Sierra doesn’t provide you very much range, therefore isn’t a great cave scooter.)

Scooter Benchmarks

The Tahoma Benchmark Tests are your best bet for raw data. Each year different scooters were tested, so if you’re trying to read up on all of them, you’ll have to read all three reports.

My recommendation would be to find a friend with the scooter you’re interested in diving, and dive it.

While I love my CUDA, everyone that spends $2500+ dollars on a tool loves the one they selected. So asking people which one is best isn’t going to yield you too much of a delta from simply looking at the scooter they purchased already.

Scooter Manufacturer Links

PB4Y Privateer

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One of my favorite local tech dives is the PB4Y Privateer in Lake Washington, which I affectionately call just “the bomber”. It sits in roughly 150′ and is only about a 15-17 minute scooter ride from Warren G Magnuson Park.

This is NOT a tech-reational dive, nor one I’d do on deep air. The lake is dark, not like a night dive… like I put a bag over your head. This tends to increase narcosis greatly 🙂

Additionally the “bottom” of the lake is very fine grained silt. If you manage to kick it up (or lawn dart into it from a boat), plan on the silt cloud obscuring visibility for quite some time (easily an hour +).

The entrance is just North of the boat ramp (the next turn in the road).

PB4Y Shore Diving Entrance

PB4Y Shore Diving Entrance

Here is a typical dive profile diving the wreck from shore. This is a CCR profile, on doubles I would dive 21/35 + 50% for deco.

PB4Y Dive Profile

PB4Y Dive Profile

There is a ton of great info and videos available from local wreck divers on the PB4Y:

As always with any dives: be safe, be prepared and don’t dive beyond your limits.