Overview of Breakwater Cove

Breakwater Cove

Breakwater Cove
California North
USA West


Site Review by
 Edward J. Palumbo
Date: 07/12/2007


Site Condition
(1=worst, 5=best)

Name:  Edward J. Palumbo Entry:    5.00
Email:   Click Here Bottom:    4.00
City:   Tualatin Reef:    3.00
State:   Oregon Animal:    5.00
Country:   USA Plant:    4.00
Diving:   17 years Facilities:    4.00
 Dives:   200 Solitude   3.00
    Roads:    5.00


*Average:    4.13
My son, Daniel, and I visited this site in early July (2007), and stopped at a nearby dive shop for information on the area. Restrooms and hot showers are close by, though they require quarters to operate (and are well worth it!). We returned to dive and staged our gear on some concrete steps nearby. There are machines nearby to dispense parking permits, which should be displayed on the instrument panel in convenient view, and vehicles are checked repeatedly by traffic enforcement officers. We appreciated the gradual slope from the beach, easy entry and exit despite light surf and surge. There was a certification class being conducted some distance away. The bottom was no deeper than 27 feet, and our air lasted a while. Water temp, according to my thermometer, was 57-58 degrees and it was a warm, sunny afternoon with a gentle breeze. While not a great day to observe a broad spectrum of the area's marine life, we found a generous number of bat and ochre starts, some surf perch, and a number of snails with smooth brown, tapered shells, measuring about 3cm in length. The highlight of my day were three sea otters, a male, a female and a pup about 5-6 months old, not 20 meters from shore. We observed for a more than 15 minutes, then I approached them slowly on the surface until I was 12-15 feet away. They were aware of me and showed no signs of stress or concern. The male swam closer and dove beneath me, turned upside-down and examined me, then circled around me playfully. I turned to follow it with my head and it closely approached my mask, emitted a stream of bubbles, and this interaction went on for several minutes until he tired of the game. As I swam back to the beach, my son called, "Behind you!" I turned to see the male leisurely following me, my body-length behind, and I was candidly surprised that he showed no apprehension about interacting with divers. Locals told me that sea otters are familiar with divers and often exhibit curious and playful behavior like this. I've had the opportunity to interact with harbor seals like that, but this was a new experience, and another reason I enjoy being a diver.    

Enjoyment Level

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

Seasonal Information

Season:    Summer
Year:    2007
Visibility:    3.00
Current:    3.00
Surf:    3.00

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