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

Pete's Southern Maine Regional Dive Site Guide
Kennebunk Pond, Lyman

Kennebunk pond is located in my hometown of Lyman, Maine and has given me many many hours of skin and scuba diving pleasure. The pond is easily reached from state Route 111 by turning north onto the Kennebunk Pond Road at Boucher's RV Sales and driving 1.7 miles. The pond will be to your left with a gravel parking lot across the street. A port-a-potty is onsite through most of the open water fishing season. The site is well used by fishermen, kayakers, beach goers and nearly any other typical use you can find for such a body of water.

Being a sometimes-busy body of water it is prudent to dive with a flag. The local pond association will appreciate it. Should we need to surface we make it a point to go up the line surfacing right at the flag. When crossing the road to and from the parking lot be careful.

The area in front of the beach gradually deepens to about 8 feet where is rises to about 4 feet to cross a gravel ridge. Beyond the ridge you drop into the "basin" of the pond. Depths just over 40 feet can be found but most dives will stay in the 30's and frequently less by choice. There are a number of enjoyable dives that can be made here. After walking out deep enough to don fins we will almost always surface swim using a snorkel straight out to the rim of the basin. The swim will only take 3-5 minutes. If you were hustling take a few minutes to settle down before making your decent. Dives here can be long and you want to be breathing comfortably to maximize your dive time. On the return we will usually dive until we're ready to remove our fins in 3-4 feet of water. Keep your eye out for golf balls. A number of golfers have pitched many of them into the pond over the years.

SCUBA DIVE #1(Green on map) The first dive involves diving to the island where the south side is a boulder strewn slope dropping to about 30 feet. Often times fish of significant size can be found lurking near the boulders. In any case it's a fun dive meandering up and down the slope looking for fish. Spotting an American eel is not unlikely. The dive out will run at about 25 feet deep for a while before sloping up near the island. If you bank to the right you can follow the side of the basin to some extent. Be sure to note your outbound air consumption and reserve that plus a margin for the return trip. A 100 CF or larger cylinder is desirable. This dive is likely to have a 90+ minute runtime. We will usually put a liter of spring water in our BC pocket for this dive and stand in the shallows to drink it before swimming back. Fill it with pond water afterwards to make it neutral in your BC pocket.

With prime visibility and in bright daylight you can dive right above the 18 foot thermocline. You will have a nice view of the pond bottom and can venture down if you see something of interest. This can get me out to the island using about 500 PSI leaving plenty to explore with.

SCUBA DIVE #2 (Pink on map) This dive will be an exploration of the basin where there are several items you may come upon. I don't have exact locations or bearings but I have found these spots numerous times. Starting from the edge of the basin after swimming dead out from the beach follow the slope down and head right 10-15 degrees. Depending on the visibility and your exact heading you may find the framing of a complete Hancock Lumber aluminum dock. My best guess is that it floated out from shore in spring ice and was dropped in the final melt. Next, head to the south to a point south of where you entered the basin and farther out than the dock. Keep an eye out for an early 1960s Chevrolet resting upside down. If you start to see old bottle and rope scraps you may be close, they were marker buoys at one time. Other than that you will traverse one or more gravel ridges, may see fishing gear, outboard motors lurking fish and more.

SCUBA DIVE #3 (Blue on map)This is a shallow edge of the basin dive that lead you to as many as 5 wrecks. Okay..... sunken row and power boats. This dive may average about 12 feet in depth. The summertime thermocline will be at about 18 feet. A 3-5 mm wetsuit is great from mid July to mid August on this dive. In peak season gloves are optional as is headwear! For this dive bear left after swimming out to the basin. Keeping the visible drop-off to your right or following the slope make your way to the left (south) side of the pond and continue to follow the basin edge. If you pay attention you will pass 2 separate sunken boats. One is a very flat craft. The other more of a rowboat. As you venture farther up the side you will come to a sunken flotilla! 3 boats including a red and white speed boat can be found scuttled compete with cement blocks. There is also a big section of 2X4 wall framing, go figure! Being a shallow dive your runtime may approach 2 hours of you are OK on air usage. Once again just watch your air and reserve your usage and a margin for the return swim. If you wish to cool off at any time just weave down past 18 feet for a refreshing treat!

This Dive Site at a Glance:

  • SCUBA: Yes
  • SKIN-DIVE: Yes
  • PARKING: Free
  • TOILETS: In season
  • TIDE: N/A
  • SEASONS: April - November
  • EXPOSURE: N/A
  • ENTRY/EXIT: Easy
  • FOOD: None
  • GPS: 43.502122,-70.636658
  • Google Maps accepts GPS points.

Night dives here can also be interesting. With the basin wall there is considerable detail to focus on for a freshwater site. You never know when you will come face to face with a big ol'e fish. The best part of the night dives is that the American Eels come out. You can spot adults that are bigger than most forearms and the juveniles are colorful. They can be spotted on scuba and skin dives. Running a light source on your flag buoy is a good idea.

Speaking of skin-dives I have a few favorites that are both good fun and great work-outs. The most common is to go out and circle the island (Yellow on map). I will usually head out and circle in a countercheck-wise direction but it really does not matter. As a fitness run without dilly dallying it can be done in about forty minutes. Done at night with lights or late in the evening there can be lots of fish to see in the rocks surrounding the island. About way back on the north side shelf there is another sunken boat that you may find.

If you want something more ambitious then head up the left (south) side well past the 3 boats (Red on map) until you are across from the island and cross to the island. Explore in the rocks or circle the island before working your way back down the south side to the beach. My wife and I have a goal to circumnavigate the pond on a skin-dive someday.

Exploring the shallows in spring I have spotted fish tending their eggs and have seen schools of freshly hatchd fish swarming over the nesting sites.

Kennebunk Pond is the site of our traditional "Mainiac's Tropical Experience" On this dive held in late July diving in swimsuits, shorty's or at the most a 3mm suit is encouraged. For us here in the north country it's a treat to enjoy diving in open water with such limited exposure protection.

Here is a view of the parking area and walk to the site

This map aproximates the routes of some favorite scuba dives. See the text for descriptions coded to the colors.

This map aproximates the routes of some favorite skin-dives. See the text for descriptions coded to the colors.

This page created March 2008