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

Island Dive & Water Sports/Discovery Inn, Apr, 2006,

by Larry Deweese, TX, US . Report 2685.

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

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 44 to 46 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 20 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions none
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments I don't take u/w pictures

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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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