Divers Institute of Technology

Established 1968 – Veteran Owned & Operated

Scuba Diving In The Puget Sound

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

It may be hard to believe that one of the best dive spots in the United States is within 1 hour’s drive of Seattle, Washington.

The Puget Sound has more than 75 shore-diving sites that are easily accessible to anyone who wants to taste this rich underwater environment. It covers a considerable area, being 100 miles in length, 10 miles wide and with a maximum depth of 930 feet.

Being so expansive, you can imagine how much there is to explore.

The fact that is the area is so diverse is the reason that commercial diving schools like the Divers Institute of Technology (DIT) put their students through training there.

Divers who train in the Puget Sound will gain experience in lots of underwater environments, giving them the best preparation for when they start working. That’s very important when your job is as tough as commercial diving.

Seattle: A Hub For Excellent Diving in The Northwest

Seattle is a city that is literally surrounded by water. The Puget Sound is located in the northwestern coast of Washington State.

DIT students scuba diving in Seattle

It is the third largest estuary in the United States and is a complex network of waterways, rivers, and basins that would take years to explore.

Fortunately, the area has benefited from years of government protection.

Edmonds Underwater Park was one of the first marine parks in the US and was set up more than 40 years ago. More recently, local authorities have set up octopus protection areas that also serve as dive sites.

This means bigger octopuses and more of them for divers to enjoy.

Why DIT Loves to Train Students Here

Since no two days are the same underwater in the Puget Sound, it provides an excellent training environment for divers.

Tidal movements create alternating currents. Short winter days reduce daylight hours but actually give the best underwater visibility of the whole year. Spring and winter see algae blooms severely hamper visibility while summer offers divers 16 hours of daylight in which to dive.

Divers who train in the Puget Sound will gain experience in lots of underwater environments, giving them the best preparation for when they start working. That’s very important when your job is as tough as commercial diving.

Commercial Divers Learn Best Outside the Classroom  

DIT has been using the Puget Sound to train commercial divers for decades.

With so many years of commercial diving under their belts, instructors know just how important it is for trainee divers to get experience in as many different underwater environments as possible.  

A Beautiful and Thrilling Environment

DIT uses the Puget Sound for its Scuba & Inland module. The Puget Sound is less than an hour’s drive away from the school and is the perfect environment for scuba diving training.

While water temperatures remain at a chilly 50 degrees year-round, water conditions can vary quite dramatically.

DIT student scuba diving in Seattle

Divers might experience relatively clear conditions of 10+ meters one day, while the next, visibility might be down to just a few meters with strong currents affecting the area.

There is never a dull diving day on the Puget Sound, that’s for sure.    

Equipment Needed For Diving the Puget Sound

Unless you are a seal, then you are going to need some pretty serious clothing if you want to enjoy diving the Puget Sound.

To stay warm in the chilly water conditions, divers are advised to wear a dry suit with thermal undergarments. They should also wear dry suit shoes, gloves, and hats too.

This will keep most of your body warm, though prepare for a shock as that icy water first touches your face.

Benefits of Diving in The Puget Sound

Divers can expect to encounter a huge range of underwater environments and animals. No matter whether you are doing a shore or a boat dive, within seconds of getting your head underwater you will be amazed at just how much there is to see.

DIT instructor, Mike Hemion scuba diving in Seattle.

The initial shock of the cold water (for those not wearing the advisable full body dry suit) quickly gives way to excitement as strange shapes begin to appear out of the murky water.

Fortunately, as divers descend the visibility begins to increase as the Puget Sound begins to reveal its secrets:

Reefs

Caves

Old shipwrecks

Underwater fjords

Just to name a few. In addition, a diver may also encounter killer whales, seals, sea lions, giant plumose anemones, crabs, and the famous giant Pacific octopus.

Rare Sights Made Accessible

Many of the animals here seem like visitors from distant planets and are extremely rare anywhere else.

Six gill sharks, bizarre ratfish, wolf eels, and lion’s mane jellies share these waters with Sockeye salmon and Dungeness crabs. Colorful sponges and soft corals can also be found by those eagle eyed-divers, as well as the Puget Sound’s many wrecks.

Past Misfortunes Make Great Diving

Wreck divers won’t be disappointed. There are a large number of steel and wood wrecks littered all over the Sound.  

This is hardly surprising in such a historically busy waterway. Since the beginning of the 1900’s, the Puget Sound has played a crucial role in waterway transportation along the West Coast.

Unfortunately, this has led to several sunken boats and ships in the area.

While these are tragic events, their preservation underwater provides divers the chance to see history up close and personal in a natural environment.

World Class Diving

The beautiful, unique environment of the Puget Sound makes it a world class dive spot as well as the ultimate place to train commercial divers so that they are prepared for anything the ocean can throw at them.   

 

Aran Davis, Writer for Water Welders

 

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