All posts by Undersea Divers

Dive Site Profile: Back Beach

back beach 2

If you ask people to ramble off some of the better known dive sites in Cape Ann, you will probably hear the name Back Beach. Back Beach is located on Beach Street, just outside downtown Rockport.  This dive site is known as the mecca of check-out dives. You ask us why that is it? Simple, there is parking, easy entry and exit and a gradual sloping bottom among many other things. Here is an overview of this well-known and loved dive site.


Bottom Composition:
Back Beach features a gradual slope down with maximum depths between 20ft – 30ft. The middle of the beach is composed of a mostly sandy bottom, whereas the sides of the beach are covered with small to medium boulders.  In some areas you will find sandy patches and in some areas, rock gardens. We like diving on the left side the best!

Photo By: Andrew Martinez
Photo By: Andrew Martinez

Marine Life: You can see a variety of marine life here such as lobsters, crabs, flounder, cunner, sea ravens and squid. We love to go night diving here in August and September when the squid are most abundant.

Parking: One of the best features of this dive site is easy parking. There are metered spaces running parallel to the beach so it is easy to load and unload your gear. Make sure you arrive early in the hot summer months, these spaces don’t last long (7:00am-8:00am). Don’t forget to bring quarters!

Photo: Andrew Martinez
Photo: Andrew Martinez

Entry & Exit Points: Another reason why we love Back Beach is for the easy entry and exit points. On the left side of the beach there is a ramp that will guide you down to the small sandy beach area. There is also a bench at the top of the ramp where you can don your gear or take a rest before or after your dive. While you can enter the beach from the right side, we find it easier to go down the left side ramp to avoid walking over small rocks. Once you hit the beach area, whether left or right, it is sandy and you should be able to move about with ease as you enter the water.

Photo: BigD Scuba Blog
Photo: BigD Scuba Blog

Weather: Even though you can dive this site in most weather due to its somewhat sheltered cove, an easterly wind can make this site rough. A west wind is ideal.

BONUS: There are bathrooms in the middle of the beach which are open during the summer months!

Experience Level: Easy

Back Beach is located in a residential neighborhood, so please respect their property!

Want more info on local dive sites? Check out these 2 books: (available for purchase at our store!)

A Shore Diving Guide to New England (Author: Jerry Shine) $24.95

Diving Cape Ann and Boston’s North Shore ( Author: Donald Whitehead) $15.00

Boston Sea Rovers Clinic

21

It’s that time of the year again, the Boston Sea Rovers Clinic will be held March 9th & 10th, 2013. If you are unfamiliar with the BSR or you’re a repeat attendee, we have the scoop on the this years event. And the best part, we will be an exhibitor, so make sure you stop by our booth and say hello!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Boston Sea Rovers, here is a bit of background. The Boston Sea Rovers is a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to increasing awareness and appreciation of the marine environment. They are one of the oldest (Began in 1954) and most distinguished underwater clubs in America. While the membership has changed over the years, the Sea Rovers always stay true to their original goal of “Raising the Level of Knowledge of the Underwater World.” All of the volunteers have a diverse and varied background, who share a common bond of a love for diving and for the ocean.The Sea Rovers hold an annual weekend clinic which is comprised of seminars, workshops, exhibits, films and hands-on activities. This year the clinic will be held on March 9th & 10th, 2013 at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Boston North Shore (Formerly – CoCo Key Hotel & Water Resort) in Danvers Massachusetts. 

Exhibit-hall

Exhibits: There are many vendors that attend the Sea Rovers annual clinic to display their best and new products. You will see travel destinations and resorts, local dive shops, and of course equipment dealers.

Workshops: This year there are 14 workshops where you can either sharpen your skills or be introduced to amazing new areas of diving. Workshops range from an INTRODUCTION TO FREE DIVING by Nick Fazah to learning more about CONSERVATIVE DIVING with DAN to learning VIDEO & EDITING by Annie Crawley. attendees*Some workshops require payment and/or pre-registration*

Seminars: Along with the workshops, there are over 30 seminars you can attend. Seminar topics range from travel tips and destinations, photography, ocean sustainability, marine life and much more. We highly recommend checking out Andrew Martinez and his seminar Macro Magic in St. Vincent and Jerry Shine’s New England Underwater, 30 shots, 30 stories.

Film Festival: One of the best parts of the BSR clinic is the film festival that is featured Saturday night.  Ernie Brooks is this year’s Master of Ceremonies. The highlight will be the screening of “Making Blue Movies” by Michael Pitts. This film is a collection of his favorite BBC projects which include, “Private Life of Plants”, “Blue Planet” and “Life”.

Nudibranchs-copy

Marine Life Art Exhibit: This is a new exhibit to the clinic this year and will feature nudibranchs through the amazing sculptures of Gar Waterman and the photographs of Kevin Lee.

Discover Scuba: This event will take place on Saturday March 9th from 10:30am – 4:30pm. This event allows you to try out scuba diving in the hotel pool! Must be age 10 and up. *Pre-registration is required*

discoverScubas

Kids Day: Kids day is Sunday, March 10th. All kids under 12 years old get FREE admission! There will be a touch tank filled with fun marine life for the kids to explore along with an event called “How Far Can Your Escargot Go” where the kids get to have a snail race put on by the students at the Salem State University Cat Cove Marine Lab.

Whether you are just being introduced to scuba diving or have been a diver for many years, this is always a fun event and we hope you can make it. We will be having a SPECIAL GIVEAWAY at out booth so make sure you stop by!

Quick Links

Ticketing Information     

Boston Sea Rover Website 

Seminar Schedule

Workshop Schedule

Aqualung – Twilight Collection

We see more and more companies creating lines specifically designed for women.  (It’s about time!) Aqualung is no different, they have just launched their Twilight Collection which is specifically designed for women and features the popular Twilight Purple on all items. Here is a breakdown of the Twilight Collection and why we love it so much.

Legend LX

Legend LX 

This regulator is a top-of-the line fully adjustable regulator that joins the existing Legend LX. The Twilight Legend LX includes a smaller Comfo-Bite mouthpiece and a lighter second stage to reduce jaw fatigue, and the revolutionary Master Breathing System (MBS) for simple breathing comfort control. It also includes a safe and stylish storage bag.

Soul i3 

Soul i3

The Soul i3 is a luxury BC for women. This BC features Aqualung’s comfortable Wrapture Harness System, i3 buoyancy control system and GripLock tank band to keep tanks secure.  It has an integrated weight system along with multiple accessory additions. Colors available:Twilight, Pink or Charcoal.

                     

SolAfx Wetsuit

solafx

We have raved about this suit for years. We love this suit so much because it’s toasty warm! The suit comes in 5mm and 8mm. We prefer the thicker of the two for New England diving. The suit is 8mm in the torso and 7mm in the limbs. It has unique features which truly help with retaining warmth. Features include a water dam that covers the neck and shoulders to add another level of protection from water ingress through the zipper along with Skin In gasket seals in the forearms and calves to minimize water entry through the sleeves and legs. Other features include a Plasmaloc across-the-chest zipper and Liquid Seam Technology to enhance durability. The SolAfx comes in black with a stylish white Aqualung logo.

linea

Linea

This is a beautiful  single lens mask that includes the Comfort Buckle System. This buckle swivels to prevent tangled hair. This mask also features Advanced Fit Technology that uses bands of different textures around the edge of the skirt resulting in a superior seal against the face. And we know, no one likes a leaky mask! The Linea is a low volume mask, which means it’s easier to clear and gives you a wider field of vision. The Linea comes in 3 colors: Twilight, Pink, and Arctic White.

zepher

Zepher 

The Zepher snorkel is designed with a splash guard with a purge channel on the top of the snorkel to prevent water ingress. It also features a purge valve on the bottom for easy clearing and a Comfo-bite mouthpiece which reduces jaw fatigue.

 

Shot FX Fin

shotfx

This is a high performance fin designed especially for women. This fin is great for women because it has a dedicated blade that is shorter and softer, therefore making it easier to kick. It comes standard with a Spring Strap so you never have to adjust your fins again. The foot pocket is equipped with the Power Transmission Zone which anchors the foot and prevents unnecessary stretching of the pocket on the power stroke resulting in maximum energy transmission. Colors Available: Twilight, Arctic White

Twilight Travel Accessories  

bags

  • Catalina Roller Bag
  • Avalon Cosmetic Bag
  • Cosmetic Pouch

Twilight Accessories:  twilight accessories

  • Ava Glove
  • Cora Glove
  • Ellie Ergo Boot
  • Squeeze Lock BC Knife

Aqualung has launched a woman’s only website where you can view all of the Aqualung Women’s Products that are available.  They also have a weight calculator where you can enter in your gear and get exact weight amounts for when you travel. No one ever likes going over the weight limit and paying that expensive fee!

You can order any of the Aqualung Twilight Collection from us here at Undersea Divers. 

For more information on these products, visit http://women.aqualung.com/women/us/ 

Equipment Weight Calculator, visit http://women.aqualung.com/women/us/2012-06-05-09-44-14/product-weight-calculator 

Legend LX Video: http://youtu.be/ARD808E1NmA

Linea Video: http://youtu.be/Q4Klhu6XunE

Dive Travel: Bonaire

About Bonaire:

2 squidAs most of you know we love the island of Bonaire. For over 20 years we have been running trips to this “Diver’s Paradise” and divers have been coming back year after year. Bonaire’s pristine reefs and diverse marine life are unique to the Caribbean. The waters around Bonaire are home to more than 500 species of fish, as well as more than 120 kinds of coral. Because the waters around Bonaire are designated as an official marine park, diving Bonaire is like diving the Caribbean the way it use to be, untouched and unspoiled.  The island’s location in the south Caribbean gives it an arid climate with little rainfall; consequently, the waters are exceptionally clear, calm and diveable year round. Water temperatures average a warm 78-84 degrees and water visibility often averages over 100ft. Bonaire is an ideal destination for underwater photographers. Few destinations offer the photographic opportunities that you will find in Bonaire. With incredible visibility, abundant fish life and a healthy reef system, wide angle opportunities are naturally about. Divers and snorkelers alike can gaze in wonder as colorful creatures, large and small, feast on a reef that serves as an underwater banquet table.

About the DIVI Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino (This is our favorite place to stay!)

divi_flamingo_beach_resort_casino_0The studio units are located in a charming, sky- blue, gingerbread- style complex with a private pool. It offers guests two double beds with a queen sleeper sofa, fully equipped kitchen with refrigerator and coffee maker, and spacious screened porch. All studio units offer pool views. Divi Flamingo Beach Resort Hotel and Casino reflects the casual mood and rich natural beauty of Bonaire, with a modern and comfortable atmosphere. “Barefoot Elegance” is the theme of this resort, one of the island’s best! There are 150 rooms, each tastefully decorated in an island theme and each with a sheltered patio or balcony. All rooms are air-conditioned and have daily maid service.The Flamingo Beach Resort has 2 restaurants on the property. The Calabas Terrace is a beach-side restaurant open for breakfast and lunch daily. They have a wonderful made-to-order breakfast buffet and a delicious variety of food for lunch. Dinner is served at the Chibi Chibi restaurant a casual yet elegant over-the-water restaurant. Dinner requires reservations, so plan ahead. upclose turtleThe Player’s Bar is located next to the Flamingo Casino, and serves cocktails and light snacks until the early morning hours. There are many fine restaurants located within walking distance from the hotel.The Flamingo Casino is a great place to try your luck at various casino games. There is black jack, roulette, craps, and a good assortment of slot machines. You can also rent a car from the on-property rental agency or get pampered at the resort’s beauty salon.There are 2 swimming pools at the resort with plenty of lounge chairs to relax. Beach towels are provided in your rooms. The water in your rooms is safe to drink and the electricity is 110 volts. There are no hair dryers in the studio rooms and the dive shop has a charging station for video and camera equipment.

Group Leader: Bob Boyle

bonaire 3On every Undersea Divers trip, you have a group leader. They are there to help you with anything you need in order to make your vacation the best it can be. They will show you the best places to dive, snorkel, eat and play! Bob is THE BEST island guide when it comes to visiting Bonaire. He knows all of the staff at the Divi as well as many others around the island. He can show you the best dive sites, restaurants and recreational areas. Bob has visited the island of Bonaire 55 times! Bob was even recently deemed an Ambassador of Bonaire for his efforts in creating a rich diving culture and running trips to the island!

Upcoming Trips: Come dive with us!

April 13th – 20th, 2013    ONLY 3 SPOTS LEFT!   April Trip Details & Rates

November 2nd – 9th, 2013  November Trip Details

Call (978-927-9551) or Email (dive@underseadivers.com)  us to register for a trip or for additional information. Happy Diving!

DEMA 2012

This years DEMA Show was held in Las Vegas. For those of you who don’t know what DEMA is, it stands for The Diving Equipment & Marketing Association. Every year DEMA hosts a show where the latest and greatest products are displayed from manufacturers around the world. This year I (Whitney) was sent to DEMA and I want to show you what I found!

XShot Fins featured in Orange & Black
Hot Shot Fin featured in Artic White
Impression Mask featured in Artic White

Since we are an Aqualung Dealer, it was my first stop once I hit the show floor. They have a new fin called the XShot which features a standard spring strap. They have also introduced a new mask called the Impression. This mask is unique because instead of the lens, skirt and frame all being snapped together, the Impression molds those pieces together which in return allows the mask to sit closer to your face which maximizes your field of vision. They have also changed the color schemes on a few items. The Hydroflex line of suits are now a royal blue which stands out and looks great. They are also offering the Impulse 3 snorkel and Hot Shot Fins in the Arctic White we all love to much.

AquaPod featuring DC1400 camera

My next stop was at SeaLife Cameras. Here I checked out the new Fish Eye Wide Angle Lens for their DC1400 series as well as their new AquaPod. The Fish Eye Lens is great for increasing the field of view in any photo. It’s simple to use and works for both still and video mode. The AquaPod is a pole attachment that mounts to your camera so you can take up close photos while still maintaining a comfortable distance between you and your subject. I see this product as a great way to capture a photo of a shy blenny without having to hover or damage the reef waiting for the little guy to pop out. Or turn the camera around on the pod and you are ready to take a self portrait!

Not only did I see great companies and products, but I met a lot of people who love what they do and will do anything to keep the SCUBA industry growing strong. My kind of people!

Happy Diving!