Michael Stricklen's Dive Log
Fort Foster on 6/30/2007
When Nubble is jam packed with classes, this place is your refuge - If you've got a 10-spot in your pocket! That's right, it's $10 to get in but you'll be rewarded with a very nice shore dive. Parking is around 100' from the entry point. The rocks are just the right size, not so small as to be dangerous to your ankles, but not so large as to call for New England Scuba Climbing (See Cathedral Rocks). Not terribly deep (25' at most), but really nice eelgrass and rocks. The bottom is covered with sealife. The barrier island offshore makes for a nice breakwater, and hence surge and surf aren't going to be a worry for you. If you haven't been diving in New England, this would be a great first dive.
Blue Springs State Park on 6/30/2007
In the winter you're going to be prohibited from diving the spring due to the presence of protected marine mammals (manatees). In the summer, this is a fun dive, but only for a couple of times. The water is consistently 72 degrees and clear as gin. You have to show your certification card to get in with dive gear, and a proper cave cert to carry any dive lights. If you're not into the marine spelunking thing then your dive is going to stop around 60', but you'll have some fun playing in the current. It's like underwater skydiving - you can lie on one of the shelves to rest and then pop out into the current and "skydive." Of course, there's not much to see, the opening feeding the spring drops down to 150' and then goes into a cavern system, but if you're not trained don't head down that way and kill yourself! People have died here - don't let yourself become the next!
Cathedral Rocks on 9/1/2004
A pretty tough climb down some rocks to reach the entry. Low tide entry and exits are no laughing matter. High tide entries can be done via a giant stride - the preferred method without a doubt. Don't make this your first dive after certification. Night diving here would be dicey due to the rock climbing involved.
Pebble Beach on 9/1/2004
Free, easy parking marks this spot! This site has a couple of really nice reefs, but they both require a decent surface swim (> 100 kick cycles) to reach them. The large round pebbles for which this beach is named have claimed many an ankle ... be cautious. Also, exits when the tide is coming in can cause one to be turned turtle and pounded by the surf. Time your exit with the waves, and keep an eye out for the occasional rogue. This spot really comes alive at night, but the length of the beach and long shore current could leave a non-attentive diver lost - something to keep in mind.
Old Garden Beach on 9/1/2004
A very nice dive located in an uppity part of Rockport. Don't leave your vehicle parked in the lot or on the street next to the beach. Unload from the street and park a block back on a side street (or find yourself towed!) Be respectful of the residents, and they will tolerate you. Ignore the "No Night Diving" rule posted, this is contrary to Massachusetts law and cannot be enforced. A short surface swim will lead you to some fantastic rock reef inhabited by many forms of wildlife. I've picked up scallops a little further out, and one of my favorite lobstering spots is here (but I won't tell where!)
Norman's Woe on 9/1/2004
If you're not in pretty good shape then leave this dive off your list. A good 300-400 yard hike from the parking spot to the dive entry. The entry is tricky at either high or low tide, and the same applies to the exit. Advanced is a good way to describe this location.
Halibut Point on 9/1/2004
A good hike along a narrow trail, but if you stick it out you'll be rewarded with some fabulous diving. I suggest bringing only the gear you'll use on the one dive, and using the current to float you back to the restaurant where you can hike up and back to the car (which avoids the hike back down the trail.) Take a guide with you if this is your first time on this dive. Definitely don't miss this dive though, the animals are spectacular!
Back Beach on 7/14/2004
Jul 14, 2004, 12:00 AM
Did 2 of my checkout dives here, and as you would expect the site is very welcoming to beginning divers. Saw some lobster, and many crabs. Also a few skate, quite a few flounder, and one striped bass. A lot of checkout dives were going on at the time, and the bottom got stirred up a good bit. Unless you show up pre-7AM parking will be tricky. Make sure you feed the meters as well, as Rockport Police come by every 20 minutes looking for someone to ticket. There's a good number of residences in the area, so don't go drying your first stage off by cracking open your tank. Please be respectful, and try to put yourself in their place. This site is a very easy entry at high tide, and not very difficult at low tide. There's a small strip of sand if you want to bring along any non-divers for some sunning activities.