Wayne Sargent's Dive Log
Octopus Hole on 2/17/2004
From Olympia, I-5 Exit 104, onto Hwy-101-North, go 5.8 miles & turn right at Hwy-101/Hwy-8 to Shelton & Port Angeles, and through Hoodsport 28 miles, cross Finch Creek Bridge north of town, then 3.1 miles, just over a rise in a left turn with a guardrail on the right, there's small turnout, maybe 5 cars fit, step over guardrail, trail is on north end of turnout down ~20 feet to the high water, heading 145 degrees about 150 feet, drop 30-50 feet & turn south, might be a small deck moored over site... Typical: current 0-1.3 knots, vis. 20 ft, weekend very busy, Hood Sport/Dive is about a mile south by Sund Rock [a much better dive] with air, Nitrox, & showers.
Sund Rock on 2/17/2004
Easy to drain 3 tanks here.... from Olympia, I-5 Exit 104, onto Hwy-101-North, go 5.8 miles & turn right at Hwy-101/Hwy-8 to Shelton, go through Hoodsport ~28 miles, cross Finch Creek Bridge north of town, then 2 miles, just approaching a rise in a left turn there's small turnout, trail about center of turnout, down 155 steps to the high water, PRIVATE LAND here so enter between white boundary markers at trail's end, swim about 55 degrees for about 10 minutes, drop 15 to 80 feet... Typical: current 0-1.3 knots, vis. 20 ft, weekend very busy, octopus, wolf eels, crabs, fish... Hood Sport/Dive is about 4/10 mile north with air, Nitrox, & showers, and a key to enter the Sund Rock site directly from a private parking area for ~$15-pp. The 200-300 ft long rocky wall is nice... also there's a north wall a couple hundred feet or so north of this wall that's easily accessed from the paid parking area... and an anchor, and a small boat... and if you like sea whips, plumose anemones, nudibranchs, moon snails, and crabs, although sparse, try south of Sund Rock 20-50 ft.
Cai on 2/29/2004
Feb 29, 2004, 12:00 AM
From Kralendijk go southeast following signs toward Sorobon and Lac Cai Bay, turning east on a dirt road before the mangroves and then following them on your right eventually passing a Kayak center and ending up near some shacks and a large conch shell pile. Lac Bay's southeast perimeter is a breakwater 'barrier' reef on the ocean. Parking on the north shore near the shacks, there's a channel that leads southeast to the edge of this exposed and shallow reef barrier. It's an easy walk-in entry at this channel, which typically has a brisk current and many resident tarpon. Before descending, take a compass heading, particularly for the return. You'll enter a depression at about 40 feet deep, with tarpon, large parrotfish, etc, around the corals. Tarpon stack up here like wind vanes facing into the current. Continue southeast and drop over the reef wall and turn right, or southwest, but remember to find a good marker where you drop over the wall for the return to shore later. Turtles and rays can be seen anywhere on this dive, but especially beginning here. Continuing southwest between 30 to 80-foot depths you will see some metal junk, and some large concrete blocks, a good landmark for turning back soon. Everything Bonaire has is seen here, plus the bigger pelagic creatures. Upon return, there's a huge difference between a surface and submerged swim leaving and returning to the rocky beach. Don't fight it, and you're ok. Just avoid running low on air, requiring a surface swim back against this strong surface current, by leaving the reef wall with 800-1000psi. You won't win that battle, and would likely have a long walk back from somewhere. It's best to go early or weekdays; Sunday afternoon is party time at Cai. Best times are when winds are lower, especially fall. One stop I'd make before going is http://www.bonairetalk.com/ to read and ask questions for any Bonaire dive site, or for other Bonaire information.
Small Wall on 3/2/2004
Mar 2, 2004, 12:00 AM
Small Wall is at the boat moorings off Black Durgon's pier with depths from 15 feet in front of the pier, down to 120 feet, and the wall ranges from 20 to 70 feet with opportunities to find seahorses and frogfish near the top of the wall. It's good for macro photo here. There is also an anchor on top of the reef. From an imaginary line extended off the pier, to the north is a slow sloping reef. Going south, there's a small 10 to 15 foot cavern at 60 feet at the base wall, a hangout for a nurse shark or a big green moray eel, with black brotulas slithering nearby perhaps waiting to clean. The cavern is only about 10 to 12 feet into the wall. On night dives we use to see Charlie, a large resident tarpon, that would stay near your light beam and snap up a meal highlighted by your beams, and also large lobsters in the 20 to 40 foot deep sandy area between the Black Durgon pier and the wall. Another idea, you can go straight out from the pier down to 120 feet in the sand and at night see eyeballs everywhere, eels, lobsters, and critters galore. There are 2 ways to do this as a shore dive. First, you can stay at the humble-but-loveable 10-room Black Durgon Inn and Al will let you dive from the pier which is only about 50 feet from the wall. Second choice, park just north of Hato, the little community next to this wall, and swim south for 15 to 20 minutes. This is considered a site suitable for novice divers, the conditions are typically mild here, so the swim might make for a good snorkel tour to and from the dive in the shallows, away from boat traffic. This is a popular boat-dive often busy from 8 or 9am until noon, or later, so try to do it very early, or time it between boat groups, or try spending more time north of the wall because most of the boaters dive the cavern and main verticals near the moorings, and of course, you should also dive it at night.
Edmonds Underwater Park on 3/8/2004
Mar 8, 2004, 12:00 AM
Fifteen oblique observations... <br>1. You can see most of the park at 20 to 30 feet, or go to 50 for a bit more. <br>2. You can leave shore on regulator or snorkel and see critters the entire dive. <br>3. The ropes are within 5 minutes of beach entry. <br>4. Some of my best photos are on the ropes going to the structures. <br>5. "Big fish seen here" is not an exaggeration. <br>6. One lingcod was ~5 feet long with a head larger than a basketball. <br>7. The Cabezon are trophy size also, and hopefully never end up in angler's den. <br>8. It's great to have a place for these critters to live in relative peace. [Kudos to Seattle!] <br>9. Most large crabs are without pinchers. <br>10. Tip: Safeway sells them and you don't have to look over your shoulder. <br>11. At 7:30am Saturday, it appeared we were first in the water. <br>12. Random sample of 20 divers: 16 went left, and 4 off the jetty to the center [entry at beach]. <br>13. Our favorite dive was the left side. <br>14. For more 'photographic isolation' try the center and right sides [not a compromise]. <br>15. On three weekend dives, we never saw another diver underwater.
Andrea I on 3/11/2004
Mar 11, 2004, 12:00 AM
The upper parking area is in the bushes, and we have had items stolen from our pick up, and heard of others with the same bad luck. This is a great snorkel for the day prior to flying with lots of area at less than 15 ft, but remember your protection as the sun will burn your backside snorkeling. Octopus, Tang, Parrots, Burrfish, Trumpetfish, Triggers, Lobster, etc. are here in the shallows... and the beach is ok for Bonaire. The dive itself I would rank towards the middle, or just below, for Bonaire dives, which still ranks higher than most places. Swim straight out 150 ft over the sandy beginning, and go either direction... Andrea II is to the right. Boats are not uncommon here. Note: The conventional wisdom on Bonaire is to leave your car windows open so they are not broken by thieves, which means you really don't want to take anything diving with you that you don't take into the water, or risk losing.
Fingers on 3/18/2004
Mar 18, 2004, 12:00 AM
Sorry... two thumbs down. Entry/exit over slick boulders is ok if you're patient. You can park within 50 feet of the water. We dove the worst time, an 8 foot exchange, 4 hours after high tide, 4 hours before the next low tide. I was expecting a ripping current, towards Japan, but it was very mild and so we went from the 3rd finger past the last finger toward the bar [ocean], about 300 yards and 70 minutes total. Viz was about 15 feet. But there wasn't much to view... a few crabs, one kelp greenling, 3 scorpion-like fish, very sparse anemone and tubes... mostly shell fragments and mud. Pardon the negative input, I enjoyed being in the water, but with Puget Sound only a couple hours away... why would you dive here? Maybe try a boat trip to the pinnacles off Newport about 3 miles. We did this in 9 foot swells and huge surge, but it was worth the trip that weekend. Most boats won't go out there over 5 ft swells, but the surge is manageable if you find a 60-70 foot deep wall and go with it... don't fight it.