The Day After…

30 08 2008

Saturday, August 30th, 2008 ~

After my Tech 1 class, all I wanted to do was sleep… but… we went diving instead. What better to do?

Myself, Steve, Joe, and Jen boarded a charter out of NTD, where we met Christine and Mark as well. They were up for some diving goodness from the North East Underwater Explorers, and were a blast to spend the day with.

The lake was flat as a pancake, which enabled us to head out to the Katie Eccles. w00 h00! I normally get pretty seasick, so I was quite happy that the waves had subsided for the day!

The Katie Eccles is a two masted schooner, sitting in about 105′ of water. An absolutely amazing wreck. Anyone wanting to do a wreck in Ktown, I recommend this one. The bowsprit is still intact, with chains hanging from it. Such a cool wreck to dive. There are even preserves sitting on the deck, just off of the mooring line.

Picture taken by Tom Rutledge…

kattie eccles by Tom_Rutledge.

Bottom Time ~ 36 mins.

Max. Depth ~ 104′

Water Temp. ~ 54 below thermocline, 68 above

Vis. ~ 50′

A couple of people requested a shallower dive for the second dive, to which none of us minded. We were happy enough to be in the water. We headed over to the Aloha and Effie Mae. Two wrecks in one, sitting in about 54 feet of water.

The Aloha was a wooden ship, carrying coal. There are pieces of wood just about everywhere, and a bunch of fun little swim throughs. A great playground! The Effie May was actually a dive boat that was scuttled here for something extra to see.

Effie May ~ Taken by Tom Rutledge…

Bottom Time ~ 42 mins.

Max. Depth ~ 54′

Water Temp. ~ 68

Vis. ~ 40′

When we came back in, we awaited a group coming back from the Jodrey, and cooked up a storm on the BBQ. Thanks to Matt for being such a great cook!

Hopefully I’ll have a lens for my new camera soon, and I’ll be able to post my own pics again!

A wonderful day on Lake Harold!

Tech 1 Report!

29 08 2008

Monday, August 25th – Friday, August 29th, 2008 ~

Jacob, Dmitri, and I convened at Northern Tech Diver, in Kingston, to start our Tech 1 course. Dan MacKay was our instructor.

Day 1 ~

We met in the classroom for our introductions, dive planning, risk assessment, line formations, and many other subjects.

We also did dives 1 and 2 at the Brule Road Quarry. Dive 1 was the final Fundies dive, which I led.

~ Descend ~ 1 min. stop @ 10′, then down to 20′
~ Valve Drills, S Drills, Backfin, Heli turns
~ Demonstrate finning techniques, then an emergency/failure
~ Timed ascent to the surface, with third blowing a bag

This dive went really well… but… I’ve been doing valve drills over the last year, not only in our skills dives, but also every night before I go to sleep, I do one in my head… (yes, you can call me a geek)…I swear, it must have been the Dan Effect… This was the first time I had forgotten to switch back to my primary reg, after turning it back on. Yes.. I did it… I shut down my left post while still breathing it… I thumped myself in the head, turned it back on, switched to my primary, and carried on.

Can you say… duhhhhhh? Although I would have loved to have blamed it on doing the “old” valve drill, I came clean and admitted that I had never learned the “old” one. 

I guess I’ll have to follow what Leigh says… “I shall be ridiculed in the locker room for years to come.”

Bottom Time ~ 45 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 24′
Water Temp. ~ 75
Vis. ~ 20′

We surfaced and discussed, then went down for Dive 2. This dive was much shorter, but we went through a couple more emergencies and finning techniques, then another timed ascent.

Bottom Time ~ 17 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 24′
Water Temp. ~ 75
Vis. ~ 20′

We returned back to the classroom, where we duscussed the dives and covered more of the classroom work.

Day 2 ~

We met at the shop again, where we went through Gas Management, Blending, Standard Mixes, Gas Profiles, Physics, Valve Failures, and Line Work.

We went outside, ran some line, and did a land based “no vis” line drill. We practiced some of the valve failures that we would do in water today.

We ventured out to the Marine Museum for dives 3 & 4.

Dmitri laid the line, I tightened it, and Jacob tightened it some more… (we were advised to make sure it was extra tight). D tied the line off to a permanent line, and we swam around a bit. Lo and behold, there were valve failures galore! If I remember correctly, there were about 4 or 5 failures each, and eventually we had some that were not fixable.. sheesh.. we’d better get ourselves some more reliable gear!

The next section was a no vis. line drill. This was an absolute blast… We handed over our masks, one at a time, and had to get back to our starting point. I’m not sure if my buddies heard me giggling throughout this drill, but we freight trained it back down the line! Apparently we made it back down the line in one third of the time it took to run it. Lol… we got our masks back, and headed back out for more failures. This one would be a dive ender, so we headed back in!

Total Bottom Time ~ 107 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 36′
Water Temp. ~ 73
Vis. ~ 20′

We once again went back to the classroom for more scuba school and dive discussion.

Day 3 ~

Today we discussed Decompression and planned today’s dives. We went out to the Munson for three different dives. Each of us would lead one. We were diving 30/30, with 50% deco gas.

First Dive ~ Jacob was the leader. We descended on to the wreck, Jacob ran some line, and oh my goodness, we had a valve failure! We turned the dive, doing timed stops to the surface. We carried our deco bottles, but did not use them

Second Dive ~ I led this one. We descended on to the wreck, I picked up the line and made a couple of placements… Holy smokes… a valve failure! We turned the dive, making our stop and gas switch at 70′, then timed stops to the surface.

Third Dive ~ Dmitri was the leader. We descended on to the wreck, D picked up the line, made a couple of placements, and lo and behold, I had a valve failure! We turned the dive, just as Jacob had an OOA! It’s amazing how all of these failures just happened at the same time! HeHe… Dmitri donated to him, and we started up the line. We did our gas switches, and did a timed ascent to the surface.

I really enjoyed these dives, and they went very well.  Our team worked well together.

Total Bottom Time ~ 82 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 101′
Water Temp. ~ 54/68 above thermocline
Vis. ~ 40′

We went back to the shop, discussed, and planned for tomorrow’s dive.

Day 4 ~

Today we headed to Rockport for Experience Dive 1. The plan was 150′ for 20 minutes, using 21/35, along the Rockport Wall. Jacob was leading. We descended, and made it to our target depth in 3 minutes. We swam against the current for 3 mins., then drifted along the wall. The current was slower in some spots than others, so we had to swim a bit of the way. We came up to our max. bottom time, so we started our ascent, with stops along the way. We did our gas switches at 70′, and started our deco obligations. When we reached the surface, we had big grins on our faces… What an awesome dive!

Run Time ~ 65 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 160′
Water Temp. ~ 72

We headed back to the shop, where we did our exam.

Day 5 ~

Experience Dive 2. Planned depth was 165, using 18/45. We followed the same route as the day before, swimming into the current for 3 minutes, then drift along the wall. The current was moving a little more than the day before, but wasn’t significant. When we reached the end of the wall, there was more of a back eddy as well. We reached our “turn point,” and started the ascent, with rolling stops along the way, gas switch at 70′, and our planned deco to the surface. We surfaced, discussed, and were pretty happy with the dive. I also saw some fish that I hadn’t seen before.

Upon returning to the shop, we went through the exam, and all three of us were congratulated with a pass.

I have to say that I thought this was an amazing course, and would like to thank Dan, my buddies, Jacob and Dmitri, for a fantastic week of diving and learning.

Thanks also to Steve and Leigh for putting up with me, while working on skillz, getting ready this year.

Dmitri, Myself, Jacob…

Check Out Dive!

24 08 2008

Sunday, August 24th, 2008 ~I left the gang and headed down to Kingston. I was meeting one of my buddies, that I would be diving with on my Tech 1 course, Jacob. We met amongst some friends, and decided to grab some lunch first!

We then headed over to the Brule Road Quarry to do some skills. Our third buddy wasn’t arriving until the next morning.

We practiced air shares, valve drills, finning techniques, and just relaxed in the water. Vis wasn’t all that great, but it was still a fun and relaxing dive. I also taught Jacob some of my under water dance moves, and the “rock on” symbol… Lol…

Bottom Time ~ 65 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 27′
Water Temp. ~ 75
Vis. ~ 20′

A great dive and prep for tomorrow!

When The East Comes A Bit West…

23 08 2008

Wednesday, August 20th – Saturday, August 23rd, 2008 ~

Although I had to work most of the time, we had a special guest star come to visit us last week. Our friend, Harvey, had been threatening to come and dive with us for the last two years, and finally made it up!

Steve picked him up from the airport, and headed straight down to the river. They did our infamous river/scooter/drift dive. On Thursday, the boyz headed down to Cornwall and did the Paper Factory. Francois also came down and stayed at our place.

I had the day off on Friday, as I had training and skills to do for my upcoming Tech 1 course. We had planned on heading to Kingston, but ended up heading up to Quebec, to the Back Mine, for two dives.

Back Mine

Entry Point

We took the scooters in for the first dive, and took Harvey down to the “Go No Further” sign, and headed back in. Brrrrr… the water was freakin’ chilly!

Bottom Time ~ 19 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 108′
Water Temp. ~ 43
Vis. ~ 25′

For the second dive, Steve and I did skills, while Harvey and Frankie went off to play. I hadn’t worn dry gloves in a while, and it was good to do the drills again with the thick gloves on. We did air shares, valve drills, and I ran a bit of line as well. We were getting pretty chilly, so we called it a day.

Bottom Time ~ 16 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 20′
Water Temp. ~ 42
Vis. ~ 25′

Frankie, Harvey, and me (my face seems to have pudged a little from the cold water! Lol…)

Saturday, Steve, Harvey, Kevin, Francois, Oren, Sean, and Jay headed out to do the Jodrey. I was shore support for their two dive extravaganza.



Jay and Harvey…


..and… of course…

When the boys were on their 20′ stop, I suited up and jumped in the water. It’s kinda funny that most people would have just brought their bathing suits to do this… that thought didn’t even occur to me… Lol…

The boys did their two dives, with a three hour interval in between, as well as some lunch at the floating restaurant.

A gorgeous day, and alot of fun with friends!

The Lost Villages ~ Cornwall

17 08 2008

Sunday, August 17th, 2008 ~


Steve and I headed out to Guindon Park, where we were going to take the scooters out for a run. Steve has done numerous dives here, but this would be my first time out here. This was the location of the Lost Villages, where they flooded towns in the late 50s, to expand the St. Lawrence and a Hydro project, decided on by the Canadian Government. They relocated the people from the towns, as well as the highways (Hwy. 2 and Hwy. 38).


Here is a link to the old and new boundaries of the towns and the St. Lawrence.


There is a public boat launch here, so we have to be careful when descending and ascending, as it is pretty shallow at the entry point. We dropped down, made our way through the weeds, and found Old Highway 2 (Lol.. scootering down the highway). We made our way through the old channel, that drops to about 60′, then back up to a bed, where we saw an old wreck. We played about here for a while, then continued on. The current was pretty strong in spots, so I was happy we had our scooters. We buzzed along, checking out all of the old structure foundations, railway tracks, and pieces of old buildings. We even found old cables. It’s not often you find a shipwreck beside an old building…lol… Once you realize what you’re looking at, it’s pretty amazing. We spent over an hour looking through the old villages, and I found it so fascinating. I can’t wait to go back!


Bottom Time ~ 91 mins.

Max. Depth ~ 66′

Water Temp. ~ 72

Vis. ~ 20′