There is a lot to love about Canada’s eastern provinces; the laid back attitude, colorful fishing villages, the delicious freshly caught lobster…
And when it comes to these things, Saint Andrews is just a chip off the old block. But what sets this quaint little tourist town apart, is not only the lavish ocean vistas but the rich bounty of marine life.
Staying true to its name, Saint Andrews by-the-Sea is located on the Bay of Fundy, right at the Canada-U.S. border.
This small maritime town is one of New Brunswick’s oldest and most distinctive settlements established in 1783 by Loyalists from Castine, Maine. While Saint Andrews is a quiet town during the fall, winter and spring months, during the summer, this premier New Brunswick vacation destination comes alive with tourists and festivals.
Scuba diving Saint Andrews by-the-sea? Yes, it’s a thing.
Being an oceanfront town on the Bay of Fundy, seaside adventures are just a splash away! In spite of how challenging it is to find information, there is an easy shore diving site just outside of Saint Andrews – if you know where to go.
Read More on the Shore Diving Opportunities around Saint John:
Sometimes finding a good dive spot is easier said than done, and shore diving around Saint John, New Brunswick is a living testament to how unexpected and unpredictable dive conditions can be in the Bay of Fundy.
McCann Head dive site is mere minutes from downtown Saint Andrews.
This easy to access location has lots of parking and a gently sloping rock beach entry which helps retain some visibility from the otherwise disturbed waters of Fundy.
Scuba divers splashing into McCann Head will have no problems preparing their gear in the back of a vehicle and wading right into the ocean. When you enter the water, divers can poke around the muddy and rocky ecosystems, looking for interesting Bay of Fundy marine life sprinkled willy nilly.
Sand dollars, hermit crabs, rock crabs, sea stars and green urchins are regular visitors at the McCann Head dive site, as are tube anemones that love to poke out of the muck in white, beige, brown and purple hues. Exceptional critter hunters might also get the chance to glimpse a moon snail plowing around the sand or a sculpin resting on the bottom.
Marine rope coated in sea growth and a rocky headwall help give this dive site character, and scuba divers can spend their time following these man-made landmarks for interesting photography opportunities.
Overall the dive site is pretty shallow, and divers can expect to find the most interesting life within the 9 meters (30 foot) range.
How to Find McCann Head and What to Look for:
GPS Coordinates: 45.134043, -67.033578
Address: Chamcook, New Brunswick
This rocky beach has ample parking and an easy shore entrance into the water.
After hundreds of dives all around the world, getting the opportunity to dive in Saint Andrews was not the cream of the crop when it comes to diving in New Brunswick, none-the-less once you’re underwater the Bay of Fundy does not cease to amaze. There are neat aquatic formations to look at and sea life all over the place.
Read More about one the Best Places to Dive in New Brunswick:
Scuba diving the cold productive waters of Deer Island is one of the best ways to appreciate the best dive site on the Bay of Fundy.
Whether you dive at low tide or at high tide, on a muddy or rocky bottom, Saint Andrews by-the-Sea is an intriguing place for cold water divers.
The price for renting equipment to shore dive for one day around New Brunswick is around $85 CAD for a full kit of scuba equipment (this gear rental includes a two-piece 7mm wetsuit, gloves, boots, a hood, a regulator, a BCD, a dive computer, weights, and tanks, make sure to bring your own mask, fins, and snorkel) or 20$ for tanks and weights. For the weekend the cost is 123$ and 25$ respectively.
For guided dives in the area, you typically need to pay for your equipment and a divemaster to accompany you. This is more expensive and can cost a minimum of $125 but can vary depending on group size and certification level.
New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy region is not well known for scuba divers, but typically the best season for diving is in the spring, summer and fall months because of warm outdoor weather (20°C to 25°C) and longer days of sunshine.
Because the tides flush in and out of the Bay every day twice a day, the water doesn’t warm up very much. Therefore no matter when you dive New Brunswick, the water temperature has limited fluctuation and is always COLD.
It is necessary to have your Open Water certification for scuba diving in New Brunswick and strongly recommended to have cold water diving experience and knowledge of the area. Diving in the Bay of Fundy is very tide and weather dependent. Planned dives can get postponed or canceled without warning due to poor visibility or strong unpredictable current.
Fishing is a common livelihood in New Brunswick, and it is strongly recommended to carry a safety buoy with you either at the surface marking your location in the water column or to deploy should you hear boats near the site.
The scuba diving companies working out of New Brunswick are few and far between the cities of St-Andrews, St-John, and Fredericton.
Have you ever visited the oceanfront town of Saint Andrews by-the-Sea? Better yet have you been diving there? Let us know your experience below.
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The Cuticate floating dry box is a waterproof sports container perfect to fit money, ID, cards, keys and more. The case is small, portable, compact, and comes with a lanyard clip hook to take with you as you scuba dive.
Black Mares Dragon Scuba Diving BCD
Ikelite aluminum digital camera tray with dual handles
Sigma MC-11 mount converter lens adapter (Sigma EF-Mount lens to sony E cameras). Essential photo kit contains Altura photo rapid-fire wrist strap, small lens pouch, cleaning kit, and microfiber lens cleaning cloth.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
Black scuba diving turtle fins
Compact scuba diving finger spool with 150ft of white line and a 4-inch brass double-ended clip
Dive hands-free with a diving flashlight glove. This torch holder has a universal adjustable wrist strap scuba and is made of superior nylon material, which means it’s durable and comfortable to wear.
Rechargeable Ikelite NiMH battery pack compatible with Ikelite’s DS125, DS160, and DS161 strobes.
Bare Sports 5mm men’s wetsuit made with elastek full-stretch nylon-2 and neoprene celliant liner infrared technology.
Ikelite TTL dual flash sync cord attaches two strobe’s to the underwater camera housing.
Scuba diving 4ft neon yellow surface marker signal tube with “Diver Below” print
Capture amazingly smooth shake-free video with the GoPro Karma Grip
Ikelite Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 underwater camera housing in white
Bare drysuit drawstring scuba gear bag the perfect alternative for transporting a dry suit to-and-from the dive site
Compact underwater scuba diving hand reel with a 150ft of white line on the spool
SHOOT 6″ Underwater Dome Port for GoPro Hero 6/Hero 5/Hero(2018) Black Camera Diving Lens Hood Housing Photography with Waterproof Case Accessories
Canon Macro Lens EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM – non Image Stabilised
If you’re not quite ready for the expense of big lights, this little video light goes perfectly with any GoPro setup
Bare drysuit trek boots designed for rocky shore entries, boat decks, and boat ladders
GoPro dual battery charger conveniently charges two HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, or HERO camera batteries simultaneously
The Hydra 5000 WSRU is an all in one photo and dive light with wide, spot, red, and UV modes
Diving lens filter kit for GoPro HERO 5/6 which enhances colors for underwater video and photography conditions
Bare 7mm thick elastek dry suit hood
Ikelite compact ball arm for quick release handle
Black Mares Cruise Roller Tauchen bag, perfect for scuba diving and traveling
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod and Bag with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
The Sony SEL90M28G FE 90 mm f/2.8-22 Macro G OSS Standard-Prime Lens for E (NEX) Cameras.
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital DSLR Camera + 32GB Memory Card + Photo4Less Cleaning Cloth.
Suunto Vyper Novo wrist scuba diving computer with USB
Bare 5mm evoke women’s full suit designed by Bare’s all-female design team. The suit has technically, innovative celliant infrared technology which increase circulation, body warmth and performance.
Suunto SK-8 wrist compass with bungee straps, faster stabilization, and enhanced readability
Ikelite underwater macro lens casing is comprised of an acetyl body with glass front and can hold lenses of 4.37 diameter x 3 inches (111 x 76 mm)
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DUI heavy duty dry suit gloves with yellow liners available in sizes: S, M, L, XL
Sony Alpha a6500 24MP mirrorless camera with a 16-50mm lens, able to shoot 4K movies.
13-inch inflatable dive buoy with a 12 by 11-inch scuba diving flag surface marker
GoPro HERO6 Black Camera
3PC curved armband glow in the dark slate.
Mini blue scuba diving tank key ring with brass pick tool and o-rings
Flexible Lightweight Portable Tripod for Projector DSLR Cameras and Go Pro
Dry glove lock system that accommodates all hand sizes
Bare SB System Mens Full Under-layer
Ikelite photography strobe DS161 with NiMH rechargeable battery pack