Always looking for new sites to try, a local NH dive site I have heard a lot about but have never done before was the “Sunken Forest” off Odiorne Point in Rye. It’s called the Sunken Forest as it’s an ancient coastal forest, or remnants of one, with cedar and pine tree stumps peering from beneath the sand and stone and now just stubs and bits, worn down by thousands of years of waves. The site is one of two “sunken forests” in New Hampshire waters. The other “drowned forest” is at nearby Jenness State Beach in Rye. Due to the tectonic shift about 3,500 years ago this forest, and the land it was once was, was swallowed by the Atlantic Ocean.
The stumps are only a few inches tall but are several feet wide as in this image below:
It is difficult to find the stumps as the bottom changes, but they can be found in shallow water in very low tides. At low tide, you can walk over them. Most of the stumps lie in the right side of the cove.
As the depth there is very shallow, this site is best dived within an hour of high tide. The maximum depth will get will be 10-15ft of water. You’re also going to want to dive the site when the winds/waves are calm and westerly, as the site faces east. It’s an easy dive which would be good for beginner divers. The entry/exit is not far from where suit up and it’s an easy entry, exit.
The day we dove it was warm, sunny, and dead calm with amazing visibility which really made for a spectacular dive. The sun’s rays shone through the water making dramatic underwater pictures.
Below is shot of our group of divers and one free diver/snorkeler.
The easiest way to get is if you're travelling south on route 1A, there is a pullover on the left side just as and Odiorne State Park. You can park at the first or 2nd pullover. To access the entry/exit, just walk over the dune and you will see the cove that is known as Sunken Forest.
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