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Dive Review of Island Dive & Water Sports/Discovery Inn in
The Continental USA/San Juan Islands, WA

April, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Larry Deweese, TX, US
Report Number 2685
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Baja, Belize, Bonaire, Brazil, BC, California, Cozumel, Florida, Hawaii,
Roatan, Tobago, Truk, Texas, Washington
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
44   to 46    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
I don't take u/w pictures
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
4 stars    
Getting to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island for me involved a two hour
drive north of Seattle to Anacortes, WA and then a one hour ferry ride.  Be
sure to check the ferry schedule and get there about two hours before
departure to get your vehicle in line.  You can walk up the hill and have a
beer at Charlies while you wait.  Depending on what time your ferry
departs it may make one or more stops at one of the other islands.  
I booked my hotel through the only dive operator in the islands, Island
Dive and Water Sports, which is located at Friday Harbor within walking
distance of the ferry landing.  Friday Harbor is the largest town on San
Juan Island.  There are many places to stay but none of them are within
walking distance of the ferry landing.  However, most of the hotels and bed
and breakfasts will pick you up.  I stayed at the Discovery Inn which is a
basic but quiet place which is what I was looking for.  Its too far to
walk with dive gear from the Discovery Inn to the dive shop but I had a
rent car.  The Discovery Inn does not have a restaurant but there are
plenty of places to eat in Friday Harbor.  Be sure to go to Herbs and have
a hamburger and a cold beer.
Mike and Dawn run the dive operation.  Nitrox is available but the mixes
vary from day to day due to the partial pressure blending.  The operation
is tech friendly if you are so inclined.  There is about a 12 difference
between low and high tide so all diving is dictated by selecting sites at
slack tide.  Strong currents can occur however if the tide changes while
youre under water.  I saw my first pair of wolf eels on this trip and a
giant pacific octopus.  My favorite dive sites were on the walls.  Island
Dive allows you to dive your own profile if you demonstrate that you can. 
The water temps were 44F  46F so I would highly recommend a dry suit and
good thermal protection.  Typically we did two dives in the morning and
then one and sometimes two in the afternoon.  Water and hot and cold snacks
are provided on the boat.  Hot water is also available for warming up
gloves, hood, etc.  If you like cold water diving Friday Harbor is a
beautiful place to dive.
Be sure to schedule some time to drive around the island.  The Orca sight
seeing park is a must see if the Orcas are there.  I believe there are two
resident pods.  I will definitely be going back.  
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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