Dive Type:  Shore or Boat        

Experience Level:  Intermediate

Dangers: Most bay dives should be made during slack tide.  The Waldport channel is narrow and the tidal exchange can produce fast currents that pick up speed quickly.  The preferred dive location is the south shore near the bay mouth...the ocean is not far away. I normally schedule a dive on low tide so when the exchange begins I am being nudged into the bay for an extra margin of safety. Always take a compass bearing before entering the water. Boats traffic in the channel so be cautious. I always stay on the south wall. If you venture into the channel, make sure of your compass heading and return to the wall before surfacing. Surfacing in the channel is dangerous.
Dive Profile: Waldport bay is small and has beach access if you're willing to pack your gear 150 yards.  Take Waziyata Street toward Cliff House Bed & Breakfast. Just before the B&B is a small turnout at the top of a walking path down to the beach. You can easily see the path on the map below. Parking is not allowed at top of the trailhead, so you will need to find a small dirt pullout next to the road. The trailhead is in a residential neighborhood, so quiet activity is a must. The hike down to the beach is not far, but the path is narrow and rocky, so take each step carefully, especially if you are in full gear. I try and pack all my gear in one trip. There are several "holes" in the channel that can be identified by color on a clear day.  The "holes" are actually gullies between ridges of rock found along the south shore.  On a low tide the top of each ridge can be seen at the edge of the beach.  The rock fingers slope downward into the channel until they bottom out around 50 feet. This dive can be tricky; eddy currents can become confusing, and navigating the fingers results in constant course changes (a compass is a must on this dive).  The bay is famous as a crab dive, and some dives, at the right time of year, can produce a limit of Dungeness within 30 minutes. This dive can be enjoyed from a boat but you must be cautious.  The best dive area is near the exposed mouth of the bay, the channel is fairly narrow, and if you boat on high tide the submerged channel edges will shallow rapidly.

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