Fathom Five National ParkOntario

Dive site characteristics

Types Shipwreck dive Deep dive Fauna dive Cliff dive Night dive
Conditions Satisfying or excellent visibility High waves Double thermocline or cold water
Providers Parking Boat ramp Restaurant Swimming Picnic tables W.C. Bathroom
Planning Rescue in case of emergency Weather conditionsFerries scheduleRoad conditionsRoad maps

Diving notes

At Tobermory, you will find on the Fathom Five website all the dive sites diagram Fathom Five National Marine Park. Be advised, consult the Park Canada regulation about diving.

You must obtain a diving permit 4.95$ per day or 19.80$ valid for a year (2006 tariffs), ask information at the Diver Registration Center. You must tie the permit to your BC (they will give you a tie-wrap).

There are five diving sites within the harbour area (Little Tub and Big Tub), all the others are in open water, consult the maps. Take a look at the regulations otherwise you may be fined.

Among the first five sites, only the site 1, 2 and 3 are accessible from the shore. The sites 4 and 5 are only accessible by boat. These 5 sites are well recommanded for level I divers or in order to prepare yourself to dive on other sites. You must tow a dive flag on these sites.

Except for some few exceptions, most of the wrecks in the area are in deep waters. Divers have to use the services of a charter. A charter might do, on average, 2 to 3 excursions per day, according to the requests, the last one is usually for a night dive. The service costs can vary from 35$ up to 70$ for one or two dives (for more details please consult the "Divers services" down below). Technical dives are possible but the cost is then higher. You have to make a reservation for your dives and sign a waiver.

For dives of 100ft or more like the one on the Forest City, the dive shops will ask you to have at least 10 dives in your logbook (don’t forget to bring it) at that depth.

For most of the dives, departures are done from the quay indicated by the charter (ask for the rendez-vous localization). The travel duration for a dive is about 4 hours, but can vary according to distance and weather conditions. Think to bring a quick lunch, water and a sun screen (ask your charter).

The dive is done by a descent and an ascent along the anchor line. There is no current.

Water temperature is around 60°F. For most of the dives in a lake, a thermocline can be observed most of the time. There is no exception to the rule. The presence of a thermocline can be noticed between 30 and 40 ft where the temperature drops of 10°F. One of the Great Lakes characteristics is the presence of a second thermocline at around 60-70 ft where temperature drops of an additionnal 10°F. It is mostly recommanded to use a 7mm wet suit with a hood, gloves and boots. A dry suit is also recommended with thermal underwears.

All the park facilities are described on the park maps facilities.

Please take note that long parking hours are not permitted nor tolerated in the Little Tub marina area (after 2 hours, you will be fined). Please use the free public parking located on the South side of Road #6 (ask its exact localization).

Entry points

Note: directions are accurate as possible. It is recommended to go with someone who knows the site. Please refer to indications given by Park Canada regarding Fathom Five National Marine Park.

  Depth   Site  Characteristics
To display on Google map, click on the link
140′The TugsSite contains 4 wrecks: Alice G, Robert K, Bob Foote as well as John & Alex. Access via walkway. There is a deck for the water entry. Limited parking. The dive has to be done inside the restricted boating buoys.
270′The AnchorAccess from the dive area or by boat. Dive flag mandatory.
390′Lighthouse PointDive into the restricted area. Access by the walkway.
415′City of Grand Rapids Shipwreck of 123′ long. Located 100′ off the bow of the Sweepstakes.
520′Sweepstakes Shipwreck of 185′ long. Parks Canada has installed barricaded in order to prevent passing under the wreck to prevent further damage to the fragile wreck.
620′CascadenNot recommended. Rarely dived since there is no central location and it parts are scattered over dangerously shallow shoals
725′Avalon Voyager II Private property prevents easy shore access. Lack of a permanent mooring and smooth rock bottom prevent safe anchoring in prevailing westerly winds. Only on calm days.
810′China Near the shoreline. Private property prevents easy shore access.
915′John Walters Limited wreckage left in this very shallow location. Owing to current low water levels, dive boats cannot go to the site.
1025-95′Philo Scoville The mooring is located at 75′ from the wreck. Wreck is inclined by 30°.
1128′W.L. Wetmore Interesting shipwreck due to its construction. Have a length of 214′.
1225-95′James C. King Stern in 20 feet and the bow in 90 feet.
1325′Newaygo Shipwreck of 196′. The anchor is located about 40′ southeast of the wreck and another piece of the hull is located about 300′ southwest of the wreck. The boiler can be found 50′ south of the main piece of wreckage.
1450-90′?Unidentified shipwreck.
1550-90′?Unidentified shipwreck.
1650-90′?Unidentified shipwreck.
1720-50′Charles P. Minch Shipwreck of 155′. Primary mooring is located close to the head of Tecumseh Cove marks a depth of 25′ of water. The outer mooring marks the 55′ depth of water and indicates other scattered wreckage. The wreck is a
1840′Pablo’s HangoverGeological dive includes steep walls, overhangs, small caves.
1940′North Otter WallGeological dive includes steep walls, overhangs, a small cave and pitting features.
2090′JacintoShipwreck of 85′ long. Located outside Fathom Five Park just West of Yeo Island
2110-30′City of Cleveland Shipwreck of 255′ long. Located outside Fathom Five Park just West of Yeo Island
22110′Arabia Shipwreck of 131′ long. Inpressive shipwreck.
2390′Marion L. BrekShiwpreck of 127′ long. No so popular site. Located at the South of the island.
2460-150′Forest City Shipwreck of 215′ long. The interesting part is between 100′ and 150′. A dive for experienced divers.
2520′The CavesThe grotto are at 22km East of Tobermory. Acces can be done also from Cyprus Head of Trails from the Cyprus Lake. This is a long transport of equipment by foot. It is mostly recommended to go by boat.
2655′Caroline Rose Shipwreck of 132′ long. The rests of the wreck are interesting to visit.
2755-105′Niagara IILocated at the end of Little Cove Road (about 1 mile East from Tobermory) in the bay of Little Cove. You will need a 5$ pass (2004) in order to dive on that ship wrecked in 1999.
2840′Little CoveLocated at the end of Little Cove Road (about 1 mile East from Tobermory).
2960′Dunks PointGeological dive includes steep walls, overhangs, a small cave and pitting features.

Driving directions

From highway 401 up to Toronto, take exit 359 and take highway 400 heading North up to Barrington. Take road 327 heading West for a 8km ride. Take route 26 leading to Owen Sound. From there take route 70 to Hepworth, turn right heading North on route 6 leading to Tobermory.

Many services are available, take information at a tourist info booth.

See the city diagram of Tobermory.

For emergency, dial 911 which is available in that region. The medical clinic number is 519-596-2305 ( see Services Tobermory Chamber of Commerce ).

Diver’s services

Providers Address Phone Services
Divers Den  3, Bay Street,
519 596-2363 air, nitrox, rentals, formation, charter, repairs
Tobermory Aquasport  7037 HWY. 6
519 596-8474 air, nitrox, trimix, rentals, formation, charter, repairs
Tobermory Adventure Tours  8, Bay St South,
519 596-1240 air, nitrox, rentals, formation, charter, repairs
Medical Clinic Highway #6 519 596-2305 hyperbaric facilities
The Chart Shop  24 Carlton Street, Tobermory 519 596-2250 books, maps

© Copyright 1999-2016, Michel Robitaille. All rights reserved.