Pat Roach and his dive buddy, Harvey Morash recently dove Gooseberry Cove on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.
Gooseberry Cove is a tiny cove tucked away in the midst of nowhere. This site is certainly a hidden gem on Cape Breton. It’s just south of Little Lorraine, and the scenery here is very reminiscent of Ireland. This seaside route hugs cliffs and provides breathtaking views of the coastline. Throughout the journey, you’ll come across a lush plantation and a variety of berries. Many different sorts of berries can be found on the sloping ground that surrounds the cove. Blueberries, cloudberries, foxberries, cranberries, and juniper berries can all be found here, however there aren’t any Gooseberries to be discovered (please consult your field guide before eating any berries).
One of the most intriguing aspects of this cove is that it is home to two or three shipwrecks, dating from the 1700s to the turn of the century. The Astrea, one of these shipwrecks, was carrying Irish emigrants from Limerick from Ireland to Quebec. An alarm was sounded around 2 a.m., and orders were made to turn the ship around. She had slammed into a rock, and in less than two minutes, she slammed into another rock, this one even harder than the first. This threw her to her side. As the Astrea sank, violent waters tore her apart. Only three people out of 220 people survived. Local fishermen took it upon themselves to bury the bodies that had washed up on the shore. In a mass grave, 61 people were buried. Unfortunately, the location of this mass grave is not known and unmarked.
The Astrea is still submerged in 108 feet (33 metres) of water off Little Lorraine’s Gooseberry Cove’s coast. On the ocean floor, there is a tribute to those who perished on the Astrea.
Pat and Harvey describe a stunning 77-minute scooter dive with a maximum depth of 92 feet but an average depth of 45 feet. The temperature of the water was 48 degrees.Pat Roach
Thanks to Pat Roach for his video. Follow Pat’s diving adventures on Facebook.
Harvey Morash is the owner of Louisbourg Scuba Services.