Exploring Puget Sound
Made In Puget Sound® Explores Burrows Island
Since the first few months after becoming a certified scuba diver in Puget Sound, I've often wondered 'what's down there' nearly every time I pass a body of water. On various boat dives with the few remaining dive charters in this area, I've wanted to explore below the surface of the Sound in places the charters would not, or could not get to. I am now able to explore our waters and bring images back that most people would never see. As the first in my series of 'Explore Puget Sound' blogs, I've chosen the northern islands of Puget Sound first. Many are uninhabited islands and rarely visited by people.
Burrows Island is just south of Fidalgo Island, west of Anacortes. It is no longer inhabited by people, but is still home to an important and functioning Lighthouse. For years I've been curious about the plants and animals living just below the surface around this somewhat isolated island. This is a stunningly beautiful area with secluded coves and tiny sandy beaches. I chose the west end of the island because of its safe entry and exit point.
What bottom topography might I encounter while diving throughout the Bull Kelp and rocky shoals surrounding the island? To learn more about this area, and to discover much more excellent information visit the Burrows Island lighthouse website.
As I motored on to a small sandy beach adjacent to the lighthouse, I found the perfect protected cove for me to gear up and drop into the water. My dive, although late in the day, was just prior to slack tide. This allowed me to explore the entire area during minimal current, for upward of an hour.
Click to enlarge
Although not a deep spot, it is filled with beautiful and colorful life. Ribbed, Split and Bull Kelp surround the area. The kelp cover the bottom. It feeds, hides and protects Northern Kelp Crab, and Purple, Red & Green Urchins, and a multitude of Sea Stars. A very large Widehand Hermit was not intimidated by my presence what so ever.
As I left the island, the sun was beginning to set behind the Olympic Mountains to the west. I passed Fidalgo Island, I was able to capture a spectacular shot of Fidalgo Head. It's ominous steep cliffs tower over Rosario Strait, the perfect end to an extraordinary journey.
Fidalgo Head on the southwest corner of Fidalgo Island
Drew Collins professional underwater photographer and environmentalist living and diving primarily in the beautiful Emerald green waters of Puget Sound near Seattle, Washington.