25 07 2008

Thursday, July 24th, 2008 ~


Steve and I headed up to the quarry for some skills, with some friends. It is only a month until my Tech 1 starts, and I would like to make sure I’m ready! We met with Kevin and Radu, and Leigh was also there, helping out another diver. When we arrived, the place was pretty busy, and we took our time getting in the water. Once we got in, we did our predive checks, then dropped down for valve drills. We dropped down to the sub at about 59′, and did a timed ascent. Leigh had joined us by this time. There were 5 of us in a star, which is a task enough in itself, while doing an ascent…lol… I was timing, and Radu was blowing a bag. We did pretty well, and our timing was pretty good as well… *phew!* We surfaced, discussed, and did it again. This time, although it was going well, Leigh decided to start dancing at 30′, and we all started doing the Heleen dance. It was pretty fun. We surfaced… still on time, I might add, and just started laughing. Leigh decided he was done for the evening, flipped his fins up, and surface swam in… er.. backwards… It was quite entertaining to watch.

After messing around a bit on the surface, we descended to the plane where Radu and Kevin worked on some skills together, and Steve and I ran some line. We also did mask removal, and followed the line blind (no, not at the same time…lol). It was getting a bit late, so Steve and I decided to turn in. We signaled Kevin and Radu, and in we went.

Bottom Time ~ 49 mins.

Max. Depth ~ 59′

Water Temp. ~ 71

Vis. ~ Here ‘n’ there…

On the way in, we found a piece of a Whites drysuit dump valve and brought it in. We asked the people sitting around the camp fire, but it wasn’t theirs. While we were all chatting after the dive, someone came up to us, looking for Kevin, for drysuit repair (that’s part of Kevin’s business). It seems his drysuit dump had come apart, and he didn’t have all of the parts.

OO.. I have it! So… I handed over the part, and Kevin put his drysuit dump back together. After chatting part of the night away, we decided that it was time to make our way back home, so we all parted ways, and Steve and I headed back home.

A fantastic skills dive, and a good night with friends. :o)

Garage Pics

25 07 2008

Steve has done alot of work in the garage over the last year, and it’s getting closer to being finished. He’s built a wooden shelf for the second garage compressor to sit on, so that they aren’t taking up as much room.



Gear rack…


Below the gear rack…


Cameras and various gear…


Fridge, Kool-Aid and refreshments…


Suit and underwear rack…


Charging station…


Work station…


T Cylinders…


The booster…


We still have a couple of things to work on… like adding a diving compressor and a few extra toys, but it has come along nicely!


W0000000000t! :o)

Another Stellar Weekend

21 07 2008

July 19th, 2008 ~

Our friend, Francois, came down for the weekend, and we headed off to the mighty Ktown, for a charter with Saila and Lisa, who were also up visiting from the U.S. We had a few other friends that were there for a morning charter at NTD as well. We hopped aboard the Seadeucer, with Captain Harold, and headed out on the lake. James Y. joined us as well, as we had room for another friend. There are a couple of us that do sometimes get seasick (*cough*), and we had hoped to go to a couple of the closer wrecks, instead of going out as far as the Sheboygan or the Katie Eccles. The lake usually picks up in the afternoon, so it’s not usually possible to go out that far anyway.

We made it out to what we call “The Graveyard,” and the lake didn’t seem bad at all. Everyone looked to me with pleading eyes, asking if we could push on to the Katie Eccles. I felt pretty good, so it was a go! I hadn’t done this wreck before, and know that it’s one of the good ones!

The Katie Eccles is a wooden schooner, sitting in about 105′ of water. The bowsprit is stunning and intact. There are also a few items on the wreck, that have been placed for everyone to see… An intact lantern, and an anchor off the wreck, among a few other items.

I got in the water first, as my tummy told me I needed to… I don’t think the others wanted to see what I had for breakfast. James jumped in with me, and we tried to wait for the others, but.. well.. I needed to get under, so we descended. The vis was a bit milky on the way down, but opened up below the thermocline, which was at about 70′. What a gorgeous freakin’ wreck! Since I no longer have an UW camera to use, here are a couple of pictures from Tom Wilson’s site (

James and I checked out a couple of the holds, the bowsprit, and the anchor alongside of the wreck (there is a line that goes to it). We also waved to Steve and Francois, and Saila and Lisa too. Steve and I shook hands as we passed each other…lol… There are also jars of preserves still on the wreck ~ Our guesses were Tomatoes, Onions, and Peaches! 🙂

James and I ascended, and had “great dive” smiles on our faces.

Bottom Time ~ 39 mins.

Max. Depth ~ 102′

Water Temp. ~ 61/55 (below thermocline)

Vis. ~ 50′

We went over to the Glendora for our second dive, and I don’t recall having done this one before either. Another fantastic dive. There isn’t a whole lot to the exterior of this wreck, but it’s still a really cool one to dive. It is a wooden freighter, and about 214′ long. It is possible to swim almost the entire length of the ship, inside the holds.

James and I descended before the others again, as my tummy was turning a bit, and I needed to get down. We did a couple of turns around the wreck, visiting the intact prop, and where I found a prize that someone had dropped (yes, I’ve posted it, so someone can claim it). 🙂 We swam through the holds and played with the gobies. I had a couple come right up to my face, and there was one that seemed to be playing hide and seek with James… hiding below a beam. We swam around some more, waved at everyone as we passed.. and… of course, we were playing around with the prize that I had found!

We started our ascent, got back on the boat, and headed back in to NTD. It was an absolute perfect day out on the lake, and fortunate that we were able to make the trip to the Katie Eccles… I think this one is in my top 5 now. 🙂 It was even more fortunate for me, that I didn’t feed any fish!

Here are a couple of pics from Tom W.’s site…

Bottom Time ~ 43 mins.

Max. Depth ~ 75′

Water Temp. ~ 60

Vis. ~ 40′

When we got back in to shore, we unloaded and headed off to dinner with .. well.. a whole lotta people. 🙂 It was our friend Jay’s birthday too.

We then drove to Brockville, where we got an overpriced room, and went to sleep.

July 20th, 2008 ~

Steve, Francois, and I woke up to meet some more friends at Centeen Park, for another scooter adventure. One of our friends called, saying they weren’t going to make it, and another one called to say he was there… but.. he.. um.. forgot his fins… doh! So.. it was myself, Steve, Jay, and Francois. We entered the “pool,” and headed out for the channel. A small freighter went by at one point, as we scootered along below. Not too long afterwards, a giant earth shattering, people eating monster passed overtop as well. Holy smokes, I think it completely shook the earth. We went across to the periwinkle shells, saw the old urns and milk jugs, some coiled up cable, and on this trip, I even saw a horse skull. This dive has to be one of my favourite things to do. There is so much history under this waterway, and just some incredible artifacts to drift amongst. There are also pieces of wreckage, that were probably part of a ship at one time.

We drifted downstream of the Gaskin, and made our way back to it for a couple of turns, then back to shore. We played around in the shallows for a bit as well, giving our scooters well-deserved praise. As Jay said… “That was a kick ass dive.”

Bottom Time ~ 181 mins.

Vis. ~ Crappy on the Gaskin ~ Great in the channel

Frankie, walking his gear up…

Steve and I after the dive…

Jay, Marla, Corson, and Lloyd…

Happy Birthday, Jay! :o)

Brockville ~ July 5th & 6th ~ 2008 ~

7 07 2008

Steve and I headed down to Brockville on Saturday morning, to meet with friends, and go for a dive on the Daryaw. We were diving off of Stefan’s zodiac, and leaving from Mallorytown Landing. We arrived a bit early, and met up with a bunch of other friends, who were also heading out to the Daryaw on their zod, from the Henry Street Boat Launch ~ Steve S., Mat B., and finally got to meet with Greg Mossfeldt. When we got there, there was a huge freighter going by. It was definitely empty, as it was moving pretty quickly, and was sitting very high out of the water…

We chatted for a while, then headed over to Mallorytown to meet with Sean M., Martin R., and Stefan M. En route, we made a stop at Timmy’s, where we also ran into David H., Alan, and April. 😛

Steve, Martin, and Stefan…

The zodiac was pretty cool.. It was an 18′ boat, with a 90 hp, 4 stroke engine.

What I thought was great, was the stainless steel bar down the middle of the boat, where we were able to stand up all of our doubles on either side, and strap them in.

The Daryaw is about 11km from where we launched, but it really didn’t take long with this zodiac.. Holy smokes, does it move! We got to the mooring line, and tied off beside our other buddies, who were just about to drop in. The surface current was absolutely freakin’ ripping, and we had to put in a pull line, to make it over to the mooring line. Steve, Sean, and I were going to drop in first, do our dive, then man the boat while Stefan and Martin went down.

We geared up and in we went. Holy smokes… that surface current was absolutely nasty! Without the pull line, we’d have been picked up in Cornwall, I’m sure! This is one wreck, where you really do need to use the line to descend ~ The current is just way too strong to fight it on your own. We hand over handed it down, taking it slowly, and tucked in behind the wreck, where you are sheltered from the worst of the current. We went in for a peek of the coal chute, came back out, and checked out the holds. There is an air pocket in the second cargo hold that we also went in and said a quick hello to each other. You don’t breathe in here, but you can remove your reg and talk. Your voice changes a bit with the pressure as well. We left the pocket, and poked around a few places for a bit, then went over and drifted down the keel, and back up. The ascent was a bit easier than the descent, but you still had to use the line most of the time. When we surfaced, we were greeted by about 4 or 5 other boats tied off to the two moorings, and another zodiac tied beside ours (a rather nice one at that)!

Bottom Time ~ 62 mins.

Max. Depth ~ 82′

Water Temp. ~ 67 ~ Wet Gloves~ w00t!

Vis. ~ 25′ – 30′

When we surfaced, it seemed that Martin had ripped his neck seal, and was a little bummed out. Steve offered his suit to him, so that at least he hadn’t driven all the way from Quebec not to dive! Luckily it fit.. with little extra room in the turbos, but he was very grateful.

They dropped in for their dive as we manned the boat and relaxed in the sunshine. Did I mention that it was an absolutely beautiful day??? 😀

Stefan and Martin also had a good dive, and we headed back to shore. It seems that I got a little bit too much sun!!

Steve and I then went to see our friends, Kris and Jess. We sat around and chatted for a while, then Kevin dropped by as well, so I could give him Martin’s suit to repair. Steve and I ended up staying over, and Kevin made the drive back to Ottawa.

Sunday morning seemed to come early, and we met Stefan at Centeen Park at 8:30am. We were going to swim out to the Gaskin! We got in the water, did our predive checks, flow checks etc., then off to the Gaskin we went. It took us nearly 20 mins. to swim to the wreck, as the current was a lot stronger than usual. The current also gets a bit stronger at about 20′ off the wreck. We made it there, did a couple of turns of the wreck, then drifted off. We saw some really neat bottles, and a lot of periwinkles… there was also quite a bit of boat traffic, that we could hear. We drifted back to the entry point, where we saw the little black bass from last week, and about 100 of her little babies swimming in a small cloud. If I was a fish, I’m not sure I would have placed my eggs right near the entry point of a popular watering hole, but I guess she knows best. 😛 We debriefed and exited.

Bottom Time ~ 69 mins.

Max. Depth ~ 69′

Water Temp. ~ 67

Vis. ~ Stinky

We were meeting more friends for an afternoon swim to the Gaskin, and all I could think was… “uh… scooter time for the next dive.”

Our friends started to arrive one by one… Mat B., Ritchard F., Greg M., Steve S., Carmen C., Rick, and Mat’s wife and doggy too! The dog really wanted to come on the dive too…lol…

We chatted for a while, and watched as another giant freighter went by…

After our 3 hour surface interval, we dropped in with everyone. Steve and I had our scooters, and Steve was going to film everyone too!

Ok… we felt pretty dumb as we were going out… We would stop along the way to get footage of everyone, and the current was almost non-existent. How dumb do we feel now?  The current did pick up at the wreck, but not nearly as strong as it had been in the morning! Ah well… playing with the scooters is never a bad thing, anyway!

We gallivanted around the wreck for a while, got some footage of everyone going through the wreck, then headed back in search of a purse that we had found the previous week. After searching and searching, we finally found it. We thought Steve had put it in a barrel, but the barrel ended up being some rolled up carpet.

On both dives, we saw a ton of really big arsed fish! There was a school of Perch that I hadn’t seen before, and a bunch of super-sized carp. There were two that kind of freaked me out, when they came right up beside me, and were inches from my face! Man, those things were big!!! I think Steve got some footage of the Perch.

Bottom Time ~ 89 mins.

Max. Depth ~ 69′

Water Temp. ~ 67

Vis. ~ Stinky

I think we may have convinced Ritchard that he needs a scooter!

The whole gaggle of us, less Ritchard, headed over to Timmy’s for some sandwiches and great story-telling.

It’s really fantastic to hang out and dive with everyone on such a beautiful sunny day!

Here’s Greg and his cool car!

Canada Day 2008!

1 07 2008

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008 ~

Well, we just couldn’t get enough of the dive on Sunday, so we packed the van, and headed back down to Brockville!

The entry point was a bit crowded though…

Steve, carrying down the stages…

Leigh carrying some too…

We had the same plan, to go to the point, surface, take a bearing, then go across to a little island, and see what we could find. We surfaced, took our bearing, and seemed to completely overshoot the island. We came to the conclusion that the metal wall at the point may have thrown off our compasses, as the three of us had different readings. Ah well… we don’t really need an excuse to go back and try again! There were a few other divers at Centeen Park, and one charter on the Gaskin, but we pretty much had the park to ourselves.

We dropped down, did our checks and dive plan, and headed out. We went across the channel, into the periwinkles again, and found some really cool bottles, urns, and various wreckage. There was so much to see!! We drifted a bit, looking at all of the cool stuff, as well as scootered a bit. We even saw an old wagon wheel. It was really nice having the scooters through the current, when it got stronger.

We eventually drifted back onto the Gaskin, where we swam and scootered around a bit. We decided to go through the wreck, and upon entering, were greeted by a couple of other divers. “Hello!” We then headed back near the entry point, and hung about the shallows for a bit.

Max. Depth ~ 109′
Water Temp. ~ 67
Vis. 10′ – 40′

What an awesome way to celebrate our country’s birthday!

The boys, chillin’ after the dive…

Alot of people had flags flying too!