Skyline Marina

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Two large Puget Sound king crabs (Lopholithodes mandtii) cozy up to each other in the shallows.

After diving in the Puget Sound region for nearly two years, Matt and I finally got around to diving Skyline Marina in Anacortes with the Marker Buoys. About 2 hours north of Seattle, this site is frequently named as one of the most beautiful and interesting dives in the area. We timed so that we hit slack before ebb (3.2F > 6:22 PM > 1.0E), and the current situation was perfect. It would have been a fantastic dive if it hadn’t been for the less than stellar visibility, which was less than 5′ all the way down to at least 90′.

I can see how this site would be a phenomenal place to dive under better conditions. One of the most striking aspects of this dive was the fields of colorful sea cucumbers decorating the granite slopes. I also saw my first Puget Sound king crabs in the wild; two rather large individuals were holed up in an alcove at about 20′, possibly engaged in some sort of mating behavior. Their coloration closely resembles the surrounding rocks, and I probably would have passed them by had they not been pointed out by another diver. I also noticed that there were numerous red Irish lords and kelp greenling hanging out mostly in the 50-80′ range.

After spending a fair amount of time in the 60-80′ range, Matt and I decided to gradually make our way up the slope and did our safety stop at about 20′ in the large seagrass bed close to the entry point. Overall, it was an interesting dive, and one I would like to try again later in the year when the visibility is better.

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