Scuba Diving in New England
I took my wetsuit down to the basement where it was a few degrees colder, and tried to put it on. You see, there’s this thing about wetsuits – when they’re left on a hanger for months and months, the Neoprene stiffens up. They don’t shrink, but they turn from really-hard-to-put-on but stretchy into even-harder-to-put-on and not-so-stretchy at all. Plus, when a person is wet (or in my case – sweaty and puffy, from 150 degree weather with 99% humidity) and the suit is dry, it sticks to you like it’s coated with super glue. It took me almost half an hour and a few minor injuries to get the wetsuit on, but it still fit.
That Sunday morning the alarm went off at 5 a.m. Diving is definitely an early morning sport – better conditions, easier parking, and that’s when the boats leave if you are lucky enough to be on one. It was pouring outside at home, but I consoled myself with the fact that at least there was no lightening, and since we were two and half hours from our destination, perhaps the weather was different there. The trip went mostly without incident, but for one wrong turn and an almost-flooded highway. We made it to Stage Fort Park right on time, and found near-perfect dive conditions, not much rain, and ample parking.
We geared up, and went in. The water was a balmy 63 degrees, and for once I was warmer in my wetsuit than the fancy dry-suit divers were in theirs. We spent the next hour cruising around in about 20 feet of water. We saw many moon snails, a few lobster, crabs, hermit crabs, flounder, and some lovely skates. The highlight of the marine life was the moon snail we found devouring his lunch. All that was left was one lobster claw, sticking out of the moon snail like a beak, while a skate patiently waited in the wings for leftovers.
After the dive we toweled off, put gear away, and hung around for a picnic of hot dogs and dish-to-pass salads. We told stories, and talked about dive adventures for the summer ahead.
Now that the first dive of the season is over, I can’t wait for the next one. Next year I’m not waiting until June. I’m signing up for that ice diving class, and I’m going to like it! But that is a few months off (thankfully).
If you’ve never scuba dived, check out these sites for more information:
And if you do dive, any advice for this former L.A. gal on where I should dive in New England next?