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Isles of Shoals - Portsmouth NH


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The Wall & Lovers Leap - Isles of Shoals
Location: South East side of Star Island
Special features: Rock wall with a number of interesting formations, overhangs, crevices and large boulders.
Access: only by boat. - Do not leave boat unattended.
Hazards: Lobster boats & fishing boats trolling lines to the bottom. from Depth: 20+’ to 100’
Currents: Some tidal current and sea surge in shallows.
Restrictions: None.

Memorial Cove (Powerhouse Cove) - Isles of Shoals
Location: off Star Island
Special features: Varied bottom from sandy to large rocks. Underwater memorial to diver Jay Lewis, diver who lost his life to a boating accident.
Access: only by boat.
Hazards: Lobster and fishing boats.
Depth: 20 - 60’.
Currents: Sea surge at times, some tidal current.
Restrictions: None.

Seal Cove and Mingo Rock - Isles of Shoals
Location: Southeast side of Duck Island.
Special Features: In the spring and early summer, many seals visit the area. They sunbathe on the rocks and occasionally will swim with divers. (The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits anyone from approaching seals.)
Access: only by boat.
Hazards: Lobster boats. Do not leave boat unattended. The area was once a military target range and divers have found unexploded shells in the area. This dive and all of the other Isles of Shoals dives are recommended for experienced divers.
Depth: To 40 feet in Seal Cove, to 90 feet around Mingo Rock.
Currents: Slight current in the cove, tidal as well as wind current around Mingo Rock.
Restrictions: None

Jimmies Ledge - Isles of Shoals
Location: Northeast side of Duck Island.
Special Features: The area is all ledges and the bottom is very clear. There is occasional seal activity.
Access: only by boat
Hazards: Lobster boats.
Depth: To 50 feet.
Currents: Tidal and wind currents.
Restrictions: None.

Devils Gorge - Isles of Shoals
Location: Southeast side of Appledore Island.
Special Features: The gorge contains plenty of sea life and vegetation, and is ideal for photography.
Access is only by boat.
Hazards: Heavy boat traffic.
Depth: To 35 feet.
Currents: Slight, occasional surge from sea and swell.
Restrictions: None.

Appledore Cove - Isles of Shoals
Location: Northeast side of Appledore Island.
Special Features: Also known as Broad Cove, this area is well protected and contains a variety of sea life as well as ledges and a sandy bottom.
Access is only by boat.
Hazards: Lobster boats.
Depth: To 70 feet.
Currents: Slight
Restrictions: None.

Babbs Rock - Isles of Shoals
Location: In a small bay on the west side of Appledore Island, near the Shoals Marine Laboratory.
Special Features: The shore line is made up of ledge, which descends to a sand and gravel bottom with occasional protruding ledges. On the north side of the area, the remains of a World War II pier provide a spectacular view of flora and fauna. Only a snorkel is needed here. Access is only by boat
Hazards: Westerly winds can cause serious sea conditions. The area is frequented by lobster, recreational and research boats. Depth: Generally less than 50 feet, but can go to 90 feet further off shore.
Currents: Not a problem except that surge can occur from the sea and swell in shallow areas.
Restrictions: Vessels must anchor. Moorings here are the property of the Shoals Marine Laboratory and they are heavily used. The small cove between Appledore and Babbs Rock is off limits to divers and snorkelers. It is possible, with permission, to visit the laboratory during the summer, when personnel are on the island. No trespassing is allowed at other times of the year.

Cedar Island - Isles of Shoals
Location: Southeast side of Cedar Island. Special Features: Beautiful plant life that is ideal for photography. Bottom is a mixture of rocks and sand. Access is only by boat Hazards: Lobster boats and, during the summer months, fishermen trolling with plugs. Depth: To 60 feet. Currents: Slight tidal current as well as wind current on the surface. Restrictions: None.

Pyramid Valley - Isles of Shoals
Location: Southeast side of Cedar and Smuttynose islands. Special Features: The cove contains rocks, crevices and small rock formations that resemble pyramids, as well as a great deal of sea life. Access is only by boat Hazards: Lobster boats. Depth: To 25 feet in the cove, to 60 feet at the mouth of the cove. Currents: Occasional wind current on the surface. Restrictions: None.

Cedar Island Ledge - Isles of Shoals
Location: Approximately 700 yards southeast of Cedar Island. Special Features: The depth drops dramatically to well over 100 feet. The bottom consists of an interesting grouping of ledge, boulders and large granite slabs, which form caves. Flora and fauna abound. Access is only by boat. Hazards: This site is exposed to weather from the north, east and south. The ledge rises to the surface, so the site must be approached with caution. Lobster and recreational boats frequent the area. Boats should not be left unattended. A heavy anchor is needed. Depth: To 140 feet. Currents: The surge from sea and swell in shallow areas and the tidal currents can be moderately strong. Restrictions: None.

Gosport Harbor - Isles of Shoals
Location: Northeast side of Star Island. Special Features: The bottom is mud and gravel, but the area is noted for clay pipes, bottles and other artifacts. Access is only by boat Hazards: Lobster buoys and extremely heavy boat traffic. Depth: To 60 feet. Currents: Slight. Restrictions: Do not dive in main part of channel.

Boon Island - 3 miles off York, Maine
Special Features: In the spring and early summer, many seals visit the area. They sunbathe on the rocks and occasionally will swim with divers. (The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits anyone from approaching seals.) Island is home of automated light house and novel by Ken Roberts "Boon Island" was written about a wreck in which the survivors turned cannibalistic.
Access is only by boat.
Hazards: Lobster and fishing boats. Keep a constant eye on weather as conditions can make diving hazardous if you get caught on the wrong side of the island where you are exposed to the open ocean.
Depth: 20 - 120’.
Currents: Sea surge in shallows, some tidal and wind current.

Boone Island Ledge - ’ Empire Knight’
Special features: A wreckage field of the vessel ’Empire Knight’. Lots or marine growth and fish life. Visibility can vary and is best in the spring before too much algea gets in the water. Access is only by boat - do not leave boat unattended. Hazards: A small swell can make up on the ledge into huge breakers. ONLY dive this spot when conditions are ideal and if you are a strong swimmer. Depth: 0 - 120’. Currents: Can have strong tidal or wind currents and the sea surge can be treacherous. Large steel plates can foul your air hoses. Live ordinance on bottom with dangerous detonators - LEAVE ALONE. Also found are beer bottles, grinding wheels, locomotive parts, truck parts. Use extreme care in approach to ledge as you can go aground very easily and fishing boats troll this area. Restrictions: Only strong swimmers and experienced divers should dive this site. More info on the wreck is available on www.wreckhunter.net

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