What if you could visit the one of the most beautiful historic seaports in the US and dive for treasure any day? Octopus Gardens Diving in Port Townsend, Washington is inviting scuba divers to dive for treasure on every dive in one of the first ongoing direct scuba treasure hunts in the United States.
Unlike the usual single day treasure hunts often held in association with a scuba show or sale, this treasure hunt is ongoing . It also differs from dive-caching (like geo-caching) activities which usually give divers only a chance at a drawing for a prize.
The shop has hidden tokens at two of the local dive site, Point Hudson and the Wreck of the Ranger. Any participating diver, upon finding a token, can claim a valuable prize. The hunt is ongoing and as tokens are found, tokens representing new prizes will be replaced. Essentially, any dive can be a treasure hunt dive.
The treasures are not just trinkets either. The first round of three prizes has a total value of over $300. No purchase is necessary to participate in the event, and certified divers need only stop by Octopus Gardens Diving to register. Once their participation is established, any dive can be a treasure dive. The first set of prizes available in the treasure hunt includes a powerful dive light from Light and Beyond (valued at $149), a Deep Outdoors dive equipment bag (valued at over $200) and a 12 fill air card (valued at $95). Future prizes will include gift certificates and service offerings from local businesses in the Port Townsend area. Some of the prizes will even please non-diving spouses and partners.
To make sure the hunters respect the sea life the treasure tokens have been placed strategically so that divers will not to have to move or disturb the surrounding environment. The tokens are also located within the proscribed depth ranges of any recreational open water certified scuba diver (<60fsw).
Port Townsend is a well-known historic seaport located on the northwest tip of the Olympic Peninsula and was named one of the most sophisticated places west of Seattle by National Geographic. The area is rich with maritime heritage, and has a number of water activities available, including boating, sailing and diving.
Divers from other parts of the world are often drawn to dive the Pacific Northwest waters to have a close encounter with remarkable and unique giant Pacific Octopus (GPOs). There are almost always at least few resident GPOs at Port Townsend dive sites as well as the friendly, but fierce looking wolf-eels.
Octopus Gardens Diving is a full service diving center offering training, continuing education, and equipment for diving enthusiasts of all levels of expertise. The shop also serves as a regulator repair lab, with a staff able to repair nearly every make of regulator. Shop owner Don Peterson is thrilled to present the treasure hunt to divers and show Octopus Gardens Diving’s commitment to the people of Port Townsend. “This is just one more way we can demonstrate our mission of having the best service of any scuba shop in the United States,” he stated. For more information on Octopus Gardens Diving and the treasure hunt, please visit the store site.
STEAL THIS IDEA
I think this idea is one that other shops could copy to inspire more divers start diving and keep diving. There is a thread on ScubaBoard where shops can discuss this. We will gather names from this thread to help shops share information about their treasure hunts.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Two of the ScubaGadget editors are dive guides for the Octopus Gardens Diving shop.