It has been longer than tolerable since I dove last. It was the new years day dive, beautiful day, cold but the excitement of the nudibranchs made it worth it. Now, after almost two months, many dive dreams later I am getting really itchy to get back into the water. This winter was really, um, very winter! And not having any dive travel plans is not making anything easier.
Today, after such a long time we had a decent day, warm and sunny. Actually it was an amazing day. I have been wondering what the situation at the dive sites were, and I can guess many people did. So we headed to very much missed Cape Ann.
The first stop was the harbor where Cape Ann Divers boat is kept. Whole harbor was covered with ice, big plates of ice were formed with giant cracks. It looked beautiful and unreal.
Salt Island was also blocked by snow banks but thanks to the doggy parents you can find a easier path to get over the snow banks. However with the heavy drysuit it may be tough entry plus I doubt anybody would want to dive Salt Island in winter time. Good news is that the doggies in the neighborhood owns the place in winter, they were enjoying the awesome day.
Next stop was Pebble Beach, there was no car entry to the beach, you have to walk over the big snow banks to get to the beach. This site was not diveable in near future.
Loblolly Cove could be reached by the car but the entry to the beach was blocked by a snow bank. A little shoveling may help the entry. But extra caution for the soft snow, all of a sudden you may find yourself thigh deep in snow. The visibility looked decent from the surface. Loblolly Point was out of reach.
The ramp in the Old Garden Beach was not shoveled. A shoving party with fellow diver friends before the dive may enable diving there. And if anybody does that he/she would automatically gain Saint title, for enabling one of the fav sites for winter diving, well until the next winter storm. We also saw a robin at the beach, is spring coming, really???
Out of all sites the best option looked like Front Beach. The entry looked ok, the ramp was decently clean. It may not be one of the favorite sites but I am sure bunch of nudis are waiting for the divers around the rocks at the left of the cove.
Back Beach is always the go to option for most cases, which does not include the situation we are in. The whole beach was behind the big snow banks with no access to the beach. The water looked really murky, probably because of all the melting snow banks holding bunch of dirt from the roads. The viz probably would not be more than 1 ft.
Just for the fun of it we stopped by Cathedral, obviously we could not see where it was 🙂
Halibut Point is one of my favorites. It is definitely not a winter dive site but worth seeing it with winter decorations. We had to snow shoe for ~15-20 mins without snowshoes on, to get to the site. The marks on the snow suggested that people have been enjoying the snow and the amazing ocean view by cross country skiing, jealous!
The favorite was kept to last, I really wanted to see the Folly Cove with floating “icebergs”. Didn’t happen, we just had to pass by it because the there was no parking area and no place to stop. oh well, you often can’t find what you expect in life. However there can be nice surprises, like the Plum Cove we passed by. After the disappointment of the Folly Cove we decided to check out Plum, and there we saw the iceberg floating with ducks and a seagull swimming peacefully. It looked amazing. But unfortunately the entrance was blocked again with big snowbank. A little shoveling may make this site diveable, though.
Finally, after dinner break we went to see the all time back up site Niles Beach. There also the beach was behind the plowed snow, but shoveling a little around the ramp would totally help.
After a whole day of absorbing sun, getting our feet soaking wet during snow shoeing, observing Cape Ann in a totally different background we headed back, hoping we will be back soon.