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Agate Pass - Bainbridge Island WA

Agate Pass is a shore accessible salt water dive site, located in Bainbridge Island, WA. This dive site has an average rating of 2.00 out of 5 from 1 scuba divers.

Agate Pass is a 1 mile, high speed drift dive from the SE corner of the Agate Pass Bridge to a park called Old Man House State Park. It is a relatively shallow dive (35-40ft) that affords you the unique opportunity to soar over the bottom covered with carpets of anemones, do effortless flips and cartwheels and play in the eddies behind rocks. It is a unique experience to succumb to the pull of the current and ride it along to your exit point.
How to get there:
NOTE: This will require two vehicles or one person who does not plan to dive who can drop the divers off at the entry point and pick them up at the park. You can take the Seattle/Bainbridge Ferry to Bainbridge and head up 305 to the bridge, then take a right on Suquamish Way NE. Turn right at Divison Ave NE. Turn left at NE McKinstry St. and you’ll run right into Old Man State Park. To get there from Tacoma:

Follow Hwy 16 and cross the Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Drive north for 22.4 miles through the town of Gorst and around the tip of Sinclair Inlet
Turn left at Hwy 3 North/Hwy 304 East junction
Follow Hwy 3 North for 15.8 miles before exiting to Hwy 305 South towards Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island
Turn right at the bottom of the exit ramp and drive to a 4-way intersection and stoplight. Continue straight through the intersection towards Winslow, following Hwy 305 for 6.2 miles to the Agate Pass Bridge
Turn left at Suquamish Way NE
Turn right at Divison Ave NE
Turn left at NE McKinstry St. and you’ll run right into Old Man State Park

Upon entering the water under the bridge, descend and steer toward the middle of the Channel (35-40fsw) and enjoy the ride. The time you are under the water will depend on the speed of current.
The only real trick to diving this site is knowing when to ascend. Come up too soon and you’ll have a long walk ahead of you, too late and you’ll have a heck of a time getting back to the beach. Stay in the middle as long as you can until you feel it is time begin your exit. If you move too far left too soon (NW Shore) you’ll hit a back eddy that will impede your progress down the channel and you’ll end up walking to the park, but it also works as a nice “safety net” if you feel the need to end the dive. On a one knot current you can plan to drift for about 25-30 minutes before you need to turn toward shore and begin your swim to the exit point. Good luck, it’s tricky!
Special Restrictions:
This site description was written for an EBB TIDE only (out going tide). I do not know if it can be done on a FLOOD.
This is truly an advanced dive for divers in good health. Keep an eye in front of you so you don’t get dashed against a boulder. Plan a lost buddy procedure because it is easy to get separated in extreme current. Depending upon your luck and skill (or lack there of) you may be in for quite a walk or swim to find your exit point. Make sure you are physically prepared to do so. It is not a bad idea to have a non dive on shore at Old Man State Park with a bright flashlight to signal you to your exit point (in case of fog) and to drop you off at the entry point. Be ware of boat traffic overhead.
I’ve enjoyed this dive many times over the last few decades and usually go here once a year now. The bridge piers are the best part of the dive, and the channel drift is certainly exhilarating. It’s shallow, so there’s no danger of downdrafts or sudden up-wellings. Boat traffic can be heavy, which is why I usually do this dive in late fall or early winter when that activity is nil. By staging cars at either end of the pass and timing the current, you can experience 2 excellent dives in and out of the pass to the bridge and back to ’Old Man Park’ at Suquamish. Of course, this dive is best done in a modest tide exchange- 6 ft or less. The bottom is a riot of invertebrate life with barnacles, anemones, sponges, crab, etc. Some big ling cod, cabezon, perch and rockfish can be found here too. Most of the fish will congregate in the lee of the bridge pier and in the many nooks and crannies to be found there.
This is a marvelous dive. It takes some planning. My buddy and I each drove our cars and parked a car at one end of the pass and another where we expected to exit. Accomplishing this dive is all about reading the current tables and planning this right. We started from the north end and drifted with an increasing current. Like many drift dives, you fly. Big fish hunker down behind boulders and colorful invertebrates cling to the rocks to sweep up the detritus washing through. The is an adrenaline dive.