Skills And A Little Extra Toy…

29 05 2008

Thursday, May 29th, 2008 ~

After missing a Thursday at the quarry last week, Steve and I headed up to meet some people for a skillz dive! We met Leigh, Martin R., and Radu for some diving goodness. Leigh was also helping out Melissa, who is just starting out in a bp/w. This would also be the first night, checking out our new toy.

Steve, myself, Radu, and Martin dropped down, did a modified S drill, a modified valve drill, then went out to the plane. Here we did complete valve drills, and finning techniques.

We then dropped down near the sub, at about 55′, paired up, and did a timed ascent. My ascents are getting much better, to which I am very thankful… T1 is coming soon.. ack ack… We surfaced, discussed, and Leigh came out to join us. Leigh and I buddied up for a descent, with stops every ten feet, and Steve went with Radu and Martin. Leigh and I both dropped a little further than we had hoped, and I got a little vertigo, so we got our stuff back together, and gotterdun. We then did another timed ascent to the surface, which went well.

Now for the fun stuff!! We went over to the bridge, where we had tied off Steve’s scooter… and.. yes… the new addition to the family…

We brought it out so that we could balance it and make sure all was well! Leigh had Steve’s, and Steve took the new kid out for a play. I anxiously awaited my turn!!

Finally, I got to play too!!

w0000000000000t!!! What a blast!! It’s not quite balanced, and is a little negative, but we still had fun playing. Holy smokes that thing kicks!! Steve and Leigh did an OOA, with a scooter tow, and it was still burning up the water!

I also managed to get a pic of Martin!

Bottom Time ~ 53 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 55′
Water Temp. ~ 50ish something… I was having too much fun to notice…
Vis. ~ milky ~ 20’ish

Finally, a couple of poses with our new kid… Pardon the blurry…

Leigh and I.. should we call him the Godfather??

Friends From The Past And Present…

25 05 2008

Friday, May 23rd, 2008 ~

After work, I whipped home, loaded up the car, and made the 5 hour drive to Oakville, for my high school reunion. I was sure to pack my dive gear, as I had planned on doing a couple of dives with some friends that I haven’t seen in a while too!

I made it to the pub at about midnight, and met up with a few friends that I hadn’t seen in a very long time!

(pic taken by my friend James…Julie G and I)

I stayed for about an hour, then headed home to sleep!

Saturday, May 24th, 2008 ~

I got up, walked over to the school to register, and get my name badge, then headed out to Hamilton, to meet up with my friend, Jay. It’s been a long time since we’ve been in the water together (ok.. apart from our group dive last weekend), and were going out on Jay’s boat, to the wreck of the Tiller, in Port Dalhousie. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and the lake hardly had a ripple in it (thank goodness).

I had done this wreck a few times before, but have never actually “seen” this wreck, due to crappy vis. We dropped down through a bit of milky water, and I started to feel doubtful that I would see this wreck on this trip either. Once we got to about 80′, the vis opened up, and you could actually see the entire wreck. Sparkling vis.!!!!! Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet!!! I couldn’t believe that I could finally see this thing!! We did a couple of passes of the wreck, and saw a massive anchor drag just past the stern. Whatever that drag came from, it was big!!! What a relief that it didn’t hit the wreck!! We checked out the holds, then made our way back up. A fantastic dive!

Bottom Time ~ 37 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 109′
Water Temp. ~ 44
Vis. ~ Freakin’ awesome!

Jay, at the healm…

Self Portrait…

I was freakin’ starving, as I can’t really eat before I get on a boat… and by the time I got back to my mum’s place, it was about 7:45 pm! I had to shower and change, and get my butt out to the school for the reunion party! I figured I’d get something there! Well… that never happened… but I did meet up with so many old friends, and it was really really good to see them again.

Another couple o’ pics…

Myself and Lorraine… (people always called her Chan, and called me Lorraine… even Friday night, at the pub!)…

My mum and I…

Me… looking for my signature on Chelsea’s shirt ~ We all signed her shirt when we graduated, and she kept it all these years!

I did find my sig. too!

I swear, it was like stepping into the twilight zone… Seeing all of these people again. It was a very cool night.

Sunday, May 25th, 2008 ~

I got up in the am, packed my stuff, and headed out to Humber Bay, to meet some friends for a dive. I hadn’t seen Dave Black in over a year, and had yet to go for a dive with him! I hadn’t seen Chris M. in over a year either, and he used to be one of my regular dive buddies! We geared up, jumped in, and were given some pretty crappy vis, which is pretty typical of Humber. It was milky and green! We made our way to the chicken line, and came back in. A nice, relaxing dive!


Chris, playing Superman…


Bottom Time ~ 37 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 38′
Water Temp. ~ 45
Vis. ~ 20′ but milky

When we got out of the water, there was a message on my cel. phone, and I didn’t recognize the number. I don’t normally check my messages when I’m out of town, but this time I did! It turned out to be Kelly, a friend from the Ontario Diving board, and they had just pulled into Humber, on their zodiacs, returning from a dive. They were on a surface interval, and invited me to go back out with them! Sweeeeeeeeeeet!! I still had gas in my doubles, but Warren loaned me a stage bottle, to be on the safe side! There was Kelly, Dave, Warren, Chris Red, and Mike V ~ I had only been in the water with Warren before, and never when he had his camera on him! I had also not been on a zodiac before! We loaded up my gear, and headed out to the wreck of the Sligo. I hadn’t been on this wreck before either!

Here we are on the way out…

The vis. was freakin’ spectacular! What a fun wreck to dive! Warren had his monsterous camera out, and took some really fun pictures! Please excuse my dangly drysuit inflator hose…

Chris Red at the mooring…

Myself, Dave S, and Kelly…

Lil’ ol’ me…


Since the vis. was so excellent, they were able to teach me the “Silt 1 course,” in which I passed with flying colours (don’t worry, it’s a staged event).

Here’s Dave completing his “Silt 2 course.”

Bottom Time ~ 38 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 66′
Water Temp. ~ 41
Vis. ~ Freakin’ stellar!

We went out for a quick bite to eat afterwards (finally!!!), then I made my trip home.

Warren, Mike, Chris Red, Kelly, and Dave…

What a wonderful group of people to dive with. I think I had a permagrin on for the entire drive home.

Victoria Day Long Weekend!

19 05 2008

May 18th & 19th, 2008 ~

Happy Victoria Day!

Thank goodness for the extra day! Steve had to work on Saturday, so we didn’t end up going for a dive. I had to catch up on some house stuff anyway.

Sunday, Steve, Leigh, and I headed for Rockport, to do some video for Rockport Dive Centre. We took a charter out to the Ash Island Barge, to get some good stuff! We hadn’t done this wreck before, and it was a pretty cool dive. It’s a wodden Belly Dumper, still holds its cargo, and is on an angle down the East wall of Ash Island. It starts in about 90′ of water, and you can see up until 120′, where the rest of it is buried in white periwinkle shells. It’s a pretty cool site. It is unknown how many holds are buried underneath the periwinkles. There is ambient light down to about 85′, then it gets pretty dark, but your eyes do adjust. I have to say that I was pretty narc’d., but I had a good experience dive.

Bottom Time ~ 34 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 101′
Water Temp. ~ 51
Vis. ~ Murky in ambient light area, much clearer at depth… approx. 30′

Below is some of the video.. also integrated into the DIR Explorers Baton…

Steve and I then headed to Kingston, where we met some of the gang for dinner, and planned a charter for the following day!

Monday morning, we arose to some crappy weather. Apart from the chilled air and rain, there were 2 – 3 meter waves out on the lake. There would be no charter on this Victoria Day! Steve, myself, Jay Roy, Oren, Annie, Harold, and Nancy went out to the Brule Road Quarry, to mess around in the water anyway! Jenn E. and Sean F. came out shortly after as well. Steve, Jay, Oren and I buddied up, did our valve and S Drills, then tooled around the quarry. Steve brought his Gavin, so we all took turns messing around with it. We had an absolute blast!

Bottom Time ~ 62 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 25′
Water Temp. ~ 61/58 below thermocline
Vis. ~ a bit stinky

Here are a few pics!

Oren, Jay, and Steve…

Sean F. and Jenn E.

Oren, Jenn, Me, and Jay…

Steve and Oren…

Crappy weather, but a great weekend nonetheless!!

More Friends!

15 05 2008

Thursday, May 15th, 2008 ~

Our Thursday night skillz dives are underway! Steve and I met Leigh, Melissa, Radu, Steve S., and Carm! Steve and I did our valve and S drills, then Radu joined in with us. Leigh was helping Melissa ~ her first time with a long hose set up! Steve S. and Carm came in a little after us! Steve, Radu, and I dropped down to the sub for… wait for it…. an… ascent!! I was pretty happy with it, although a little slow in the last 20′, which I’m still not unhappy with. We were then going to do a descent, with a stop at 10′, then 20′, then over to the plane. Doh… I went a little past 10’…but caught myself before going too far.. pft.. silly arse…  Radu had a bit of a problem with his ears, so we came back in.

Steve, Leigh, and I decided to go back in, so we could test the camera housing at depth, since machining it! We dropped down to the shelf at 80′, where I realized I might be a bit narc’d… the rock told me… At 98′, I was sure I was narc’d out of my freakin’ tree. I noticed that Leigh’s back up light was on, so I signaled him, and turned it off for him. I then made a signal to him, to tell him that I was out of my tree…. to which he responded that he was too… Steve was laughing at us…

Ok.. so the camera was good… up up and away we go… We did a nice, slow ascent, and did our safety stop. Holy smokes, did I feel light! We went back up to the plane, and did a nice slow return to the beach.

What a blast!!

Bottom Time ~ 22 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 98′
Water Temp. ~ 44
Vis. ~ 20′

First Gaskin Dive Of The Year And More Quarryness!

11 05 2008

Saturday, May 10th, 2008 ~

Steve, Leigh and I met Oren and Sean at Centeen Park for a splash on the Gaskin! The sun was shining, and we were all in great spirits! Rasa came for a visit too (Oren’s wife)!

I was a bit worried about the condition of the Gaskin, as it took a beating last year, and was in bad shape before the ice covered it. We dropped down, did our modified valve and S drills, then headed out to the wreck! Vis was a bit stinky, and the current was absolutely rippin’. When getting to the wreck, we noticed that the wreck had suffered a bit more damage over the winter months, but not as much as suspected. We tooled around the wreck for a while, then Steve threw an out of air at me, and all went smoothly! We went off the wreck, and made our way back to the shallows, where we played around some more. An absolutely wonderful day!

Here are some pics that Rasa took!

…and us in our WGD colours…

Bottom Time ~ 62 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 68′
Water Temp. ~ 44
Vis. ~ 20′ and milky…algae floating up…

Here are a couple of other pics that I took of a few visitors!

Ok.. so… I also had a bit of an issue with my She-P… er… I peed myself…

Sunday, May 11th, 2008 ~

Happy Mother’s Day!!

What better way to celebrate our mothers, than to go for a dip at the quarry before dinner??? That is, since I wasn’t able to make the drive home to Oakville, to see my mum.

Steve and I met Martin R and Stefan for some skillz at the quarry. We dropped down in pairs, in the shallows, for S and Valve drills! The four of us then went down to the sub for an ascent. I was trying to work in 5′ increments from 30′, to make sure I came up slow from 20′, and it made a difference. Although, I did dump a little too much gas, coming up from 30′, and dropped a bit. I came back up alright though. We went back down to the plane, blew a few bags, then back to the sub for another ascent. Better stuff… We went back in for a snack!

Bottom Time ~ 45 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 53′
Water Temp. ~ 44/42
Vis. ~ 20′

> Pics to be inserted later on! <

Steve and I went back in to test the video camera housing. We machined a spare lid to fit a bayonette and dome port lens! We went to the plane to get some footage.. Holy smokes, was I ever comfy. I was so relaxed over the plane, and could have fallen asleep there!

We didn’t stay in long, as we had to get moving! Mother’s Day dinner was calling!!!

Bottom Time ~ 7 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 21′
Water Temp. ~ 44
Vis. ~ 20′

We then met Steve’s family for some yummy Chinese Food!!