West Point Barges
Aquatic Life: 4.5
This site is truly a fantastic boat dive thanks to the sheer size of the two barges sitting just inside of recreational diving limits near Seattle. These two enormous barges are sitting parallel to one another (about 50 apart at the deep end, a little father apart on the shallower end) and somewhat diagonal to shore on an otherwise featureless bottom right outside of Seattle. The shore end of the barges lies in approximately 75 and the deep ends at around 100. The barges themselves measure over 200 long, 30 wide and about 15-20 high from the bottom. They are still in tact, including the decks with the exception of a few holes that were either opened up or have decayed. Some are large enough for entry for those with proper training.
On the ships, expect to find lingcod, greenling and practically all the local species of rockfish. Large schools of black rockfish swim above the deck. The sides of the barges have the usual growth of plumose anemones, nudibranchs, tunicates, sponges, sea stars, etc.
Beware of boat traffic as these sit in the shipping lanes. Fly a LARGE dive flag and it is advisable to use a live boat for added safety it is way too far to swim to shore if you miss your boat down stream, although current isnt intensive, it can be strong enough to prevent returning to your boat. Beware of derelict nets and line that is found on the barges. This site is rated advanced due to the 75-100 depths.
How to get there:
Four Mile Rock Barges are named for the rock with a green marker flag on it sitting in the water at the Base of the Magnolia Bluff. The barges are actually a significant ways northwest from the rock, near West Point and are also occasionally known as the West Point Barges.
You can locate the barges several hundred yards from shore in 80 of water easily with a depth finder. The deck of the barges is in tact so you will get a significant jump of 15-20 on the depth finder. You can locate the site from the rock by taking a 260° heading until your depth finder hits 80' then take a right and follow this depth. Or from the 80' line the rock should line up at 85° on your compass, this will land you right on top of the northern most barge. Keep heading south at the same depth and you'll run over the southern barge in about 50' away. If looking at the shore, there is a cool modern white house with loads of windows near the water (it is obvious). The Barges are just south of these, if you are lined up with the house then you have gone too far. If you go too far north, the bottom actually slopes up to about 50-60 for a very long distance from shore.
Thanks to ChevaYEA for submitting this site!