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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