East Coast Divers Annual Picnic

Today was the East Coast Divers Annual Picnic at Sandwich Town Beach. They’ve been doing it the first weekend in August for as long as I’ve been diving, and probably before that. For the past several years, it’s been co-hosted by several other dive shops. There were around 200 people there, including a bunch of familiar faces. This year was the last year Paul Adler was hosting; Nick and Alex are taking over the store at the end of September.

Sandwich Town Beach is a very easy dive site once you have all the gear on the beach.  A lot of people gear up at their cars in the parking lot; I’ve done that myself some years, but this year, with the heat and humidity, I felt it was better to gear up on the beach. It’s a sandy beach, with a gentle slope down to the water. It’s on Cape Cod Bay, near the canal, so there isn’t much surf. Underwater, it’s a mix of sand and clay. The clayey parts are filed with holes and burrows created by the animals there.

This year, I was diving with Henri Menco and JP Falcone, both of whom were on the Bonaire trip with me. Henri did the first dive, and JP did both dives.

The thing that struck me this year was how many jellyfish were in the water. There were tons of the them; little ones about half the size of your hand. I tried several times to get pictures of them, with mixed success. The best ones, with the strobe pulled in closer to them, have quite a bit of backscatter; the others are too dark.

Aside from the jellyfish, there were several flounder, some crabs, and a couple of small lobsters. JP saw a large lobster in a hole in the second dive, but couldn’t get it out.

After the second dive, I did a drift though the tidal creek that runs behind the beach; if you hit the tide right, which I did, the outgoing tide will take you through the marsh. Near the end of the drift, I saw a striped bass right below me.