Christine and I have a house in Eastport on
Passamaquoddy Bay and consider the diving there the
best diving in the North Atlantic (yes, we're
spoiled). Some of the things to be seen in Eastport
are found nowhere else in the United States. Even
the things which can be seen elsewhere typically
grow considerably larger in Eastport due to the
currents. For those of you who are joining us for a
diving expedition in Eastport, here are some
pictures from the dive site right in front of the
house. It's an easy shore dive, with a mini-wall, a
resident wolffish named Gene and all kinds of
The diving in Eastport is dictated by the tides.
Because Passamaquoddy Bay is connected to the Bay
of Fundy, it experiences a massive 25 foot tidal
range, leading to 12+ knot currents in the bay. So
all diving is done at slack tide. This means that
usually we can only do 2 dives per day. This makes
diving in Eastport a nice relaxed affair. Check out
Greg Brunshidle's cool
time-lapse of the tidal cycle at the town pier.
This is a typical Eastport "reef"
scenic. You can see why we call it the
"Coral Reef of the North". What
<----Eastport is the Tealia
Anemone capital of the Atlantic. There are
probably more Tealias per square
foot on the bottom of Passamaquoddy Bay
than anywhere else in the Atlantic. I
would estimate that on a typical dive you
could count 500 of them if you wanted
We have tealias in
every color, including purple and rarely,
yellow. If you want to photograph the
world's most photogenic anemone, this is
This is Gene, our
"trained" wolffish. (I use the term
"trained" loosely here. He doesn't do many
tricks, although he is now fairly used to
divers and will allow people to approach
closely. He will usually eat from my hand.
He might also come right out and steal
your food! I have known Gene since 1996
when I bought the house. I met him during
a dive that was part of the "home
inspection." Once the dive was completed,
I made an offer on the house. Gene was
largely responsible for the purchase! (Who
can resist a wolffish in the front
Wolffish like urchins
and eat them by crushing them with the
hard palate in the roof of their mouth.
But they like something else even better
than urchins. (It's a secret until you get
to Eastport though!)
Check out wolffish movies
produced by Greg "Gator"
(4 Mb) August, 2001 - 320x240 size. In
this film, you can see that back in 2001,
Gene didn't like to come all the way out
of his hole to eat from our
Mb) June, 2002 - 320x240 size. You can see
here that by 2002, Gene had overcome
This is Red Soft Coral, something
common in Eastport that you may not see
very often elsewhere. It's a close
relative of that same soft coral you see
in Fiji, but it thrives in the cold,
nutrient-rich waters of Passamaquoddy
On the right, an ordinary Blood Star,
but on the left is a Winged Sea Star, a
cold-water creature never seen in most of
New England. This sea star is normally
seen only in the arctic, but the coooold
water in Eastport allows it to survive in
a more southern latitude.
Cold-water basket stars can be found at
certain dive sites with ease.
The Spiny Sun Star feeds on smaller sea
stars. Its brilliant red coloration makes
it a great photographic subject. This is
another animal which is fairly common in
An Orange-footed Sea Cucumber feeding.
It is licking the plankton off of one
tentacle by placing it in its mouth. The
sea cucumber will lick each tentacle, one
by one, for as long as it feeds.
Another arctic sea star, the Horse
star, can be seen in Eastport. These are
very rare in New England.
Shore diving in Eastport and around
Passamaquoddy Bay is easy, because the
bottom drops off so fast. In this shot,
the divers are standing around getting
ready to go in at Deer Island. The fishing
boat in the background is anchored in 100+
feet of water! Bring that dry suit because
the water is never over ~52° F..
Diving at Dawson House (jokingly
referred to as "Captain Jon's Habitat")
you can shower off right outside the
house. Mmmm, cold water! Amy shows how
it's done. We have a small compressor on site.
*DIVE WEEKEND is
$400.00 pp and includes:
accomodations (Thurs-Mon or Fri-Tues
depending on schedule)
6+ dives depending on tides
Photo Guide services (NOT a
Fun and excitement!
All diving is shore based.
Boat dives are optional and not included
and may not even be available! $100
deposit required to hold spot. Divers must
bring a minimum of two tanks, three is
better, as well as weight.
LEGAL NOTICE: I am an underwater photographer leading photo workshops. I am not a dive instructor or divemaster. All diving is done at your own risk and under your own supervision. You are responsible for your own dive practices and safety.