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January 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Bandito Charters, Tacoma, Washington

how warm-water divers from Florida did diving Puget Sound

from the January, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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While we devote nearly all of our travel stories to tropical destinations, more readers are looking for closer-by diversions, so we hope to provide a few more short pieces from time to time. We have written before about the beauty of British Columbia and its unique critters, but you can get more of the same in Washington State and Puget Sound without carrying a passport. Have a look at what faced warm-water Florida divers when they decided to see what that region has to offer.

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Dear Fellow Diver:

When my wife and I stepped out the doors of Seattle's Sea-Tac Airport, we immediately had doubts about the wisdom of our plan to dive Puget Sound in October. After living and diving for the past 30 years in southwest Florida, it seemed a little "cold" for such an undertaking. True enough, we had recently purchased DUI drysuits and spent three days training with them at California's Catalina Island. Now they seemed like somewhat puny protection. Diving the Emerald Sea, as Puget Sound is sometimes known, has been on our to-do list for many years. After reviewing the few Undercurrent reader reports I could find, I contacted Rick Meyers, pretty much a "no problem" kind of guy who owns Bandito Charters in Tacoma, 30 minutes south of the airport. (Seattle is 20 minutes north of Sea-Tac.) We would only be two, I said. "No problem," Rick said. We only wanted to dive for three days but would be arriving Saturday and leaving the following Saturday. "No problem." We needed tanks, weights and gloves. "No problem." How to pay: cash, check or credit card? "Whatever works." It was unnerving to work with someone so agreeable. Rick even arranged boat departures so we could sleep in a little (what luxury!), subject to Puget Sound's legendary tides. He quoted reasonable prices -- a three-tank dive is listed at $95 on Bandito's website -- for what was essentially a private charter....

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