Little Salvages, Rockport, Massachusetts

Site Depths: 10-80ft+

Site Overview:

The Dry and Little Salvages are two rock mounts located outside of Boston Harbor. It’s a scenic 20-40 minute boat ride depending on which charter you take. We’re told that their names are pronounced as if to rhyme with “assuages”. The Dry Salvages, which stick out of the water at high tide, were the inspiration for the third portion of T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets”. Most divers prefer the Little Salvages which are only exposed during lower tides.

The Little Salvages draw divers from all over for two main reasons: seals and lobsters. The local seal populations spend time around this area and use the Little Salvages as a rest/sun spot during low tide. The rock and boulder bottom provides the perfect place for American Lobsters to thrive. Charters go out weekly with the purpose of diving with the seals or going lobstering (please note only Massachusetts residents are able to obtain a lobster license).

Depending on what the goal of your dive is, you might stay in the shallower areas close to the rocks where the seals hang out or go deeper in search of a dinner sized lobster. Depths of 80ft can be achieved, but most divers stick to the 20-40ft area.

Site Specifics:

If you’re looking to dive with seals, this is one of the area’s premier locations. Remember that they are mobile creatures, so there’s never a guarantee that they’ll be where you want them to be. But this is a great area to spot them in abundance! As you anchor up between the Dry and Little Salvages, you can look out and see dark heads popping up out of the water – they’re checking you out just as much as you are them!

Curious creatures, Grey Seals on the eastern coast are smaller than their west coast brethren, but the bulls can still reach 11ft and almost 700lbs! You might turn around and find one checking out your gear or trying to nibble on your fins. If you barrel roll close to one, you might find them following suit! Just remember to not form big groups with your buddies and to let the seals approach you. Some days they’re shy and others they will be up close and personal.

The area is made of up of large rock and boulder mounts that are covered with colorful tunicates and other sessile creatures. If the seals are being shy, you can also look around at the abundant crabs and lobsters! A garden of seaweeds clings to the rock, providing plenty of places for small critters to hide. They also provide plenty of places to explore without going very far or very deep.


Located a few miles off of Rockport, a boat is required to get out to this site. Check out our local charters to find out who might be planning a trip soon. Parking for the charters is usually free, but double check when you book your trip. As there is a strong current in the area, most charters plan trips to fall during slack tide.


CAL 8/27/18