Dives 2009:
Folly Cove 05/16
Normans Woe 02/28
Folly Cove in snow 01/24

Dives 2008
Dives 2007
Dives 2006
Dives 2005
Dives 2004
Dives 2003
Dives 2002
Dives 2001
Dives 2000
Dives 1999

 

Folly Cove
Saturday, 16 May 2009

Author: Matthew Haber

Divers:

  • Charles Gruenwald
  • Matthew Haber
  • Thierry
  • This was the first dive of the season for two of us and Thierry was new to drysuits so we decided to pick a spot that was familiar: Folly Cove. We met up there and unloaded our gear. Charles and I were pretty much the only people on the beach ( and there were many other divers there) who were pulling on wetsuits so this was slightly concerning to me but the air temp was a reasonable 62 F so I didn't really hesitate to forge ahead. A really pretty fog was hanging over the water as we geared up. Thierry had just purchased and H-valve and changed his reg setup to match but the DIN on the second post was not mating with the 1st stage so we waited while he changed everything over. He was diving an HP120 and I was on an AL80 but due to my small size and low SAC rates we were looking forward to a nice long dive. I had just purchased a new back-inflate BC and had gone up a wetsuit size since my last dive so I was concerned about weighting but I suspected that I had been overweighting in the past so I decided not to change anything. We hopped in the water and it quickly became apparent that I did not have enough weight on so I walked out and added a few more pounds to my weight belt. Once under, the vis was pretty good and we saw lobsters, hermit crabs, and several different types of fish. My computer showed an average of 39 F with it getting as low as 37 F at 27' so my hands and feet were really cold. At 26 minutes were turned the dive due to air and had a leisurely swim back, once again seeing some pretty good NE aquatic life. Once we got out my computer told me that the air temp had dropped 8 F since the beginning of out dive so I was shivering pretty badly as I peeled off my wetsuit. Thierry had only brought one tank but even though Charles and I each had brought two, I decided that the water and air temps were a bit too cold so I called it a day. Despite the fact that I couldn't feel my right pinky toe until several hours later I would actually say this was a pretty good dive and a great start to the season.

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    Normans Woe
    Saturday, 28 February 2009

    Author: Devin Lewis

    Divers:

  • Devin Lewis
  • Robert Granetz
  • Me and Robert got in a February dive today. We met up at Burger King and headed out to Norman's Woe, a little worried that the 20 kt winds may have blown the site out. When we got there it was a beautiful day, the wind was noticeable but the waves were almost non-existent, the sun was bright and most importantly there was no snow this time around.

    So after a few long trips back to the car and we had our stuff on the beach ready to go. It was so nice out I even started to sweat as I was suiting up, great day for diving right? Well a complete 180 once we hit the water, my computer recorded a minimum of 32 degrees with an average of 35 degrees. We took a heading of 210 just planning on doing an out an back but hit a unique sand patch about 12 minutes in and decided to swim parallel to the shore and look around the rocks a bit. The visibility was great, probably about 40 feet. I would love to get conditions that good back home in Monterey but the only way to see life out here right now is poking around in the rocks. I did manage to find a little purple crab, some hermit crabs and a starfish. Robert even found a small lobster. About 18 minutes in we decided to turn the dive, the scenery wasn't changing much and my fingers were getting darn cold even in my dry gloves. Of course I am using the same undergarments that I use in the 47 degree water in California. We easily found our sand patch again and took a reverse heading to shore. We had a total dive time of 31 minutes with a max depth of 35 feet.

    This time around we had no gear problems, my reg worked like a charm and even my homemade can light stood up to its first ocean test beautifully. Once I get used to crawling entries/exits out here I may be able to take my camera...at least the good vis would make for some good wide angle shots. There may not be a ton of animal life in the winter but there are a bunch of colors and still a fun dive. Let us know if anyone is up for joining next time.

    - Devin

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    Folly Cove
    Saturday, 24 January 2009

    Author: Robert Granetz

    Divers:

  • Devin Lewis
  • Robert Granetz
  • This past Saturday I got in my January dive, and also had the pleasure of introducing a new buddy to winter diving in Boston. Devin Lewis is a junior at MIT in ChemE, with plenty of cold water diving experience in Monterey Bay in California. While driving in the car on the way to Gloucester, I found out that Devin is in Delta Upsilon, which is also my fraternity. So we're actually frat brothers, albeit separated by one-third of a century. (Devin is the younger one.) So we had some interesting conversation about how things were in the house back in my time, and how they are now.

    Saturday was a typical winter day, except that it was very windy. The maritime forecast called for strong westerly winds, so I chose Folly Cove as the dive site, expecting it to be well protected and fairly calm. Well when we got there, the winds were more out of the north, rather than from the west, and there were some small whitecaps in the cove. In addition, the site was covered in pretty deep snow right up to the high tide mark. A couple of photos are attached.

    After gearing up and getting through the small breakers, Devin found that his reg was free flowing. Since we thought it had something to do with the cold conditions, it initially looked like Devin would have to scrub his dive. I was left with the option of continuing on solo, and I described to Devin exactly where I was planning to explore along the right side. The visibility turned out to be very good (30+ ft), the water temperature was 35 F, and I began a leisurely underwater stroll, using my light to search in all the nooks and crannys, but not seeing much of anything. At about 20 minutes into my dive, I found a good sized lobster hiding deep under a rock ledge, way out of my reach. I was thinking about turning around, when out of the blue, Devin tapped me from behind. He had minimized his reg's free flow and gone back into the water to get his first New England winter dive in. The fact that he was able to find me attests to how good the visibility was. I pointed out the lobster to him, and then stumbled across another lobster, also in an inaccessible hiding place. It was then time for me to start heading back, so I handed my light to Devin so that he could continue on a bit. He eventually caught up to me on the way back, and we exited the water into the bitingly cold wind, which made it challenging to strip out of our gear and pack up.

    On the way back I showed Devin a few of the other popular Cape Ann dive sites (Cathedral Rocks, Normans Woe), and we realized that all the snow would have made it really difficult to carry gear down the rocks at these other spots. After leaving Rockport and Gloucester, we stopped to get a sundae at the homemade ice cream place off Rt 128 (yes, it's open in the winter), but I couldn't convince Devin to have one too. It was some time after this that our feet finally thawed out. Believe it or not, Devin wants to go diving again next month. Does anybody else want to join in?

    - Robert G

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    several accesses since Jan 2009 with several per day.

    Last updated by Robert Granetz on 17 May 2009.