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Google Earth: N 4726'13", W 12307'14"

Date of Dive: 01-Jan-2004
Maximum Water Depth: DEEP
Average Water Temp: 30
Above Water Temp: 50
Visibility: 50 feet
Dive Access: Shore dive

This is the first time I went to Hoodsport. All but one of the dives were at Sund Rock. Sund Rock is private ground, entry is about $20 a day from what I hear. I was with a group. Lots of fish and anemones; some wolf eel's, no octopus. There is a nice wreck at about 50 feet. The water is cool. Surface water is cold! Dry suit is nice, but can be done in a wetsuit. It was a fun dive!

Submitted by Earl Eblen

Date of Dives: May 26-28, 2006

Participants: Dave, Kathy and Malinda Washburn

We made 7 dives apiece in 3 days. Hood Canal is a finger of Puget Sound and is a popular dive spot because of easy access, almost no current and generally good visibility.

We stayed at the Divers Inn, a converted house that's designed especially for divers. It includes an outbuilding with a changing room, a drying room, a rinsing tank and a bunch of other amenities. The best part is, you gear up, walk out the front yard and across the road, and you're in the water. The bottom slopes gently to about 40 feet. There's a line from the shore to some sunken wheels and a small boat about 100 feet out from the high-tide shore. This area includes a couple of other lines for navigation practice, and four buoyancy diamonds. Only 3 are usable, because the fourth is overgrown with anemones (see the picture). Along the way the bottom abounds with crabs of various sizes, shrimp, anemones and various other sea life. On one night dive we encountered a beautiful alabaster nudibranch, and at night the giant prawns come out in force. Someone has also put a plastic skeleton down there; with our digital camera I shot some video of my wife the nurse, giving the skeleton a physical exam. And the starfish picture you see has not been doctored: that critter really is glowing. It was one of the most amazing sights I have ever come across.

We did two dives at Sund Rock. One was a deep dive to 90 feet, part of our Advanced Open Water certification course. There's virtually nothing to see that deep, most of the good stuff is at 50 feet or less. Our second dive brought us face to face with one of Hood Canal's more famous residents, a wolf eel. He was only visible for a second or two before he retreated into a crevice in the rocks, but we got a halfway decent picture of his face even so. We also came across some kind of enormous sea slug. It's the big white thing in one of the pictures; this guy had to be nearly a foot long, and had two little horn-like things protruding out of one end. If somebody can tell me exactly what this thing is, I'd be grateful.

The water temperature varied from about 45 to 55 degrees. We were using 7 mil wetsuits with hoods and gloves, and had no problems. Then again, we all tend to be pretty warm blooded. If you don't have as much body fat as we do, you might want to consider a dry suit. Either way, the hood is essential.

My daughter Malinda actually got a shrimp to sit on her hand for one of the pictures. She also got to play with a decorator crab, a hermit crab and several kinds of fish. Sea cucumbers and starfish abound, as do lingcod, quillback rockfish, and the occasional flounder. Visibility averaged around 20 feet, except in close to shore when the wind was blowing. There, it got nasty: I was helping Malinda put her fins on, and when a wave pushed me a foot away from her I couldn't see her. But once we followed the rope out to about 20 feet of depth, things cleared up nicely.

All in all, this is a great place to dive if you have the equipment and/or the metabolism to handle cold water. Be sure to invest in a good camera, because you'll use it a lot.

Loose-Ends Department: After a fair bit of research and talking with people from Boise to the Monterey Bay aquarium in California, I have concluded that the critter I couldn't identify is a Lewis' Moonsnail. that little depression on top of it is its shell. When this guy comes out of his shell, his body expands so much that he completely engulfs it. When inside his shell, he's about a third the size that he is in the picture. Amazing. If anyone knows differently, feel free to correct me. Submitted by Dave Washburn

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