Bemo Ledge and Salt Island

Hurricane Maria was passing Cape Ann this weekend, although far out to sea.  Nevertheless, she left large, low rollers for us that were advancing from the southeast.

As a plus, there was a stiff northwest breeze in the 15 knot range.

We only had stalwart, hardy folk on board today so we decided south was the lesser of two evils.  The Captain wanted to video at Bemo Ledge, so we headed out in that direction – through Gloucester Harbor and take a hard left at the Dog Bar breakwater.  As we neared Brace Cove, I could see combers cresting over the actual ledge.  I knew Fred meant he wanted to anchor near the silo on land and not at the actual rocky outcropping, so we dropped anchor in about 25 feet of water within spitting distance of that observatory/landmark.

Pete and Bill Low were hunting and exploring, respectively.  Pat and I were hanging out. The Captain was back into his Atlan dry suit, which, it turns out, wasn’t.  I didn’t mind the rocking and rolling too much because the wind was shifting to the east and that meant we were taking it almost bow on.

The water reports were that it was surgey and had lots of suspended debris from the wave action.  Not so good for filming.  As they surfaced, the hunting report was that “they all had eggs.”  The water was either 59, 57 or 54, depending on whose gauge you believed.  It also had lots to do with the incoming tide and how deep they got, of course.  Visibility was about 10 feet.

I wanted to try out my new neck seal from United Divers‘ Margaret.  I wanted clearer and still water for my shot at some usable footage.  I lobbied hard for the back side of Salt Island.  I won because no one had anywhere that they thought would be any better.

Salt Island from Shore

When we anchored behind the rock, I could see the outline of rocks against the white sand.  Bingo!  Plus, there was absolutely no white, frothy water breaking against the rock itself.  Bingo x2!  Although it was shallow against the rocks if you went to the left, it was 20 feet and dropping as you went right.  Of course, that meant you were going into the surge, waves and cold water as well.

As Veronica says, it was one of those last good diving days of summer – the next to the last cookie in the bag.  You have to lick your finger and gather up the crumbs because you don’t want it to end.  I spent almost an hour in the bright, clear water in my absolutely dry Atlan.  Toasty and dry.  What a concept.

The water was warmer and clearer at this site and there was no surge.  I’ll leave it at that.  Ahem.

Good day with great folk.

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