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!
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!
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.
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