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Puget Sound, Washington
A view of Seattle, Washington from Alki Cove 2, a popular shore diving and training site.
© Lynne Flaherty
Divers huddle together, clutching coffee cups. Steam rises from between their hands, disappearing against a backdrop of gray skies and grayer water. It's 45° F in February, and the water temperature is only a few degrees warmer. Surprisingly, the divers do not appear deterred; they enthusiastically chatter while squeezing into their drysuits. What could be worth braving these conditions? The waters around Puget Sound, Washington boast some of the most colorful, bizarre sea life that a diver can encounter. In fact, Jaques Cousteau once named it his second favorite place to dive in the world. This isn't warm water Caribbean diving, but in many ways, it's better.