St. Margaret's Bay/Hubbards
Certification Level: Advanced Open Water
The Lodge is located in Hubbards, Nova Scotia off of the Lodge Road. There is parking for several cars however divers need to respect the area as there are people living off of the Lodge Road. One entry point to the Lodge is now off limits to divers, due to the lack of respect for the site and locals (see appendix for picture of the off limits area). The dive site is an advance dive site, due to depth, and entry into the water. Entry to the ocean is difficult, for several reasons. You have to climb down to the site itself. There are two ways to get down. The best way would be to gear up above and climb down the rocks fully geared up (see picture A below). The stronger dive buddy going down first in case the other diver requires assistance getting down. The other option is if you have a rope and attach it to somewhere secure you could climb down that way and pass gear down and assemble on the rocky shore. (See picture B below)
You can climb down with a rope here.
Before the cluster of 6 trees or second arrow for first entry location
Dive Site Information
Level: Advanced Open Water
Entry: Difficult - rocky shore and slippery rocks as well as the incoming or outgoing tide. During certain months the rocks around the entry point are coated in green seaweed. Stay fairly close to the long rock about 3 feet away from it is the easiest entry point (see picture below). There are many spots around the Lodge that divers can enter the water, however this spot is both easy to enter and exit during high and low tide. As the tide goes out there are large rocks that become visible, be aware they may be slippery.
Navigation: Before going down take a bearing of 120 degrees using (see picture below) as a reference. Once you are past the entry point, it is straight down to 7 to 10 feet. Check your bearing of 120 degrees. On the return, your reciprocal bearing is 300 degrees. See the picture below for the direction of North.
Visibility: Average visibility is easily 25 to 30 feet even at 80 feet but remember that can vary depending on conditions.
Depth: 10 feet to easily 140 plus feet. However recreational limits are 130 feet so remember to stay within your no decompression limits. Dive within your training.
Surface Conditions: There is a surge on the surface as the site is rather open. Make sure to check weather conditions prior to diving this site.
Currents: Usually there are no major currents but always be aware there IS a possibility of a current being there depending on local conditions. Plan your dive accordingly.
Bottom Composition: From shore to 40-45 feet composition is mainly rock with a great deal of plant life (kelp). From 45 feet out it is mostly sand with some rocks. There is a lot of variety to see at this location, making it a fun dive. From the entry rock, if you go to your left, be aware around 50 to 60 feet there are crates with numbers which are chained to the bottom. Please leave these crates alone.
There are many hazards to be aware of. Slippery rocks, Changing tides and winds.
Watch your air and buddies air - make sure to plan your dive for no decompression dives or within your training know when to turn around.
Emergency Plan and Contact
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 is also a house on the road and many 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.
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.
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.
Call 911 for Police, Fire and Ambulance services. You're diving the Lodge off of the Lodge Road on Hwy 329.
OTHER EMERGENCY SERVICES NUMBERS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
1. RECOMPRESSION CHAMBER:
Dickson Building of The Victoria General
2. OTHER NON-KMERGENCIES:
3. Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (Emergency only - 24hrs) 902-427-8200 (local) or
4. DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) 1-919-684-4DAN (4326) (collect calls accepted)
5. MARINE VHF: Channel 16