There are essentially two different dives here. The most popular is a series of cement columns and rocks that make up the primary reef directly in from of the orange tower. They are covered with plumose anemones and swarmed with rock fish, perch, sculpin, greenling, etc. The structure is beautiful and reaches from approximately 30ft to 110ft with some boulders scattered up as far as 15ft on a low tide.
About 50 yards away to the South is another finger of boulders that extends from about 60ft to 120ft. Here the fish tend to be larger and equally plentiful and make a great alternative if there are other divers at the columns. You can swim to it from the other reef but there isn't much to look at along the way.
The reef extends on a steep sloping bottom that gets deep rapidly. The shallows are covered in eel grass and sea lettuce and house all sorts of small creatures such as gunnels and sole and make a great spot for safety stops. Visibility tends to be good and current is usually mild.
Beware of fishermen and check the currents before diving.
How to get there:
By boat, you can launch at Redondo and head North West around Maury Point and tuck into the bay slightly until you see the KVI Radio tower on Point Heyer.
If you are doing this dive from shore, you’ll need to get yourself to Vashon Island somehow (probably by ferry). From Vashon Hwy SW, turn East onto 204th ST which will turn into SW Ellisport Rd. As you come to the water, take a left on Chautauqua Beach Rd SW then right on 204th St. Park at the gate and walk toward the tower. The reef will be to the SE of the tower. You can see a long sandy point during very low tides that point just north of the reef.
It can be a long walk from limited parking to the water, but the site is well worth it. There's a buoy with a dive flag on it to mark the usual descent point in 15' to 20' of water. The boulders start just to the SE of that at around 30'. This site has lots of life: brown, black and copper rockfish; painted greenlings; painted and plumose anemones; sea pens; orange and California sea cucumbers; ling cod; giant pacific octopus; C-O and rock sole; and lots of red rock crab for the octopus to eat.
We made 3 dives on the reef today. Coming down the new buoy, we hit 60' and then turned south (right) and headed to the boulders. Lot's of octopus, lingcod and a wolf eel. Visibility cleared up at depth but the surface was horrible. Glad we didn't let that stop us from diving!
WOW, found a huge Giant Pacific Octo sitting out in the open right off the bat. He was about 8-9 feet arm span with a huge beach ball sized head when inflated. We got to play with him for 30 minutes. We found a smaller octo as well and got a great picture of the two of them together......this is why I dive.
Okay, I’ve always loved diving the KVI tower but today we came upon a huge GP Octopus that came out of his den at about 35ft. We played with him for about 30 minutes before moving on to explore the boulders. Visibility was great and there were more fish swimming around than I can remember on any previous dive in the sound. Fantastic!
This was a fantastic boat dive. There was a little current at the beginning so we decided to stay on the columns instead of wasting the air to hit both sites. I’m glad we did because we had enough time to explore the columns clear around the deepest tip and back up to the top. As a special treat we discovered two Red Brotulas (Brosmophycis Marginata). I mistook them for juvenile wolf eels at first until I saw the body. We also encountered lots of greenling, lingcod, and the ever-present rock fish. It was a beautiful dive like usual at this location.