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Topography: Multiple large piles of construction materials scattered over an expansive sandy substrate that gently slopes from 35 to 60 feet.
Puget Sound marine life rating: 3
Puget Sound structure rating: 2
Diving depth: 55-60 feet
Highlight: Poking around countless holes and crevices in the debris piles for interesting creatures. You might even salvage an anchor at this site - and quite possibly your own!
Skill level: Intermediate
GPS coordinates: N47° 59.962’ W122° 18.511’
Access by boat: Gedney Island is in Possession Sound. This small island lies west of Everett. The rubble piles comprising this artificial reef system are widely dispersed across the south side of Gedney Island. Rubble piles are noted on a depth sounder by abrupt 15 to 20 foot jumps in depth. I often find a rubble pile without GPS by cruising straight out from the big house with the gabled roof isolated on the top of the bluff and watching the depth sounder.
Shore access: None
Dive profile: The Gedney Reef dive site is a compilation of separate rubble piles scattered over an expansive area. Locating a rubble pile is often the hardest part of this dive. I find a rubble pile and anchor next to it so the anchor doesn’t get hopelessly snagged in the rubble. I have found several lost anchors at this site and even had to rescue my own anchor at the end of one dive. I follow the anchor line to the bottom once the anchor is properly positioned. I note the anchor’s location relative to the rubble pile and set off to explore.
The rubble piles vary in size, with larger piles spanning about 75 yards and reaching 20 feet in height. The piles are comprised of concrete road decking, columns, slabs, blocks, rocks and other heavy construction related materials.
It is possible to swim between some of the rubble piles even though they are usually not within sight of one another. A blind excursion beyond the reef will probably result in a lot of pounding sand. One option is to tie a spool to the reef and use it to sweep an area next to the rubble pile.
Although tidal current is minimal at this site, I plan to re-establish the anchor line at the end of my dive. I shoot a signal marker buoy to warn off boat traffic if I am not successful and end my dive performing a free ascent.
My preferred gas mix: EAN 40
Current Station: Admiralty Inlet
Noted Slack Corrections: None
Although I use the Admiralty Inlet current tables to predict slack, I normally dive this site off-slack on minor to moderate exchanges. I have not encountered a strong tidal current at this site. I have experienced substantial wind-generated surface current in this exposed area. If I surface downwind of the boat and cannot easily swim against the surface current, I re-descend below the current before continuing to swim back to the boat.
Mukilteo State Park boat ramp. Approximately 4 miles from the dive site. Note that Mukilteo State Park pulls their docks out of the water during winter months
Off-shore location: Gedney Island is about a half mile from this site. There is no nearby shore to swim to incase of emergency.
Snagging hazards: Some of the concrete structure is laden with protruding rebar. Discarded monofilament fishing line and rusty hooks are pervasive through the site
Fishing boats: This is a popular bottom fishing location. Salmon anglers also troll this area.
Boat traffic: Light to moderate boat traffic frequents this area. The busy Port of Everett resides to the east.
Free ascent: A free ascent from depths of 35 to 60 feet may be required if the anchor line is not acquired at the end of the dive.
Marine life: Like the KVI Tower Reef, this artificial reef system is quite picturesque when visibility is good. The concrete and rock structure provide excellent foundations for colorful anemones, including massive colonies of white and orange plumose anemones.
This Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife reef system was intended to bolster bottomfish population in Puget Sound. This site is living testimony that this program is effective as rockfish, perch, greenling, and sculpin thrive amongst the rubble.
This site is home to several giant Pacific octopus. These timid creatures are often difficult to find as there are so many deep and hidden dens in the rubble.
A number of large lingcod establish themselves on this reef. I witnessed an epic struggle between a lingcod and a very large penpoint gunnel on one dive. The 20 pound lingcod tried to swallow the snake-like gunnel. The gunnel had other ideas and formed a “U” with its body, making it impossible to swallow. The lingcod swam around for 15 minutes with the “U” shaped gunnel hanging half out of its mouth before it finally gave up and spat the gunnel out. The relieved gunnel then made a hasty beeline for the nearest hole.