17/05/2024

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Scuba Diving Locations on the Magdalen Islands

Scuba Diving Locations on the Magdalen Islands

There’s big adventure on strategic scuba diving locations around the islands. Are you interested in diving and snorkeling some of the finest and relatively untouched reefs, north of Florida? Or why not try swimming with the seal?

How about checking out sea caves from under the sea? Or maybe you’re more interested in ships, from wooden schooners and galleons that sank during the 16th century, to iron steam vessels from the late 19th to early 20th century wrecks?

So bring you wet or dry suit, tanks and gear or rent the necessary equipment here from specialized diving companies. We have several to choose from, each with their own specialized viewpoints of interest.

The Reefs

There are underwater reefs all around the Magdalen islands which are teeming with sea life.

The Old Harry reef is found at the buoy off East Point and offers a large variety of marine fauna. The currents are variable and mostly come from the east. The reef buoy is located 1km south-east from the Point. It is possible to hear whale song in this area.

The Columbine Shoals are located 2km south of Grand-Entry and parallel to the shore for about 3km.

Eglis Rock has a lot of marine wildlife. It is located on the South side of House Harbour between Damase Cove and the buoy Y12. The currents are variable.

The Pearl Reef is 6.5km northeast of La Cormorandière Rocks, near buoy Y16. It offers a good concentration of marine life.

The Caves

The erosion of the Magdalen has also caused a large number of sea caves around her cliffs and capes.

There are caves between Big Cape and Black Cape, on Grindstone Island.

There are caverns which are located on the west side of Grosse-Isle near the Dauphin Rocks about 3km offshore. A dive lamp is advised and the currents are variable. The remains of wrecks can also be seen.

Mollusk Digging

It is possible to go quahog digging at about 1km on the north side of Shag Island.

The Seal

Have you ever considered swimming with Canada’s Harp, Grey and Hooded seal?

Brion Island Seal Rocks are a perfect place to swim with the seal.

The Shipwrecks

The islands have been known as the graveyard of the Gulf, for ships for the past 400 years. More than 500 ships from all over the world have been registered as wrecks here and there are as many again which were not registered. Why? Stop and think about it. Pirates and rum runners wouldn’t be registered with Lloyd’s of London insurance company wouldn’t they? But there are many other uninsured and insured ships that went down during the gales over the centuries, sometimes multiple shipwrecks at the same time. Different times, survivors from one ship would tell of another ship in distress but it never came ashore, so there is no record of it save the knowledge that it was there. For example the Flash disappeared one day, just after leaving the islands. There is no record of her wrecking but the word is that she was pirated and scuttled, her cargo stolen. Most of these still existing wrecks are on land, under the beach sand, but there are still some that have become interesting havens for sea life.

Simcoe, Up to now the steamship has not been located yet. It should be located on the South side of the Île d’Entrée at about 5-6km. The boat wreck on December 7, 1917. Research have to be don. Please take note, it is located on the route of the ferry crossing

S.S. Tigress, Near the Cormorandière Rock directly offshore from the cavern, lies the remains of an old steamship believed to be the S.S. Tigress wrecked in 1874.

Electro, The wreck of Electro is located South of Île de Grande-Entrée at about 8km. It is a wooden coal boat which sank in 1934. The wreck is marked Wk(1934) on marine maps. The currents are variables. It is advised to go by a nice and calm day.

Petrel, The wreck of Petrel is located near the West point of Grande-Entrée on the South side of the North-East end of Dune du Sud (South Dune). The wreck is visible from the surface is the wreck of El Amigo (a sister ship of Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso). It can only be only be reached by boat. The area is largely frequented by fishermen and surfers, a dive flag is advised.

S.S. Loradore sank on August 13, 1955. The wreck is 61m long and is located on the south-west side of the major Birds Rocks, which itself is located at 25km north-east of Magdalen Islands. The currents are variable and from the open sea. A large boat is needed to dive the area.

Chelatros, sank on November 3, 1941 on the north side of the Brion Island in Big Cove. The propeller is just below the Cape Clair. The currents are variable and a large boat is necessary.

The remains of many wrecks, dating from the mid 1800’s to the early 20th century can be found on the south-west side of Cape Noddy, at Brion Island. )

Many wrecks can be found along the Dune du Nord, near Pointe-aux-Loups. On the east side, the remains of the S.S. Nettleworth which sank in 1910, is now at the 24-30 foot depth. On the west side, the boiler amongst other remains of the S.S. Belon (150 feet in length) can found.

Corfu Island, belonging to the late Aristotle Onasis, was wreck in 1963. The remains of the hull rest on the west beach.

Between the wharf and Gull Island are the ruins of an old steamship, wrecked about 1920′s.

The Berwindlea wreck on the north-east side of DeadMan’s Island on October 23, 1935. The remains of the 2960 ton ship can still be seen.

Conclusion

Above are but a few of the many scuba diving locations on and around the Magdalen Islands which hold great interest for those adventurous enough to tackle our waters. As always it is necessary to maintain caution at all times because the currents and tides can be treacherous in some places.

Quote:

As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round. Ben Hogan