St. Margaret's Bay/Hubbards
Certification Level: Open Water
This site is located West of Halifax, Take exit #5 on the Hwy #103, from there onto the Hwy #3 then west towards Hubbards. In the community of Boutiliers Point is the Provincial Park with picnic tables, a boat launch ramp and a working fishing wharf.
This is a nice site and fairly easy to navigate, you can go straight out from the ramp or go to the right or west of the wharf and explore the marine life around. There is usually enough depth to jump off the end of the wharf, but the ramp just east of the wharf is recommended for entrance/exits.
This spot is small boulders and gravels in the shallows grading down to mud and soft bottom organisms deeper out. The average depth of this site is between 33ft/10m and a max if your willing to swim a ways is 60ft/18.3m
Where this is a park/wharf please be mindful of parking, in the summer there can be a lot of locals putting their boats in the water. Try not to block in the ramp area with vehicles.
Before diving any site, make your own safety plan. Know your buddies important information. In case of emergency know what to do. Plan ahead. Moving on the shore with full gear can be challenging. There is cell phone coverage in the area. There a few houses nearby. A local fire department is at the beginning of the 329 hwy.
Divers should familiarize themselves with the following situations and course of actions.
Low -air / out of air situation - It can easily happen at this site if divers get distracted and forgot get to check air. In case this happens, ascend to the surface immediately in a safe manor using the standard surfacing techniques. Ascend slowly looking up to see any boats that might be in the area. Surface swim back to the entry / exit point at a slow but steady pace.
2. Buddy separation -If this happens stay down and look for 1 minute then proceed to the surface with a controlled ascent looking up and around for anything over head you might run into. Make yourself positively buoyant wait a short time, if your buddy doesn't return to the surface, proceed to the entry / exit point and contact emergency assistance.
3. Injured diver -If your buddy receives a marine life injury, return to the shore immediately then assess the situation and contact medical assistance. If injury is due to marine life make sure you take the steps to avoid being hurt yourself and ask your buddy questions about what happened.
4. Near -drowning situation, Lung injury, or decompression illness -Get the injured party to shore and have someone contact Emergency assistance immediately.
Hazards and Safety:
It is EASY TO GET LOST and miss the beach when coming back in. Use a buoy, shore maker flag or have a non-diver on shore.
The entry into the water is a bit hazardous as there are ROUND ROCKS that can present a tripping hazard.
There can be a relatively large SURGE when the wind is southwesterly, and also when the tide is coming in.
During lobster season watch out for lobster traps with lines. Watch for fishing buoys and always dive with a knife to cut yourself free.
Please note that either you or your buddy has a phone, cell reception is good in this particular area.
1) RECOMPRESSION CHAMBER: Dickson Building of The Victoria General
2) Police and Ambulance (911)
3)DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) 1-919-684-4DAN (4326)
4) QE II Hospital (473 -2220)
5) Marine Radio VHF Channel 16
Video and more pictures coming soon
Path down to the water (see guard rail in background)
Great spot to brief/debrief
1st way down to water - watch out for loose rocks
careful going down this way with full gear
Left view of the site
Close up view
Facing away from the ocean.
great site for tec training
Low tide at Birchy - watch your footing
Great site for a night dive