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Diving the Seacoast State Parks

Posted on by Robert Eaton, New Hampshire State Parks Winter Intern

It happens to all of us, by now we’re waist deep into winter exhausting our movie collections and looking forward to longer daylight. We go to the local community center to swim in the pool, but its not the same. Our bodies crave the big salty Atlantic and, whether you live right on the coast or inland, you’re bound to make it down to the waterfront to breathe in the ocean air and gaze out on something that will always be endearingly infinitely larger than you.

The State Parks on New Hampshire’s coast captivate people year round with their dramatic coastline and rich New England history.

Last week I visited Fort Stark and Fort Constitution, both historic military forts. They were first used by colonists and fortified during WWII before becoming historic sites.

Until recently I was unaware of the scuba diving potential that New Hampshire has to offer throughout its coastline and lakes. There are no tropical reefs here, but the diving is rewarding for both recreation and science.

After being certified in 2005, I took at a class at UNH which focused on the techniques for research diving. We took frequent dives up the NH and ME coastline learning scientific research techniques as well as advanced diving training.

Scuba Diving is not your typical New Hampshire Outdoor sport, but it gives you a new perspective about the seacoast area. There are many diving destinations on and off the coast known for shipwrecks, wildlife, and other interesting natural features. Almost anyone can get certified as an open water diver-which means you are taught the diving fundamentals to a depth of 60feet. There are many diving shops in NH that you can get a certification from, rent gear, and go on guided expeditions. Gear is an investment, but it’s all made to last; I own some gear and rent the rest.

There is great diving all along the NH coastline and offshore, some spots which I enjoyed were:

Newcastle: Fort Stark and the Pier (below)

Rye: Wallis Sands

Isle of Shoals: The Wall, Seal Cove and Mingo Rock

Diving is a unique experience that takes you completely out of your element. Our class put together some photos/videos from some of our dives. If you’re a weathered New Englander diving year-round will not be a problem, but for most folks prime diving season will be late summer through late fall when the water is warmest. However, it is a great feeling to move about underwater at a time when the traditional swimming season has ended.

What are some inspirational diving experiences you have had around New England or elsewhere?

Feel free to contact me about any diving questions I can go into more detail about.

 

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About Robert Eaton, New Hampshire State Parks Winter Intern

My name is Rob Eaton and I am going to explore the state parks of New Hampshire to experience the ragged beauty of the "off" season. I am currently a student at the University of New Hampshire studying Anthropology and long-time outdoor enthusiast throughout New England. This fall, we all spent our time watching the beautiful New England leaves burst into color as we saw our summer-long tans (reluctantly) disappear with the sunlight. Through this blog I hope to inspire you to get away from comfy couches, TV's, and oil heaters and venture outdoors this winter. My goal is to showcase the endless possibilities our State Parks have year round because, in actuality, we humans are not built for hibernation. View all posts by Robert Eaton, New Hampshire State Parks Winter Intern →
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