North of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge along the East Shore
Aquatic Life: 5
Wall, Boulder Pile / Shelves, Kelp Forest
Drift diving the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is a thrilling and beautiful diving experience in a rapidly changing display of scenery.
Near the shoreline you'll find beautiful kelp beds and framing short walls and ledges full of colorful sealife. The ledges run all along the east shoreline about 25'-35' deep with intermitted ledges, octopus and wolf eel dens and large boulders down to 80' where the substrate becomes mostly large cobble stone.
On a flood, put in near the powerlines and drift south toward the bridge. On an ebb put in under the bridge or just south of it and drift north toward the powerlines. NOTE: It does not matter precisely where you chose to begin and end your dive as the entire shoreline is this area is very interesting, so don't feel like you are missing something if you don't make the entire stretch in one dive.
Although the ledges continue both directions, the most dynamic and colorful portion of this area is south of the power lines and north of the bridge. Sandstone ledges to the north give way to clay ledges south of the bridge.
As with all Tacoma Narrows dive sites, this is an advanced dive for numerous reasons and should not be attempted by anyone without the proper training and experience.
How to get there:
- This site is VERY current sensitive and a live boat is mandatory. Pick a minimal exchange day and dive at slack letting the current carry you toward the blocks
- Review lost buddy procedures. Stiff currents and dynamic terrain and kelp can make separation easy. Consider utilizing a "buddy line", or rope that you can both hold on to to keep together.
- Shelves, dens and boulders can lure curious divers down to 80'+. Stick to depths that you are comfortable with and be conscientious of your bottom time.
- There is thick kelp as you near the shoreline that could cause entanglements in current so beware.
- Heavy boat traffic through the narrows (including fishing boats) ascend close to shore.
- Make sure to cary a visual signaling. Audio ones are good too but there is a lot of noise here from fog horns, vehicle and boat traffic, your own live boat's motor, etc.
- Use a compass - although the bottom slope is usually obvious which direction is toward shore, currents are irregular, often shifting directions at various depths and around bottom features.
North of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge along the east shoreline (Tacoma side), from the bridge northward to the power lines that run across the channel. Divers can put in near shore and descend to their desired depths.
Thanks to ChevaYEA for submitting this site!