Dive sites on Deer Island should only be attempted by Advanced level and experienced divers. The extreme tidal range combined with the deep walls around the southern tip of the island, result in dangerously strong currents. Contact COJO for questions on the best times to dive these sites. The information provided on this site is for reference only, and does not take the place of having the proper training, experience, gear, and good judgement.
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This is an Advanced Dive site and is an incredible marine life dive. During the summer months, watch for porpoise, seal and whales! The famous "Old Sow" whirlpool is located between the lighthouse and Eastport ME. This site is a wall dive and gets deep very quickly, only experienced divers with Advanced certifications should attempt this dive. Currents can pick up without notice and require a hasty exit.
From NB Highway 1, take Exit 56 to St. George/Deer Island. Follow signs to the Deer Island ferry. The ferry is a free government ferry and runs every 30min during the day (check the Ferry Schedule to confirm crossing times). Once on the island, follow route 772 and turn right on Deer Island Point Road. At the end of the road will be the campground entrance, enter the campground and drive to the parking area near the lighthouse (parking site overlooks a sandy beach).
This is an Advanced Dive site with potentially strong current even at slack tide. This site can be dove at high or low slack tide only. At High tide, the water will be to the edge of the wall. At Low tide, you must walk out across slippery walks (head to the spot were several large rocks are exposed, handy for putting fins on).
At slack tide you will have 30-45min for this dive. The dive can be done within 60fsw but divers often drop down to 90-100fsw before ascending back up the wall. Entry and exit MUST be done at the same spot. The area to dive is generally in between the lighthouse, and the big red triangle channel marker. If you surface too far to the left or right of the entrance/exit point, you may experience very strong current and need to pull against it.When the campground is open (May-Sep), use the parking area in front of the sandy beach. Do not use the parking by the picnic tables except for off season, and only when the ground is dry or frozen.
In Winter the campground is not plowed, so may be inaccessible due to snow.
The Deer Island Recreational Council requests that all divers register at the Campground Office in-season, and to pay a fee of $5.00CDN per day, or $20.00CDN per year. The funds are used by the Recreational Council to maintain the campground. Divers who have paid the fee are permitted access to use the flush washrooms when open.
Entry is down a sandy path to the right of the lighthouse down to the rock wall (trail is marked). At low tide you must cross the rocky beach, rocks may be slippery.
The dive MUST only be done at slack tide.
Average is 15ft, but may be lower depending on recent weather.
Water temp will range from 38F in the Winter, to 55F in early Fall.
The site can have strong current, divers must be able to manage their buoyancy. Divers should not be higher than an arm length from the bottom, in case there is a sudden need to grab on to rocks. Ascent should never be direct to the surface as the area has boat traffic and surface current may be very strong. Carry a SMB in case you need to surface away from shore. A light and a whistle is recommended. A compass is essential to ensure you are following the shore line.
The bottom will really start to show concentrated marine life at about 40fsw (high tide) or 20fsw (low tide). This site is known for the concentration and variety of aneomones. Face the wall as you descend so you don't miss anything!
This site is great for looking at macro marine life... nudibranchs, various sponges, crabs, sculpin or sea raven, sea vase, anemones, sea stars. Lots of larger critters as well, Atlantic Wolf Fish, Ocean Pout, and oversized lobster. This site can also have the occasional visit by Dogfish shark, and even the Atlantic Octopus.