Finally, after prolong period, from august until now, that I’ve spent sorting the consequences of the accident with my drowned camera, Matt and I set our course to the Maine’s town of Eastport. Needless to say, as of today, it has become one of my favorite places to dive in Maine. Also, since it is the fourth year in a row, that we are revisiting Eastport at this time of the year, it’s turned into a tradition to stay a few days in Motel East and explore the underwater environment of the local waters.
The drive wasn’t bad, we left at 3:15 pm and, including dinner at Saeng and picking up a few tanks in Aqua Diving Academy, we arrived at Motel East at 11:30 pm. The next morning was a high tide dive, scheduled at about 10:00 am. We love to dive at Old Steamship Pier at high tide. Despite light snow covering a few rocks, separating parking area from the shore, the entrance to the water is the easiest there is. In contrast, at the same dive spot, but during the low tide, in order to reach water edge, one must walk 60-70 yerds over the slippery cobblestones.
The distance from the car to the water edge
At the high tide, the swim to the wall takes less than a minute and you are at the spot. At the low tide, you can practically walk to the wall. Is there a significant difference in visibility between high and low tides? I’d say if there were any, you would hardly notice it.
Matt Wills getting ready
The water temperature was about 45F, visibility – 6 to 8 feet. At the first dive, as soon as we “landed”, we found a decent sized Onchidoris muricata.
Onchidoris muricata (Fuzzy Onchidoris)
The next species was unusually large Bushy Backed, about 2.5 inches long. At the base of the log, Sand shrimp tried to bury itself in the silty bottom. Then, on the same log, we saw a few Flabellina verrucosas and Flabellina gracilis. The duration of the first dive was 78 min.
Send shrimp (Crangon septemspinosa)
On the second, low tide dive, we went to the Deep Reef, about 60 degrees off the end of the building. Matt, as always, found it very quickly at the depth of 45 feet. (At the high tide you should add about 20 feet)
Painted balloon aeolis (Eubranchus tricolor)
At the reef, we took pictures of a pair of White Atlantic Cadlina, Painted balloon Aeolis, big Toad crab, Sea vases, yellow sponge and more. The time spent underwater – 74 min.
I’d say, the third dive was the most interesting one. Again it was at Steamship Pier during high tide. We spotted 7 species of nudibranchs, Polar lebbeid, Acadian hermit crab, Baltic isopod, Snail fur, Red northern anemone, Clonal plumose anemone and much more. We began the dive while the surface was still flat, 74 minutes later, there were one-foot waves and whitecaps in the middle of the Passamaquoddy River.
Baltic isopod (Idotea balthica)
So we made 3 dives, morning and afternoon on 28th and one-morning dive on 29th. We’d like to stay longer, but upcoming blizzard disrupted our plan. Therefore, we left Eastport after 2 pm. and arrived home by midnight. On the way back, we stopped at Maine-ly Smoked Salmon and bought a few pounds of delicious smoked fillets.
Green Balloon Aeolis (Eubranchus olivaceus)
I’m sure Matt would agree with me, that the time we spent driving, the money we paid for the hotel and food, totally worth of pleasure of the exploration. As soon as I get a few days оff, I’ll be there again … and again)
Safe diving and new, exciting discoveries to all
Snail Fur (Hydractinia echinata)