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Scuba Diving Portsmouth Olympic Harbour in Kingston

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For a long time, Portsmith Harbour has served as a harbour. The sailing events for the 1976 Montreal Olympics were the most noteworthy event to take place here. It serves as a marina, hosts sailing events every summer, and is a popular destination for locals to gaze out over the lake. Divers often frequent the area. It’s a good, quick way to get in and get a taste of the underwater world.

The stone beach, where the coast guard post used to be before it was pulled down, is the most common entrance/exit point at this site. A pleasant gentle wade into the water is provided by the stone beach. When the marina is closed during the off-season, it is preferable to enter through the boat launch, which is more wave-protected. The remains of five hulls can be found near the beach. This is from the time when Portsmouth was a working port. Once a hull was no longer seaworthy, it was simply abandoned by shore as a dock in Kingston. It became an eyesore and a fire threat when numerous hulls were abandoned next to each other. Several times, the city attempted to clean up the marina by dragging the hulls out into deeper water and sinking them. It has aided in the development of ship graveyards in the Kingston area. Only the ribs remain on the five hulls in Portsmouth.

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Olympic Harbour
Photo Credit: Chris Haslip

If you find the abandoned irrigation pipe after viewing the sets of ribs, you must swim toward Wolfe Island. Following the pipe, it transitions from a continuous pipe to pipe fragments to a rope. The first of two anchors is at the end of the rope. The metal anchor has a backwards swastika on it and was created in the United Kingdom. A wooden stocked anchor is the second bigger anchor. A British navy arrow can be seen on the bottom of the wooden stock anchor if you look closely. You’ll come to a stop sign if you continue on the line towards Wolfe Island. The line continues out to the stacked hulls, but it is not always in good condition, and it is a long swim at 1000m. (.62 miles)

If you’re looking for bottles, follow the pier out about 30 feet and you’ll find a lot of them, especially old coke bottles. Other items that have been discovered in the region include WW2 buttons and money, so keep your eyes peeled when diving.

This location is frequently utilized for training, refresher dives, and simply to unwind. It’s fantastic to see additional divers in this area. The majority of the bottom is made up of sand and rocks. You’ll very certainly be contacted by inquisitive observers from the pathways and the marina while you’re here. Although there is little traffic over the anchors and ribs, the marina’s entrance is close enough, therefore caution is advised.

Olympic Harbour
Photo Credit: Chris Haslip

Dive Report

It was a chilly but gorgeous day for a dive today. Rodney and I went for a dive in Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, Kingston, and the water was warmer than the air temperature. (46.7F) We went around to the ribs anchors and stop sign. We saw a lot of smallmouth bass and spent 30 minutes in the water in comfy wet suits. Mike, thank you for your assistance from the shore.

Depth: 30 ft

Wreck: yes

Line/Moored: yes

Chris Haslip

Follow Chris’s dive adventures on Facebook and visit Explorer Diving in Kingston

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About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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