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Smuggler's Cove Dive Site

Clare, Nova Scotia

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Certification Level:  Novice

Smuggler’s Cove is a tourist attraction known for its use as a rum runner’s location during the prohibition era due to its small cave located on the north side of this cove. This small cove is located just off the Evangeline trail just ten minutes south of central Meteghan, in Clare NS. It is usually sheltered from the weather and is a frequent tourist visited park. It is well suited for the skill level of the Novice Diver, but should be experienced by all types of divers. This site also very good for photography, as its relative shallowness allows good light penetration and it hosts a variety of marine life, especially minnows. Smuggler’s Cove is a bit of a challenge to get down to the water due to the stairs still under repair/renovation due to damage of the Bay of Fundy tides, however once in the cove there is very slight or no surge, average visibility for this region, and a gentle sloping bottom until you’ve reached the edge of the cove and there is a noticeable bank marking entrance to more deeper ocean access.

Site Description:
Smuggler’s Cove is a shore dive in a sheltered cove approximately 50m (150 ft) wide, with an Entry / Exit Point located in the Smugglers Cove Park near the road. It is an excellent site to use various dive patterns; straight line, triangle, or U-shaped pattern.

Bottom composition:
Is mostly medium sized rock bordered by larger rocky shorelines. The shoreline is mostly rock down to a 12m (36 ft) depth (at high tide), and there are a few rocks found just off center. Depths can vary up to 24ft in any Bay of Fundy cove or shoreline, so make sure you go at or near high tide by checking online for high tide time. Surge and currents are usually not a huge factor in this cove, and are normally protected from the wind in this tree surrounded area. Temperatures vary from 1°C (33°F) in the winter, 5°C (40°F) in the spring, 10°C (50°F) in the summer, and 15°C (60°F) in the fall.

Smuggler’s Cove, as previous stated has a small cave accessible via the water but is not a dive-able cave, however you can surface swim into and explore after removing gear which could be used as a mid dive exploration.  The few bigger rocks surrounding the cove is an excellent hiding spot for various lobster and crabs. In addition, divers will find that there are often many schools of minnows and other small fishes swimming in this area.

Are few at Smuggler’s Cove.  Attaching a dive float is not necessary due to no boat willing to access the high varying tides of this cove. Any lobster fishing boat can be seen far in the distance. Tidal surge is more predominant around each point at the mouth of the cove. Winds typically do not effect this area but be aware of any westerly winds that could create large waves and surge. This is an often visited site by tourists catching the sites and walking the surrounding trails so normally lots of people around in case of an emergency.

Bottom Composition and Depth:
Bottom composition is mostly medium sized rocks and some gentle sloping sand bordered by rocky shorelines. The shoreline is mostly rock down to a 8m (24 ft) depth (high Tide), and there are a few rocks found just off center. Depths range from Om (0 ft) to an average depth of 12m (36 ft), with a tidal variation of approximately 8m (24 ft).

Visibility is normally all around excellent at all depths due to the protective cove and tree line, yet still depending on the overall conditions.

1. Lots of parking available in the park along the park road and a bit on the grass (great spot to change) Also, park washrooms are available with less than half a minute walk.

2. This is a highly visited tourist attraction so please refrain from unnecessary loudness and profanity.

3. There are quite a few stairs to access the shoreline as you can see in the pictures so choose wisely how you access the shoreline with your gear and don’t underestimate the stairs.

Hazards and Safety:

SLIPPERY ROCKS Rock on both shores and all along the shoreline can beat you up in rougher seas use caution as they are slippery.


If interested more so in the cave it is accessible along the shoreline at low tide but there is a lot of sea weed and kelp that you’ll need to traverse, just make sure you give yourself lots of time and don’t get caught in the quick high rising tide.



Emergency Contacts


Please note that either you or your buddy has a phone, cell reception is good in this particular area.



Dickson Building of The Victoria General (902) 473-7998


Police and Ambulance (911)


DIVERS ALERT NETWORK (DAN) 1-919-684-4DAN (4326)


South West Health

Yarmouth, NS · (902) 742-3541


QE II Hospital (902) 473-2220


Marine Radio VHF Channel 16

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