Dive Weekend And A Pass!

17 09 2007

Saturday, September 15th, 2007 ~

6 am came early, and we loaded the rest of the gear into the van, and headed off to Kingston. I was going for a dive with Dan, to get my DIR~F Recreational Pass upgraded to a Technical Pass. I had to repeat the final Fundies dive in doubles, using a primary light, and deploying a back up light. We met at the shop around 9, then headed out to the Marine Museum. We did our pre-dive briefing, and headed out for the dive. We descended, did a modified valve drill, modified S drill, then proceeded out to the lines, via surface swim to avoid the big weeds. When we reached the lines, we descended with a stop for 1 min. at 10′, another stop for 1 min. at 20′, then down to 29′. I did my valve drill, flow check, donated gas to my buddy, rec’d. gas from my buddy, deployed my back up light, then headed down the line to show proficiency in my finning. I started off with the back fin.. which I have only recently been able to do… and although I didn’t do it as well as I did in my practice dive, I still showed the mechanics, and did end up moving backwards a bit… We then went down the line, where I did the frog kick, modified frog kick, flutter, and modified flutter. Then… my buddy’s reg was mysteriously ripped from his mouth (hmm.. wonder how that happened?), and he flashed me to donate. I gave him my reg, looped the light cord from the long hose, had to blow a bag, and ascend. Ok.. so the ascent wasn’t the best part of that dive *cough*… to which the bag blowing part went ok, and although my buddy and I stayed level (with him still breathing from my long hose), it could have been a bit tighter. We surfaced, went through the debrief, and was congratulated on my pass. It’s amazing how you can practice all these things before, and get a pretty good handle on them, but when you’re “on stage,” they may not seem to go as well as planned.  I know I have alot to work on, but am happy that Dan recognized the work I’ve put into my diving since I got my Recreational Pass last year.

Bottom Time ~ 28 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 29′
Water Temp. ~ 68

Here’s a pic post dive…

We went back to the shop and met up with my friend, Jen, who drove from St. Catherines to go diving with us! We decided to get some lunch with a bunch of the crew, then set “sail” for Ivy Lea. We arrived, picked a camp site, to which there just happened to be a spot available right beside the public boat dock, where we planned on starting our dive that afternoon! Our site was absolutely gorgeous! We overlooked the water in the canal, that would lead us into the St. Lawrence.

We set up our tents, and quickly geared up! We got in the water and started our adventure. Our plan was to drift around the point, down the river past the 1,000 Islands bridge, and up onto the beach. We planned on being in the water about an hour, and drifting at about 60′, to bring us to the remains of a wreck out there.

Here is a pic of our route at Ivy Lea. We entered at the boat dock (at about 1 o’clock), and drifted counter clockwise around the wall, past the bridge, and up on to the beach (2nd boat dock at about 8 o’clock). Our campsite was right beside the 1st boat dock ~ # 113!

We got in, descended, and current wasn’t too bad at this point. We stayed close to the wall, as there are many back eddys and current changes here. It’s where there are merges into the St. Lawrence. Once we got into the river, the current was absolutely everywhere. Up, down, left, right, backwards, forwards.. Holy smokes.. We tried moving up as well as down to avoid the madness, but nothing seemed to really work ~ 40′, nope… 80′, nope… Sheesh! Even Steve wrote in his wet notes, saying.. holy smoke! it’s messed up! There was even current pushing us off the wall. We surfaced after 61 mins., just shy of the bridge, and laughed a bit about our endeavor. We decided to head back down and continue our mission. We did make it to the wreck, where the current died down a bit, and we saw a few massive fish and crayfish! A giant bass, a giant sheepshead… The crayfish were close to being the size of freakin’ lobsters!! We made it to the beach, where we played around in the weeds for a bit, and saw a really long, brown body resting in the weeds. My first thought was…”Holy smokes! It’s a freakin’ python!” Steve got part of the body on video, as well as his hand reaching down to touch it, as it exploded off through the water. Jen was behind me, and all she saw was this giant cloud of silt, and my bubbles laughing my arse off.

Bottom Time ~ 84 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 81′
Water Temp. ~ 67

It was pretty dark when we got out of the water, and we doffed our gear, as Steve walked back to the camp site to get the van. Although our dive was a bit of the zig zag variety, we still had fun. We packed up, went back to the site and roasted some weinies! Then it was off to bed.

Sunday, September 16th, 2007 ~

I kicked Steve out of bed early, so that he could drop off my tanks at Dive Tech before meeting Kevin and Dan at Centeen Park for a scooter dive (he had to go there anyway). Jen and I were left to pack up our tents and gear etc., then went to Dive Tech.. the candy store!! Dammit, I forgot to leave my wallet in the car. Ok, it was not a big purchase, but I picked up a 40″ hose for my stage bottle (I bought an SPG and 6″ hose from NTD the day before). We hung around the shop for a bit, analyzed tanks and stages, and off to Centeen Park we went.

We met up with Leigh (Wooferbitch), Hugh, and Gilles, and waited for Steve, Dan, and Kevin to finish with their dive. We waited… waited… waited… ok.. Leigh, Hugh, and Gilles did not want to wait, so they went in and did a skills dive. Jen and I also decided we didn’t want to wait anymore, so we started to gear up for a swim to the Gaskin. As we were almost ready, the boys surfaced. Steve decided to come with us, Kevin and Dan opted not to.

So… Steve, Jen, and I made our way to the Gaskin. We passed the “stop” sign” and got to the wreck in about 15 minutes.

We were against the current, that wasn’t too bad until we got to the wreck. I had to give a couple of extra pushes to get those last ten feet to it. We did a pass through the wreck and headed back, with Jen taking some pics along the way.

Bottom Time ~ 50 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 65′
Water Temp. ~ 67

When we got out, we saw a huge cruise ship pass by. It made the charters on the Gaskin look like canoes!

Leigh, Dan, and Kevin were waiting for us to go get some grub. We doffed, packed up, and had a nice meal, sitting around, talking about the weekends adventures.

What a fantastic way to end a wonderful diving weekend! A Tech Pass, a fun/learning dive, and a swim to the Gaskin with friends! Until the next adventure!!

Another Pic Of The Weekend!