For those unfamiliar, Burnham Rock is like a mini Saturday Night Ledge, a little bit smaller, a little shallower (70-130FSW), and right around the corner, geographically speaking (about 5 miles south of Gloucester harbor). Both have sizable trenches as the main feature and both have walls and massive boulders to explore. Only sure thing for not getting lost is navigating by trench or bringing a wreck reel. As reels are not an option for me while I'm with my camera (I'd need two more hands) I stay inside, or within sight of the trench/s and tend not to cover an insane amount of ground. Aside from the geological features, these sites are well known for spectacular invertebrate growth virtually covering all surfaces of the granite substrate.
Later at BFW, Captain Steve anchored on the southern portion of the wall. Jim inspected for potential mooring sites (left) and I continued to work further south to some tumbled boulders that Landy found where some large anemones live. The wall runs approximately north to south. The more south you go, the less shear the wall becomes. It eventually wraps around east to become a small trench. This can be done in one dive provided you navigate with care and you're not schlepping a big camera around. I've dived BFW around 8 times, and have yet to explore the northern half of the wall with any confidence, but I know the southern half very well and can even find individual anemones I photoed last year . I'm sure I'll be back again this season and will keep everyone updated. Enjoy!
Cape Ann Divers took a group of us yesterday to look for the wreck of the Patriot that was (and still is) MIA. After sweeping the area for an hour or so, we came up empty and decided to press on to a couple of established dive sites. The Captain took us to the wreck of the North Star and then to an unnamed wreck on the way back. It was roasting hot out and the seas were flat as can be. The North Star rests about 100FSW and was teeming with wildlife, A fantastic advantage to diving offshore. 3 wolfish, 1 cod and dozens of sculpin populated a 30 foot diameter around the mooring line. The head of the wolfish below was about the size of a basketball. This photo was taken with my fisheye lens at around 17mm. I wanted to put my hand next to her for perspective, but was nowhere near brave enough.
The unnamed wreck was interesting, and covered with fishing debris. The current was strong but manageable. I played it safe, and stayed within sight of the mooring.
Myself and some other regulars from Cape Ann Divers traveled to the Haight and the Breakwater this weekend. As usual, current was ripping at the Haight, but mostly the top 10' of water was affected. I was trying to focus on shooting video, fighting the temptation to just take pictures (a much easier option). The wreckage was wonderful, but due to the current, I stayed within about 100' of the mooring line that David Shumway was kind enough to fasten for us. Wreck has changed since diving almost a year ago. a swim-through has because conveniently larger and there was some noticeable storm destruction. Below are some screen grabs illustrating some of the changes.
Here photographer, Robert Landy explores the wreckage (sans his signature red suit).
The Breakwater was spectacular as usual. Chuck and I briefly went out into the gravel looking for torpedo rays to no avail. The invertebrate life on the boulders looked like an alien planet. I've never been disappointed diving the breakwater.
Robin and I went to my favorite snorkel spot on the 4th in East Gloucester just beyond Grapevine Road. Beautiful little cove if you don't mind being smashed to bits by surge. After swimming past the seaweed collective, visibility opens up in this small area that is comprised of solid rock (hence the good vis). I would also advise against entry at low tide, you know, broken ankles and the like. This time I was sure I would be able to sneak up on the sunbathing cormorants, but they were on to me as usual...but the sea was unseasonably warm and it was nice to be in the water and not wearing 70 pounds worth of gear.
A shot of the cod above and a couple more photos below, enjoy!
Above is a clip of the murky depths of BFW. That's all for now, see everyone soon!
I was riding with my friends on Easy Diver last weekend and the conditions couldn't have been more perfect. Ocean was flat and it was a HOT summer day. I also dove (dived?) in my wetsuit for the 1st time this year...My 8-year-old wetsuit left a little insulation to be desired, however it was really nice to not be bogged down copious amounts of gear. We had to nice, shallow, easy dives ("Easy Diver", get it?). Went to Straightsmouth Island then to Folly Cove. The captain ate watermelon and rejoiced.
GoPro mounted on top of my big rig. Oh so fancy free... Below are some snapshots from the day. The moon snail was the size of a dinner plate.
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.
Having not posted since February I realize that this is quite possibly the world's lamest blog. What can I say? I'm a slow typist. But now there are 2 posts including this one, making this the world's second lamest blog... But in any case, I'm delighted to say that Summer is almost here and so is the new dive season. I checked out my gear a few weeks ago during a shore dive in East Gloucester. My new dry gloves held up well and my camera housing seems to be fine.
Feeling confident, Chuck Marrone and myself rode north with Cape Ann Divers hoping to catch some gray seals at the salvages. The weather of course was uncooperative, and the Captain made the executive decision to shelter behind Thatcher Island for the first dive. Fearful of the rough seas and regretting the martini I had the night before, I welcomed the lee and hopped in for a lovely, shallow, and seaweedy dive. Nudibranchs everywhere and the wrong lens to photograph them prompted me to hop back on the boat for a much needed PB&J.
The second dive was at the "green bell" near the north eastern (I think) tip of Cape Ann. This is a fantastic submerged rock pinnacle that is nice and clean from all the urchins living there. It starts at about 20' deep and quickly shoots down to about 60 or so. Nice for us lazy divers that don't like swimming a lot and lobster heaven, at least this day. I don't take, eat, nor hassle the bugs, but I sure do love taking their pictures. They are great practice subjects because they are often fast and confrontational. This fantastic dive ended with Chuck finding at 20+ pounder, a first for all of us. I did snapp a few pictures but my arm wasn't long enough to take a picture and have my hand in the shot for perspective, so you're just going to have to trust me on this one... Enjoy the snapshots, good to be back in the water.
I'm pleased to announce that we will be presenting some photography as well as the latest episode of Green Diver at the Boston SCUBA show on Saturday, February 23rd! The show runs from 10am-3pm at the Marlboro Holiday Inn, Marlboro, MA. Tickets are $20 at the door. There will be several speakers and presenters during the day including Fred Calhoun, Matt Marcoux, Janet MacCausland, Deb Greenhalgh, LeRoy French and more. Hope to see you there!
Welcome to the new site of Shure Underwater Media. I will be doing my occasional posting and sharing here from now on. For that matter, my blogspot page will be largely ignored as it drifts into internet obscurity. I'm excited to have a new space where folks can find all of my content in one spot, additionally this allows me to spend less time at a computer and more time chasing fish around with my camera. So stay tuned, I will try to keep things here up-to-date, concise, and exciting, especially as we start to gear up for the 2013 dive season.
Alex Shure: SCUBA enthusiast, fish nerd, camera guy.