The ocean is freaking huge. Even in well known areas (like around Cape Ann), there's no way it's been comprehensively explored underwater. Thus, Mark Potter of Mass Diving and Cape Ann Divers organized an exploratory trip. The idea was to see something new, potentially that nobody has ever seen before. Even if it's just a hunk of rock with predictable stuff growing on it, the thought that we were the first to see something, SCUBA geeks live for this.
We stayed a bit east of halfway rock and the only real objective was to look for steep drop-offs, or underwater cliffs/hills. Diving these areas offers some excitement and a variety of wildlife and bottom topography. The first site we visited (Landy's Ledge?) was a large slab of granite that started around 60FSW and tumbled down to about 100'. I hung by the anchor line as I was by myself. I was also shooting macro so I wanted to be where the light was, and it doesn't really matter where you are when you're shooting critters that are less than an inch. I spent a good amount of time flirting with a sculpin that was playing coy. Eventually I earned its trust. Lobster, anemones and other invertebrates covered the granite, also thousands of cunner were schooling in the surge. This was a nice dive.
After our surface interval and PB&Js, Captain took us to site near Newcomb Ledge. Calm, no current, relatively shallow, easy, nice. There was a small wall here loaded with bizarre spider crabs that were covered with the same sponges and tunicates that the wall was covered with. I was hanging on the wall by myself thinking that it had been a while since I saw the anchor line. Suddenly, out of my periphery, I see Robert Landy come out of the darkness, I can't say I was relieved... Then Millhouser, nope, he was lost too. Then I was thrilled to see Elyssa and Caslyn. After nonchalantly swimming back and forth with those two, we all glanced at each other and shrugged. Yup, lost. It wasn't a ghastly swim back to the boat, probably Millhouser's fault anyway. Below are some of the camo-crabs and other goodies I shot. See if you can spot the crabs.
We dove this weekend on the wreck of the Pug, a first for me. I'm fairly certain the linked info is the correct site, but there does seem to be some confusion over the name.
The weather was beautiful and Virgil sent us off in good spirits. Pug's fairly deep, about 130' in the sand. It's also a clean and simple wreck. It rests upright and there are a few places to peek in at the guts of the wreck
The deck of the wreck sits at 115' and we burned through our 10 minutes of bottom time before we knew it. I only explored the immediate area around the mooring line as I was mostly fiddling with my camera, but here are some shots of the site.
After the Pug, we steamed to Halfway Rock. Weather was on our side and we were able to anchor on the sheer wall of the rock. The wall is great because virtually no swimming is required, just sink and ascend, my type of dive!
That's that...I'll try to keep you all posted.
Alex Shure: SCUBA enthusiast, fish nerd, camera guy.