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Out-of-towner questions...

Discussion in 'New England' started by Ready4Launch, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. Ready4Launch

    Ready4Launch Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: United States
    Greetings! So, I have a potential job interview for a company in MA located out towards Worcester. Top of my mind in how much seriousness I would put into deciding to interview and consider, is ... WHAT'S MY DIVING GOING TO LOOK LIKE???

    Currently, I live in Ventura, CA (not from here, just living here), and I'm getting in the water 2-3 days a week regardless of the season. (Note that I didn't make season a plural ... haha.) My diving and sailing life is pretty damn good right now. Plus, I am a county SAR member, and the variation of my diving and training is really enjoyable right now.

    Just the quick 15 minutes of searching, it seems like there is plenty up and down the coast from Maine to NJ. But, is there a good community of divers going year-round and is it possible to beach dive year-round? I assume that's possible, but do the winter swells allow it? Or, is it kinda closed out for a couple months? And, then just in general, what's the basic flavor? I see there's kelp in the NH and ME coastal areas. Seals. I kinda have the idea that it might be fairly similar to CA diving, but maybe I'm getting ahead of myself in the optimism department. My consideration would revolve around living in NH too, for what it's worth.

    Thanks! Dive safe and have fun!
  2. king_of_battle

    king_of_battle Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: New Hampster
    I live a little less than an hour north of Worcester in NH so I may be able to help you. I haven’t dove CA so I can only take a swing at the differences and your options. The best diving in the area is in the Gloucester, MA area. There is some good shore diving and a few charter boats out of that area. Parking for shore diving is usually pretty terrible though (like you must be a resident to park here type terrible) so expect to drop gear and park somewhere far away and hike it back. You’ll see some threads on here about hostility towards divers from residents especially in the Rockport area. The NIMBYism of New England is pretty legendary. So – it’s a PITA. The shores are rocky and the entrance/exit can suck. But if you get in the water the diving is pretty great. We have wrecks, we have lobster, and we’ve got some cool pinnacles and other underwater formations. If you want to dive year round a drysuit is pretty mandatory. In August it’s not unusual to have water temps at depth in the 40s. In the winter the air temperature can be well below freezing and you don’t want a wetsuit on for that. Only a few boats stay in the water all year – usually Boston Scuba’s boat (out of Boston proper) will go out a decent amount in the winter. There is usually a ‘prime season’ that goes from Jun-Oct. Outside of that it starts to be the people who are very into diving so you’ll be able to link up with them pretty quickly if you dive during the off seasons. I like boat diving. Charters run between $80-100 for most 2 tank dives. In season most dive shops have weekend shore dives as well if you are looking to go that route. If I was to guess the differences between CA diving and New England diving I’d say our visibility is probably a little worse, water north of Cape Cod will be colder, and the kelp and other similar California experiences wont be as nice. But don’t count out the diving – there are some fantastic opportunities once you make the adjustment.

    As for living in NH I assume you won’t want to be that far from Worcester. That means you’ll more likely be in the Nashua to Monadnock region. There are volunteers who help with SAR in the mountain areas (especially around Mt. Monadnock if you want to live near work) for all the tourists who get hurt or lost in the woods. You’d be about an hour to an hour and a half from Gloucester. There is some diving in the lakes region but the jewel of the area is the Atlantic. You aren’t crazy far from the St. Lawrence waterway for warm water diving (in the late summer) either. South of Cape Cod the water warms. In fact there is usually a tropical fish rescue every year in RI before the water cools substantially. If you are a cave diver there’s even a mine in VT you can dive. We have a lot of options you just have to seek them out a little bit to discover them.
    Ready4Launch likes this.
  3. large_diver

    large_diver Loggerhead Turtle

    A few additional comments -

    - The vis. on average, will be worse than CA. Typical Cape Ann vis is 15 feet - lower in summer, higher in winter
    - Water temps in the warmer months will feel similar. In late summer/early fall (right now), water temps are as warm as 58-59 down at 60+ feet
    - At the same depths in April, depending on the severity of the winter, temps will be in high 30s/low 40s
    - There are definitely diving options year round - both boat and shore. That said - snow and freezing temps are your main barrier in addition to stormier conditions. The good news is, the parking is better. That more challenging part is snow, ice and cold weather during surface intervals.
    AfterDark and Ready4Launch like this.
  4. orion612004

    orion612004 PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: 42.686276, 70.64224
    Check out seconndivers.org They dive year round
    Ready4Launch likes this.
  5. soldsoul4foos

    soldsoul4foos Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Portland, ME
    Don't forget the sea life in the winter is amazing too!
    AfterDark likes this.

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