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 provides a great sampling of critters on Deer Island. The bottom varies throughout the dive, starting with a rocky wall and flattening out to a rocky bottom with crevasses. The bottom is covered with marine life, everything from nudibranchs to Atlantic Wolf Fish. While it is a drift dive, navigation can be tricky near the end of the dive to ensure you turn up towards the exit point and not drift out into the Bay. It is recommended to initially do this dive with an experienced dive buddy to ensure you don't miss the turn.
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 Campground Office.
This is an Advanced Dive site with normally strong current. Enter at the beach right behind the Campground Washrooms and follow a bearing to the right following the shoreline to exit at the sandy beach just before the lighthouse. There is an alternate exit point about "mid way" through the dive which is currently marked by blue clothes line and yellow buoy markers. Exit if needed here following the bottom, the exit is difficult walking but manageable. The dive normally takes about 30min, and a typical dive plan will average 50-60 fsw (although some rocky walls go deeper and are fun to drop down on).
When the campground is open (May-Sep), use the parking area by the campground office. Do not use the parking beside the washroom 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 road leading to the Eastport/Campobello ferries is plowed and makes great alternate parking and the ferry ramp an ideal alternate entry point. Watch for boat traffic and commercial ferries using the boat ramp.
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 across a beach. The dive should only be done 1-2 hours prior to low slack tide, so it is a bit of a walk and the beach has some slippery rocks.
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 drift 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. Also the Eastport and Campobello ferries pass close to the entry of the dive site, so that would be a poor time to be at the surface. 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.
When following the rocky point around to the right, start looking for crevasses that may be used by lobster, ocean pout and atlantic wolf fish. This site is great for looking at macro marine life... nudibranchs, various sponges, crabs, sculpin or sea raven, sea vase, anemones, lobster, sea stars. This is one of the best sites for various nudibranch species, but at times may be poor for photography due to the current.