Cape Cod is home to some of the most gorgeous bodies of water on the east coast. While they are beautiful from the land, one can help to ponder what lies beneath these beautiful waters – Cape Cod dive sites waiting to be explored!
In the words of the great Jacques Yves Cousteau in his reflection on diving, “The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish.” Whether you are a beginner or a professional diver attempting to dive a 10-foot-deep pond, the great 437-foot Blue hole off the shores of Belize, or a professional using a submersible vehicle to explore the world’s deepest frontier, the Mariana Trench 35,787 feet deep, you must take similar precautions to remain safe in all scenarios.
Shipwrecks and beautiful marine life give way to the amazing Cape Cod dive sites that are just begging to be explored. Let’s explore some of the top Cape Cod dive sites.
The top 10 Cape Cod dive sites include:
- Provincetown Beach
- Margaret Rose
- Cormorant and Barracuda
- Herring Cove Beach
- Sandwich Town Beach
- Hathaway’s Pond
- Flax Pond
- Mashpee/Wakeby Lake
In this article, we will give you information on how to access the above dive sites along with some things to look out for while diving.
Provincetown Harbor Shipwrecks
Off the coast of Provincetown beach lie several shipwrecks that are waiting to be explored. The only shipwreck accessible from the shore is the Flyer. The rest of the wrecks require a chartered captain who knows the Cape Cod dive sites well.
The Flyer is an old fishing boat that sunk in 1972. Water and sea life has caused the boat to break up quite a bit, but it’s still worth a visit. The structure that remains is a great place to find a wide array of sea life with plenty of good hiding holes for lobsters.
The boat lies about 150 yards off the coast of Provincetown beach and is in about 45 feet of water. Its proximity to the shore makes it one of the most popular Cape Cod dive sites. The best time to go is in the spring or early summer before the plankton becomes a factor.
The Margaret Rose
The Margaret Rose is a 105-foot fishing vessel that is still almost fully intact. The ship was actually on its way to becoming a floating restaurant when it sank.
The ship lies in about 60 feet of water with the pilothouse only about 40 feet deep. The visibility is usually only about 10 feet, but if you disrupt the sediment in bad conditions, your visibility can be reduced even further.
The Margaret Rose is only accessible via boat. If you’re the first one there during the lobster season you will be rewarded with quite a surprise.
Cormorant and Barracuda
You’ll have a tough time finding either of these wrecks without some help from a local guide. The Cormorant is an old wooden fishing boat that is extremely broken up.
The Barracuda is an old fishing boat located near Long Point and is subject to strong tides. This means that the location of the ship is ever-changing.
The Frances is an old bark that makes for a fascinating dive. It is accessible from the shores of the Seaward of the Cape.
However, it’s an extremely dangerous dive if the sea waters are not calm. If waves are breaking on the structure, it’s best to stay away to avoid injury.
Race Point to Herring Cove Beach Drift Dive
When there’s an incoming tide, there is an excellent dive off the coast of Race Point. The current will take you from the point to Herring Cove Beach. Along the way, you’ll drift over underwater sand dunes and a sand wall that drops 170 feet!
It’s best to do this dive with an experienced captain and professional divers. If you aren’t careful you could end up at the bottom of the 170-foot sand wall and the current can be unpredictable at times.
Herring Cove Beach
If you would like a calmer dive that’s accessible from the coast head over to Herring Cove Beach. The water is only about 20 feet deep and is mostly known for good snorkeling, but it’s a great place to see bottom dwellers such as crustaceans, flounders, and sea-robins.
Locals even claim that this is one of the best places to go for a night dive! Just be careful you don’t go out too far or else you could be swept away in some extraordinarily strong currents.
Sandwich Town Beach
This is one of the most popular Cape Cod dive sites from shore due to its easy accessibility and marine life activity. It’s also a great place for night diving.
At this site, you can find a plethora of marine life including:
- Moon snails
The depth of the dive site is only 15 to 25 feet so it’s a great place for your first dive. If you go further out, you’ll find clay bank reefs with marine life galore.
While all of the previous listed dives have been ocean dives, Cape Cod is home to several ponds and lakes that also make great dives. One of the most popular in the area is Hathaway’s Pond in Barnstable. At its deepest point, the pond reaches 58 feet in depth. Its lack of current makes it a popular place for dive classes and certifications, also for winter dives.
Even though it’s a pond, there is still plenty to see. In 1979 the Field & Sea, a A 35-foot cabin cruiser was intentionally sunk and now sits at a depth of 30 feet, making it safe to enter and swim through. In close proximity you’ll find a stolen car that was driven into the lake.
The pond is annually stocked without trout. However, you will also find bass, sunfish, perch, and catfish.
Flax Pond Recreational Area
If you are looking for an easier dive, try visiting the beautiful, wooded area of Flax Pond in South Yarmouth. Most divers enter from the beach and the maximum depth is only about 40 feet.
Here you’ll mostly find bass and perch. The pond is small enough that you can do an entire lap around it on one tank. It should only take about an hour to swim around the entire thing.
Mashpee Pond 41°39′40″N 70°29′08″W and Wakeby Lake 41°40′30″N 70°29′08″W are adjoining bodies of water in Mashpee and Sandwich.
If you are looking for a deeper dive, you can head over to Mashpee Pond and Wakeby Lake in Sandwich. These are actually two kettle ponds that are adjoined by a narrow channel. At its deepest, Mashpee Pond can reach 80 feet in depth, making it the deepest body of fresh water on Cape Cod.
You can either do a beach or boat dive in these lakes. While exploring you’ll come across trout, bass, sunfish, bullheads, and crayfish.
Always Use Caution and Protect the Natural Beauty
As you can see, Cape Cod is a great place to dive for novices and experts alike. While diving it’s important to use caution. Most Cape Cod dive sites will have flag indicators or information on their websites on if it’s safe to dive or not. If you are a novice diver, it’s always a good idea to go with experts when going on ocean dives.
Additionally, Cape Cod dives sites are a gift from nature. Make sure to always be conscious of how you are affecting the dive sites. Try to avoid touching the sea bottom or disrupting the wildlife while diving. Other than that, enjoy the beauty and have a great dive!