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Scuba Diving Shaw’s Landing in West Dover, Nova Scotia

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Shaw’s Landing in West Dover, Nova Scotia is more than a great place to get beer and lobster, it turns out it’s a pretty good dive site. Thanks to Rob for letting us explore in his backyard. I see a dive and a lobster roll in my future. Here are a few shots from the dive.

Wayne Joy

West Dover is a coastal fishing community on the Chebucto Peninsula in the Halifax Regional Municipality of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. West Dover is located between Peggy’s Cove and East Dover.

West Dover was established in the 1770s as a result of the Troope and Scott land grants. Major settlement began in the 1800s with the establishment of a permanent fishing village. The majority of the families were of European ancestry.

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In the early years, there was an abundance of cod, mackerel, pollack, herring, haddock, halibut, lobster, and tuna. Because there was no refrigeration, the fish were salted and dried to preserve them. The fish was sold in Halifax and travelled up and down the East Coast. During this time, West Dover’s fishing fleet consisted primarily of 40-foot-long schooners, as well as smaller fishing boats and punts that people had to row close to shore.

Shaw's Landing
Photo Credit – Deep Perspective Diving (Wayne Joy)

Prohibition in the United States created opportunities for rum running in West Dover from 1920 to 1933. Rum running was a risky but highly profitable side business that supplemented fishing income. On moonless nights, the fishermen would set out with a load of alcohol and navigate in the dark to the coast of Maine. The alcohol was kept in salt-filled wooden barrels. If the fishermen spotted any law enforcement vessels, they would throw the barrels overboard. The salt in the barrels would dissolve gradually. The barrels would float back up to the surface and be brought back on board a few hours later, after the law enforcement officials had left.

West Dover is one of the few villages in the area that still has a fishing tradition. Along the shoreline of West Dover, there are dozens of small wharfs and fish stages used by fishermen, as well as a large government wharf at the harbour entrance.

Over the last decade, West Dover has seen an influx of new residents and development.

Shaw's Landing
Photo Credit: Deep Perspective Diving (Wayne Joy)

Thanks to Wayne Joy of Deep Perspective Diving for his photo contributions.

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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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