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Finally dived locally
geobrad7 - 8/16/2009 9:10 PM
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Category: Other
Comments: 7
I had been diving several places (mostly warm and scenic): Hawaii, Mexico, Florida, the Bahamas; as well as a very interesting inland spot in New Mexico, but never anywhere like Rhode Island. Well today I finally did it, after living here almost a year.

It was quite different than what I expected in several ways. 1) Even though now the water is the warmest of the year, I still had it in my head that it was ice cold here, all the time. It was actually pretty nice. The thermocline was a bit cool, but not the least bit uncomfortable. 2) The visibility was awful, compared to everywhere else I’ve been. 10-20 ft here seems to be good. By "tropical" standards, that’s pretty bad. 3) There were not many fish, and there were not any interesting fish at all. 4) There were a lot of sea jellies and sea stars. The sea jellies part is a little scary! 5) Lobster catching seems to be pretty popular with divers here, and I’m not a big fan of stuff like that.

All in all, it was pretty different from my expectations, but I had a good time. It’s a hell of a lot easier to dive here than to fly to Florida or anything. I’d like to try at least a few more places here. Maybe then expand into Massachusetts and Connecticut.


madlobster - 8/17/2009 7:16 PM
They’re probably more common up here in Mass, but what an ugly fish. If you had as many divers there as you ststed (several groups) that could have easily knocked down your vis. As i stated before they do get tropicals in RI i have been told, King’s Beach i believe. A nice RI dive to do is Beaver Tail State Park, it does have a current there so do be careful when you do go but it has lots of fissures to dive between and a decent amount of sea life. Almost all of my local dives are in Rockport and Goucester MA where i do think the vis is generally better, but tends to be cooler (we had 53 and 57 this weekend) check it out some day.
geobrad7 - 8/17/2009 5:40 PM

I forgot to reply about the sea ravens. I did not see any, though they do look very interesting. Are they common here?

geobrad7 - 8/17/2009 4:57 PM

I probably did see some flounder and stripers, I’m not sure. None of the fish seemed to stick out as being particularly interesting. I saw a two skates over three dives, and though they are cool, that is very few compared to other places I’ve dived. I saw a few lobsters and a few crabs, which was kinda cool. But even counting the skates, lobsters, and crabs, that’s still less than ten creatures that were at all interesting over three dives. Not much. :-/

After diving at Fort Adams, I wrote that blog. Today I dived at Fort Wetherill and had a very similar experience, as far as the things I talked about in the blog.

geobrad7 - 8/17/2009 4:23 PM
resting, several sea stars, and literally millions of sea jellies (but they all seemed to be harmless). Fishing/lobster-hunting doesn’t seem to be popular at Fort Wetherill.

Honestly, if you have had 600 dives under your belt, I’m sure you’d find Fort Wetherill to be boring. The water temperature was nice (about 71), but there’s not a lot more to it unless you’re trying to do some training in an easy location. With how small and shallow it is, I think it’d be pretty easy to snorkel / freedive.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

geobrad7 - 8/17/2009 4:22 PM
Hi Ray,

After writing that blog yesterday, I had just dived at Fort Adams in Newport, RI. Today I dived at Fort Wetherill in Jamestown, RI. I’d say the same things I discussed in the blog apply to Fort Wetherill as well. It is a much more basic dive than Fort Adams (as you would assume, considering Fort Adams is kind of a channel or a sound, and Fort Wetherill is coves).

Fort Wetherill was a nice dive, but I am surprised it gets as much hype as it does. I hear people travel from all over the northeast to dive there. Being there during the day on a Monday during the day (when I’d expect it to be dead), I saw several dive groups come and go. I think what makes it so popular is that it is very calm (no waves, sometimes some surf/surge), pretty easy to navigate, shallow (20-30 feet within the coves), and the main cove has a boat ramp and very few rocks for a very easy entry. The sea life seemed to be about the same: fish here and there, nothing inte
madlobster - 8/17/2009 1:03 PM
Welcome to New England diving! 20’ vis, thats a good day! You didn’t see flounder, skate, crabs, stripers, or sea ravens? You can see tropicals in RI from time to time. Where did you dive?
LatitudeAdjustment - 8/17/2009 9:39 AM
Bradley, where in RI were you diving? I’d heard good things about Fort Wetherill and wanted to try it. Ray