|Date Reviewed:||May 2001|
|Location:||Strait of Juan de Fuca|
|Site Description:||Rock pinnacles|
|Main Attraction:||Diverse rock structure and ample marine life|
This is easily one of the best shore dives in the state. This dive site makes me wish I lived in Sekiu!
Sekiu is a small fishing town located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. It is about 16 miles east of Neah Bay, which is about as far NW as you can get in the continuous 48 United States. Sekiu is exposed to incoming storms from the Pacific Ocean, so you will want to plan your dives here when the weather is good and the surf is minimal.
The marina at Sekiu is protected by a rock jetty. I have never dove the jetty, although I imagine it is probably a good dive. Where we dive is north-west of the jetty. If you are standing where the jetty meets the shore, you will see some rock formations to the north-west (toward the left, as you face the Strait of Juan de Fuca). This is where you want to go! These formations are a blast to dive. They are covered with marine life, and we never have to go more than 35 feet deep (giving us well over an hour of bottom time!). The volcanic rock here has been eroded by storms and currents into a divers paradise. Rock pinnacles, ledges, caves, and crevices abound. Anywhere there is rock, you can bet that marine life has taken a foothold. Massive kelp beds can blot out the sun at times and give you the impression that you are swimming through the Amazon forest. It is truly awesome. Just make certain to bring a good dive knife and light.
The marine life here does not disappoint either. This site is living proof that you do not need to go deep to see very cool critters. Kelp Greenlings are everywhere. Copper, China, and Quillback Rockfish are often found hiding along the rock structures. Brilliant Red and Purple Sea Urchins the size of volleyballs cling to the rocks. Beautiful huge anemones are commonplace. Hundreds of species of invertebrates that you cannot find in the lower Puget Sound are common here. A listing of the species at this site just does not do it justice - you have to experience it.
To get out to the rock formations, you get to swim through some extensive eel-grass beds, which are fun to explore in their own right. If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that the eel-grass beds are very much alive with a multitude of different critters, including Silverspotted Scuplins and Red-eyed Jellies. Visibility is usually good here, but we have found that it is typically not as good as Neah Bay. Also, since we're diving on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, we always plan our dives at slack on days where there is a minimal exchange.
As this is a fishing town, be careful of fishing boats and people casting from the shore (they are usually fishing closer to the breakwater). Also make certain you take a good shore bearing before beginning the dive, as it is very easy to get turned around in all the kelp and rock structure. Air fills are readily available at Curley's Resort in Sekiu. The owners of Curley's are very accommodating and can provide you with directions to the site, if needed. When we go out to the coast to dive, this is where we usually stay - very good rates and clean, well accommodated rooms.
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