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Fox Island, West Wall | USA: Pacific Northwest
1049 Baines Rd , Fox Island, WA
Access: Easy Shore Entry
Aquatic Life: 3.67
Fox Island West Wall is known for its easy access, and the current here is very mild during tidal exchanges. That makes it a great second dive after Fox Island East Wall or the Fox Island Bridge. It is not as visually exciting as either of those two, but the scenery is a nice contrast and is worth the trip. In the end it is a fun and easy dive that can be pleasantly rewarding.
Once in the water, take a 200 – 210 heading and swim directly out from the parking lot entry. In 10-15ft the bottom drops off abruptly and you will begin to descend across the slope of the bottom. STAY on your heading though, the bottom doesn’t follow the shoreline so you will feel like you are swimming the wrong direction with the bottom sloping downward to your right but trust your compass! If you do succumb to following the slope downward you’ll never find the ledge. You will hit the wall at approximately 60fsw. If you didn’t find it then you probably need to turn left and swim in 60fsw until you get to the ledges. (that’s what you get for following the bottom instead of your compass!)
Although this site is referred to as Fox Island West Wall, I wouldn’t actually classify it as a wall dive but rather a ledge dive! It is full of fish and there are Octopus holes all over the wall. It is easy to navigate to and from…if you follow your compass!
There is only enough parking for about 6 vehicles so carpool where possible and keep noise down so as not to annoy the residents.
How to get there:
There are so many turns to get here that you’re best just following a google map to the location. There is a link here on this site. but here's a brief description:
Take Hwy 16 across the Tacoma Narrows bridge and. Take the second exit after bridge and follow the signs to Fox Island. After the bridge to Fox Island, turn right on 9th Ave....then right on Kamus and follow it all the way down to end of street. Park on the side of the road, leaving enough room at the very end for people to turn around.
Thanks to ChevaYEA for submitting this site!
|This was our first dive to this site. I was looking for something different for Pugent Sound diving. It was nice to find sand dollars before the sea floor shelf drop off. The visibility was pretty good at this location. Less traffic and minimal current kept the visibility further than Les Davis or Sunny Side beach. Never made it to the wall because I didn't know the heading to stay on but it was well worth the dive. The water was 54 deg, typical for Aug/Sep timeframe. There were some schools of fish as well as a few big jellies. Some sea cucumbers and of course crab. What we were not prepared to see was a 3 1/2 foot nurse or sand shark. Came swimming by to check us out. Thankfully, I was able to capture the shark on my GoPro. A birthday experience for my daughter that she'll never forget. The entry is very easy and not a long walk to the water at all. Parking is minimal, maybe 4 cars. There are no parking signs posted. However, if you keep quiet and don't bother the neighbors I don't think there will be a problem.|
|Nice dive, there are a few new things to help divers find the site. There is now an orange bullet shaped bouy placed at the far left end of the dive site as you look out at it from the entry point. There is also a large round orange bouy set by the Puyallup tribe to the near the wall but in deeper water. In any case you are to the left of all the white mooring bouys
There is a second dive at this site, a large boiler from a wreck in 60 feet of water. The boiler is 44 feet long, 22 feet in circumference and about 11 feet in diameter. and has many interesting cutouts on it, allowing fish easy access, and several octo dens underneath. The boiler is listed as a wreck on the nautical charts for the area. If you are boat diving it will be listed on the charts. If you are shore diving, from the parking lot walk about 100 meters south along the shore to where there are some old abandoned beach cabins. There is a small seawall made from pilings driven straight into the beach. The wreck is in 60 feet of water directly in front of the seawall. About a 50 meter swim. I lies east/west orientation so if you go back and forth along the 60 foot line adjusting for tide you should have no trouble finding it. It is probably too far to swim from the wall to the boiler along the contour line unless you are on doubles or a rebreather.
|I really enjoyed this dive. It was my first dive at the west wall. While the wall itself wasn't as impressive as the east wall, the marine life is every bit as fun! We found four, count them four, large GPO's. One was even out-and-about so we got to spend some time with him. There are a handful of different kinds of anemones there, all beautiful. The nice thing about the dive is that it isn't current sensitive, so it's a great dive to do once the current gets moving on the east wall.|
|This is an easy Puget Sound dive with plenty of Nudibranchs, Rockfish and Giant Pacific Octopus here if you look carefully. We were lucky enough to get one to come out and play, although he did remove my mask and nearly my regulator too. Good times! The bottom stirs up easily and the wall isn't very long so if you miss it there isn't much to see.
|I would recomend a compass heading of 200 to put you in the middle of the ledge. 210 risks you missing it. I had heard this was a 10 foot tall wall. Its more like a 6 foot ledge though I have read elsewhere that its height changes is it gets burried and un burried by sand. The STEEP sand slope above it would make that possible. Any ways, it was a fun enough dive. Not a whole lot of variety in fish, but a ton of medium sized rockfish that must be fed at times, cause they are not shy and swarmed around us. Saw a couple of Sailfin Sculpins and Gunnels as well as what looks like Octo dens with lots of crab shells, but it looked like no one was home. I dont know If I would drive out there just for this dive, but it is a great second dive to East Wall!|
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