Cathedral Rocks

Cathedral Rocks


Cathedral Rocks (looking north), having a northeasterly exposure, is a challenging rocky entry. This site is one of the more popular dive spots on Cape Ann, but it is not for novice divers! The dive site is a rocky climb down from the road. The area to the left of the site (facing the ocean) is shallower (10 to 20 feet), while depths of 10 to 80 feet can be reached directly off the beach. Very interesting dive site with steep bedrock walls, anemones, occasional schools of fish (due to the deeper water), and an rare sand shark (after lobster pot baiting). There sometimes is a current running parallel to shore (usually north to south); plan accordingly. Also, watch for lobster pot bouy lines as the site is sometimes filled with them. Unrestricted, but limited parking. Additional parking can be found on side streets, but carpooling is recommended.

Directions (from Boston):

Take 93 north or route one north to 128 north (Gloucester/Rockport) Follow Route 128 until you pass both Grant and Blackburn traffic circles Shortly after passing Blackburn Circle you'll come to a set of lights, turn left on Route 127 North. Follow Route 127 as it winds counterclockwise around the northern part of Cape Ann. About 5.1 miles down 127, you will see a sign on the right for the Ralph Waldo Emerson Inn. Turn right just past this sign. Cathedral Rocks is at the end of this road, just before the road turns private.

Here is a view of the best place to enter and exit the water. This shot was taken at low tide, Carl Crockford and Anker Berg-Sonne divemasters are just about to enter the water. The same area is used for exits. During low tide, the rocks are usually slick with algae. At high tide, divers can also enter the water (using a giant stride or seated entry) from the rock pier (where Jane Goulston and Alain Lavelanet are standing). Exits during high tide can be very difficult if there is a lot of wave action

Lobster boats fish this area, so diving with a dive flag is not only suggested, but it is law enforced by Rockport's police. [This is the only site where I have seen officers issuing fines to divers without flags.]Also be warned that the rocky climb from road to the shore will give you a good workout. Bring plenty of water on hot days and wear good climbing shoes.

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