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Back  |  USA: Pacific Northwest   |  Puget Sound - South

Shilshole Bay Vertical Barge  |  USA: Pacific Northwest

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North of Discovery Park
Seattle, WA

Type: Saltwater
Intermediate, Advanced

Ratings (1-5):
Reviews: 3
Enjoyment: 3.8
Visibility: 3.2
Current: 1.8
Aquatic Life: 5

Photo Gallery:

Jim's 20lb Ling
Red Gilled Nudibranch
Zoanthids - Epizoanthus scotinus
Decorated Warbonnet
Monterey Sea Lemon
Shilshole Bay Vertical Barge
Painted Greenling
Dungeness Crab
Clown Nudibranch
Comb Jelly


Large Wreck,


The Shilshole Bay Vertical Barge is the most dynamic of three wrecks in this immediate vicinity. This wreck is interesting in that it sits perfectly on itís starboard side and stands straight up for 40í like a man-mad wall dive. The sheer sides (actually top and bottom) are completely covered with plumose anemones and harbor an incredible amount of fish and invertebrate life. Start your dive at the bottom and work your way up the wreck to the top and youíll be just shy of your safety stop. Overall, this is an impressive wreck and an excellent dive site for all levels of divers.

There are two other wrecks at this location and the combination makes for a great day of diving. Although they could be reached from the Horizontal Barge by scooter with nitrox or trimix, they are a bit too far to swim on air, at least not with any remaining bottom time to enjoy the dives. There are lines connecting the wrecks, but this is recommended as 3 separate dives. If you choose to dive all the wrecks, then you may want to dive the Horizontal Barge first since it is the deepest.

The Shilshole Horizontal Barge is roughly 400ft north of the Omar in 90-95í at the bottom. It is a huge metal barge that is nearly fully in tact and is the largest and deepest of the three.

The Wreck of the Omar is over 200ft away roughly southwest toward the buoy. It is an old wooden tug from the early 1900ís that sank in 1995 and now the hull sits intact in 80fsw at the bottom.

Special Restrictions:

Be careful of boat traffic from the marina and the Lake Washington Ship Canal. Make sure to fly a flag for safety and although Shilshole doesnít receive a lot of current, it is always wise to dive a live boat.

How to get there:

Located directly North of Discovery Park in Shilshole Bay, Seattle, out in front of the marina and to the south near the Located in Shilshole bay west of the southern entrance of the marina below the Magnolia Bluffs. Look for a large, round Coast Guard buoy, sometimes it has barges tied to it. The wreck is located about 400' ENE of the Coast Guard buoy.

Thanks to ChevaYEA for submitting this site!
  Comments Leave Review  
ChevaYEA5/21/2011Rating: 3
Always a fun dive on the Vertical Barge. We saw several large cabazon, lingcod and many varieties of rockfish. There always seems to be interesting jellyfish drifting by on this site too.

Slobert3/6/2009Rating: 4
I loved this dive. As said in the description, it is a man made wall dive! Lots of rockfish and lingcod. The bottom in this area has good holding for anchors. We chose not to tie off to the wreck so as not to damage it. We hope others do the same.

ChevaYEA3/6/2009Rating: 4
This is possibly the most interesting wreck in the area and makes for a great beginner wreck dive site. Not really any penetration potential, easy to navigate and completely covered with life and the close proximity to the surface make it an exciting dive. I'll definitely be back to this one!


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