The Return of Diving Peirce Island
The weather and tides finally cooperated enough for me to try diving Peirce Island again but this time we wanted to enter at the original entry point. From my research a couple weeks ago I knew it would be about a 10 minute walk in full SCUBA gear to get to the old entry point for Peirce Island. This area is unique because there is wall that drops off to ~70ft. The entire wall / rock face is covered in frilled anemones, making it a very cool dive site from the shore.
Furthermore, in the 20-40ft depth range there are fields of tubular hydroids with the largest concentration of red-gilled nudibranchs (mostly flabellina sp “verrilli” and flabellina verrucosa) that I’ve ever seen. It’s a New England macro photographers dream with endless amounts of subjects to shoot.
Unfortunately that entire area is fenced off due to a 5 year construction project so access is limited by car. Luckily the fence does not extend all the way along the shoreline and there are some gaps allowing you to get to the original entry point My friend Luis F. has also dove Peirce Island a few times by walking along the coast line in waist-deep water.
I met up with Luis F. and his friend / divebuddy Heather G. Heather and Luis walked in the waist deep water to get to the original entry point while I walked along the shoreline. There seem to be pros and cons to doing it both ways. The walk along the shoreline is much quicker but you have to climb over some rocks in a couple places and briefly bypass a gap in the fence. I suppose the walk in the water is slightly more legal since you don’t have to bypass the fence.
In any case we had a fantastic dive at Peirce Island! We timed the slack tide perfectly and were met with very little current. Luis and Heather mostly stayed at the top of wall so I lost them pretty quickly. We probably had some of the best visibility I’ve seen at the bottom of the wall. At least 30ft+ if not more. Nudibranchs are everywhere right now. I’m very glad recent construction has not destroyed the wall. In fact I think decreased diver traffic has actually helped the wall.
Peirce Island (12/20/2017)
Max depth: 73ft
Runtime: 52 minutes
Water Temp: 43-46f