Notes about things regarding scuba diving that I have come to know.

Pete's Southern Maine Regional Dive Site Guide
Short Sands Beach, York

This is a neat little site that consistently provides interesting and pleasant dives. You'll spend most of the time in the 12-20 foot range so don't come here for a grand adventure. The entry is on a flat sandy beach and the dives essentially follow the contour of the ledge side of the cove making it an easy novice dive. The site is somewhat sheltered and may be divable when some other sites are more challenging. We have always made this more or less a high tide dive.

Short Sands beach is a nice strip of sandy beach tucked back in the cove. Just behind the beach is a large municipal parking lot that serves the resort village. Parking is metered so bring a pocket full of quarters. This is one of those sites where sharing your adventures with curious youngsters and adults can be as much fun as the dive. A concrete boardwalk acts as a seawall and defines the beach area. Along the boardwalk there is a beach shower where you can rinse off after the dive. There are also public flush restrooms in the lot. Some amenities are seasonable but the lot is open year round.

Each side of the cove can make for a nice dive but I'll suggest starting with the left hand side, so park towards the open air bowling alley. When you are ready, enter across the beach and get started. We usually enter a ways from the side of the cove. After a short surface swim to get 6-8 feet of water under us we will drop and follow the sandy bottom on a diagonal heading to the base of the ledges. Once you find the ledges just begin exploring as you work your way out from the beach. I'll spend most of my time in the rocks with the sand just visible on my right. From time to time I will explore up into the rocks as surge allows or venture out onto the sandy cove. It's always easy to return to base of the ledge which is a consistent reference. It will be a reciprocal dive so plan your turning point accordingly. In these shallow depths. Bottom times greater than an hour are common.

Notable at this site are numerous sightings of skate and flounder, more so than any local site I can think of. There will also be the usual lobster, crab, starfish and whatever seafood is swimming by that day. I have found cash and a message in a bottle here as well.

Diving on the left side requires a slightly longer hike or surface swim but it's only a few minutes. The left side is also more popular with fishermen so beware and consider pulling a dive flag. The left is an especially nice skin-dive.

This Dive Site at a Glance:

  • SCUBA: Yes
  • SKIN-DIVE: Yes
  • PARKING: Metered
  • TOILETS: In season
  • TIDE: Near high tide
  • SEASONS: All
  • ENTRY/EXIT: Easy
  • FOOD: In season
  • GPS: 43.174995,-70.609035
  • Google Maps accepts GPS points.

This is a low tide view. At high tide it is a quicker trip to the water.

This is a low tide view. It shows the rocky ledges that run down the the sandy bottom. This was shot on a breezy spring day. The waters here are often calm.

This page created April 2011