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  • gretchen34

January Fun Dive: Les Davis Marine Park in Tacoma, WA

Updated: Feb 11, 2021

Our first fun dive of 2021 was at Les Davis Marine Park in Tacoma, WA, with a group of 12 divers.

COVID-19 safe scuba diving at Les Davis

We had a few newer divers joining, and several divers who consistently join our fun dive days who were new to this site. My favorite part about these fun dive days is getting to know other divers outside of a classroom or shop setting! I get to see divers experience the joys and excitement of diving, and often get to show them something they’ve never seen before!

Les Davis is unique because the site is made up of the remains of the Galloping Gertie bridge built over the Tacoma Narrows. The bridge was built in the 1940’s, but ended up having some… design flaws…. During the first wind storm it started bucking and swaying; ultimately partially collapsing into the Narrows. The remains were barged up and dumped into what is now Les Davis Marine Park. While I don’t normally approve of dumping rubble into the ocean, the concrete sections have created an ideal sanctuary for marine animals to inhabit.

Spiny Lumpsucker
The elusive Spiny Lumpsucker

Explore the unique wildlife at Les Davis

We saw several large Ling Cod, tons of Rock Fish, and some decorator crabs. The highlight, by far, was the Spiny Lumpsucker! It's a rare and hard to spot animal in the Pacific Northwest--we found this little one at the end of the first dive in only 12’ of water.

Our fun dive day started with a thorough briefing of the site, and introduction of staff members joining the dive. Myself, David W., Noah and Nicolle were all hosting the dive. We paired up dive buddies based on skill and certification levels, and started entering the water.

Wandering Nudibranchs

Divers of all experience levels will enjoy this dive site!

Diving at Les Davis is fairly straight forward and is a great site for new divers while still offering enough interesting marine life and bottom structure to be a great dive site no matter level of experience. However, this site can be tide dependent, and a check of the tide tables is always a good idea before planning a dive here. Navigation at Les Davis is very important. There is a fishing dock on the East side of the site that is off limits to divers because it is constantly fished and there’s a large amount of fishing line, hooks, and other debris that is very dangerous to get close to. Thoughtful divers aware of the hazard have placed a line of tires on the bottom creating a boundary line of the site.

Special equipment we recommend while diving at Les Davis

  • A flashlight. The concrete sections have 8” diameter tunnels through them; a perfect hiding place for Giant Pacific Octopus, Red Octopus, and rock fish.

  • An easy to use retractable compass. This style of compass is much easier to orient, and hold level--both extremely important when navigating effectively underwater!

Next Fun Dive

February 27, 2021 at Three Tree Point in Seattle. We hope to see you there!


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