Gordon had asked if I was interested in going down to Cape Ann to do some diving. He had heard that the dive sites down there were awesome, so we decided that we’d go down.
After a three and a half hour drive, we checked in at the dive shop, Cape Ann Divers. They gave us a copy of their flyer on each of the dive sites. They list 18 different beach dive sites.
We dove 5 of the sites, including Folly Cove 2 times. I have added each of these sites to my Google Maps. By going there, you can view the exact locations of each of the dive sites. The sites we dove were:
Back beach is located right in the middle of Rockport. There are community bathrooms for changing and such, and this beach has one of the easiest entries and parking situations. The parking is hourly meters on the streets. The entry is a sand beach, very easy. This is the best place to start your diving in the area.
We suited up, and made entry around 10:30 AM on Wednesday. Our dive was at a 17 foot deep max with a 36 minute ABT in 52 degree water. We ranked the visibility at around 30 feet, great by Lake Champlain standards.
After diving back beach, we moved over to Front Beach. With hourly meter parking, finding a spot to stash the truck was easy, this time of year. From there, we made entry through the sandy beach, and away went. We got a max depth of 27 feet with around 57 minutes of ABT.
We arrived at Folly Cove, one of the best spots on the Cape. We dropped off our gear, then we had to park about .3 of a mile up the road, at the Lobster Pool parking lot. We made entry to the rocky beach through path, down the hill.
After I moved the car down to the parking spot, I walked back to the parking lot over the beach (resident parking only). As we were putting our BC’s on, I heard mine pop, then start leaking. We couldn’t figure out the issue, then we decided that we’d have to go back to Cape Ann Divers to get my first stage looked at.
We figured out that as I screw my first stage onto the tank, the bolt came loose from base of the first stage, picture to follow. I ended up splitting an O ring. Cape Ann Divers gave me a new O rink, I was able to fix my regulator. We headed back to the dive site, it was around 4 then.
After dropping the gear, and stowing the truck away, we made entry onto the beach, then into the water. This site is definitely easier to get into during high tide.
It was so late in the day, that we decided that instead of going to the wall, as their was no sunshine, we went to the right, and dove around some rocks, lobster cages, etc. We had a max depth of 32 feet on this dive for around 43 minutes, in 52 degree water. I started this dive with 2800PSI and came out with around 1100PSI.
We went to Lobsta Land for dinner. Great food, good quality. They only serve microbrew beers here. Dinner for 2 with 2 drinks each ran around $50. A great place to have food and drinks. The owner and his wife are cool people.
Old beach is accessed through a park in a neighborhood. This was a great dive. Sand beach entry. Parking is residential only, but you can park on any of the side streets. We dropped our gear, then parked up the road. We did our dive, 36 feet deep for around 47 minutes. The water temperature stayed around 52 degrees.
At this dive site, go to the left. On the left, there are rocks and such, around there there is a ton of kelp, lobsters and crabs.
Folly Cove – The Wall
The wall was a lot like diving the Boulders at Willoughby Lake. A great dive. Our depths were around 45 feet for 50 minutes. At around 32 feet, there was a scallop shell painted with www.MWDC.org # 24 on it. Turns out, that’s a free admission to an upcoming show they are having.
This is a protected cove, that I think is a good last resort dive. It’s a great place to visit if the wind has ruined the other spots. It could be that it was the last dive of trip, and I was tired and cold, but the dive was fairly plain. To do this dive, go to the right after making entry into the ocean from the sand beach. There is parking across the street at the baseball field, but it’s for local residents only. I took the chance and parked there, and all seemed to be OK. Our dive time was around 42 feet at around 25 feet deep.
A couple of people told us that the parking laws are strictly enforced during the summer, when tourists are packed into the place, but that after October, we are probably OK.
The Gouge Sheet concept comes from the military via Gordon. He has a list of things that are passed along from group to group over time. These are the notes that we have for this area:
- Cape Ann Divers is the local dive shop for Cape Ann. Their website is: www.CapeAnnDivers.com
- Cape Ann Divers are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
- No nitrox stickers on your tanks – Cape Ann Divers will not fill a tank with Nitrox stickers on the tank, so either scrape them off, or cover them with something.
- Car parking is difficult – check out the local regulations
- Week diving is the best, natives are less uptight during the week
- Lobsta Land is a great restaurant, worthy of a visit, good beer, but $5 / beer
- Lobster Pool is near Folly’s Cove, but does not serve booze
- I’d recommend a 2 night, 3 day dive trip. Drive down, dive the first day, spend the night, don’t do a ton of drinking, dive the next day, party it up that night with dinner, then the third day do a 2-3 wreck boat dive, then come back
- Boat charters run all days but Tuesdays, boats run $75 for 2 dives, and 3 dives for $105. The first couple of divers pick the spots the boat goes to. The captain seems to be a nice guy, we met him at Cape Ann Divers
- We stayed at a Motel 6 – 65 Newbury St, Danbury Ma 01923. $65 / night for 2 people, room was clean. It was about 19 miles from the dive shop, but worth it.
- Cape Ann Divers has a handout with all of the dive spots they recommend. A scan of that will be coming soon.