Overview of Porteau Cove

Porteau Cove

Porteau Cove
Vancouver, BC


Site Review by
Date: 01/29/2007


Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  EnjoysWater Entry:    5.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    4.00
City:   Seattle Reef:    5.00
State:   Washington Animal:    3.00
Country:   USA Plant:    4.00
Diving:   0 years Facilities:    4.00
 Dives:   54 Solitude   2.00
    Roads:    5.00


*Average:    4.00
I did two tanks at Porteau Cove on 01-27-2007 (after one tank at Whytecliff). First, it does take a while to get all the way up to Porteau Cove. I suggest you have a good chunk of a day planned for diving. Afterward, the drive back to Seattle was loong. HOWEVER, it was well worth it. I believe Porteau Cove is the most southerly fjord in North America. Or maybe that was Whytecliff? Anyhow, lots of divers here, too -probably because it is a sweet site. It is next to a boat launch/ferry terminal thing. Huge parking lot, steps made just for divers, and there was a shower for divers in the summer. Driving there was easy, getting in the water was easy, swimming against the current/tidal exchange was not easy. We definitely planned poorly, in fact, had we waited half an hour we would have been golden. Another diver told us the Nakaya wasn't marked by a buoy anymore, and that it wasn't worth it (wooden minesweeper deteriorating). My friend from TWU said it was (he had dove it a month or two prior) so we set off swimming toward the farthest white buoy (number 5). Others (yellow) mark other wrecks/reef structures. Dropped down to 30 or 40fsw, took the heading we thought would put us there, but had no luck. We worked our way back toward the other buoys and dove the big steel tug/tanker ship. It was sweet, and we even got to penetrate into a large cargo hold type room. Adjacent to that was a "jungle gym"-- large i-beams or similar stacked/standing upright. And multiple other goodies: tires in a line led us to the "Leaning Tower of Porteau". We almost didn't do a second tank, but decided we had to find the Nakaya. Well, our friend did. So we swam back out much more quickly this time (no current = good…100+yd swim) and took a slightly more angled heading. After swimming to about 75-80fsw, we turned around quite upset (told it was between 60-90 fsw and the tide was out). Then we ran right into it (swam in a triangle). It was definitely wooden and definitely falling apart. But had the most fish and other critters on it out of any of the reefs at Porteau cove. They must prefer the natural wood over steel. Peering into holes in the side/top was great fun. And looking back at the whole ship from the tip of the bow was a great sight. It was definitely too dangerous to penetrate, and much of the entry points had debris or wooden sticks for impalement. From the last white buoy, take a heading of 30 degrees. That should put you into the old Nakaya anchor line, which still has a round buoy 10 feet under the surface holding most of the line up. From there go left (out/deeper) and you should run right into the Nakaya. On the way back to shore, we swam through the other reefs. If you are nearby or have a free Saturday, I would recommend Porteau Cove and Whytecliff Park as two great shore dives.    

Enjoyment Level

Snorkel:    3.00
Beginner:    5.00
Intermediate:    5.00
Advanced:    4.00
Night diving:    4.00

Seasonal Information

Season:    Winter
Year:    2007
Visibility:    4.00
Current:    2.00
Surf:    4.00

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