Busy Diving Weekend ~ Part Two ~ Free Divers

22 03 2009

Sunday, March 15th, 2009 ~


This weekend, a bunch of free divers from Quebec and Toronto came up to the quarry for  some free diving, under the ice. 


We geared up, as they dressed and prepared. We had both still and video cameras, in order to capture the event. Once we got to the plane, I took a few shots to get the lighting right, and to prepare for the first divers to come down. 



They had three holes cut, direct lines to the surface, and lines connecting the holes. Mike had prearranged to get a “mermaid” shot, of one of the divers, sitting on a rock, by the plane.

I was able to get a couple of shots off from the side…


Here is the shot that Mike took, while I was shooting from the side.
Picture courtesy of Mike Grebler


Every couple of minutes, another diver would make their way down to the plane, which sits at about 25′, and there were even a few that would go down to the sub, at about 65′.


There were over a dozen divers coming down, saying hello, taking pictures, and even waving hello from inside of the plane.




Watching this “Cirque Du Soleil” under water was truly a mesmerizing thing to witness. The gracefulness and beauty of it all was just awe inspiring.


I’m really not sure that I would ever even consider doing what these people do, but I’m just amazed and happy to have been a spectator, and to have been able to catch some shots of them to share.

For more information on the freediving clubs, please see…





Thanks again, gang!

Bottom Time ~ 49 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 28′
Water Temp. ~ 40
Vis. ~ Good!

A Busy Diving Weekend ~ Part One

16 03 2009

Friday, March 13th, 2009 ~ 


Steve had a day off, so we decided to do what? Oh.. yeah.. go diving…  Jeremy was also off, so he met us up at the quarry for a skills dive. When we got up there, the gate was locked, so we went around to the back entrance, and around to the parking lot. 


We went over to inspect the hole, and the entire quarry was frozen over again. We hadn’t expected it to be, as it was breaking up the previous weekend. However, it wasn’t very difficult to break up the entry hole.


We geared up, got in, and off we went to the plane. Our goal of this dive was to work on skills.. valve drills, a couple of failures, tying in to another main line, and team formation. Steve was #1, Jeremy was #2, and I was #3.

After tying in to the main line, running to the boat, Steve had a primary light failure. We regrouped, and headed “out.” We cut the drill, then went on to the plane, to do our valve drills.

We did some finning as well, swam around a bit, then headed back in. It was really nice having the quarry to ourselves, on such a gorgeous day!

Bottom Time ~ 46 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 41′
Water Temp. ~ 39
Vis. ~ Great!

After our dive, we headed to the shop for fills, and to visit our good buddy Leigh. He’s been way too busy lately, and it was great to see him!


What a great way to spend a Friday!



Saturday, March 14th, 2009 ~

Today was the day… it was time to head back down to the RIVER!! Although it was still completely frozen over east of Rockport, it was magically open right where we wanted to dive. It was as if the river was calling for us, missing us over the winter months… Um.. ok…

Anyway, Steve and I met Kevin and Jeremy at Jeff’s dock, and went in for a splash. The UW camera stayed at home today, as the river is still only just above the freezing point, and I wanted to be prepared for anything.

The entry point did have some ice around it, but it was wide open just off of it. Jeff had the bubbler going as well, which was great.


Kevin and Jeremy splashed in first, followed by Steve and I. We did not head over to the Kinghorn, but swam west of the dock instead, where there are remnants of a wreck. We encountered a bunch of dormant bass, as well as sleeping crayfish. We swam about 20 minutes out, then made our way back in. As we tied our stage bottles in to the gear line, we saw Kevin and Jeremy behind us. They had gone the other way.

I had stayed pretty warm throughout the dive, although I seemed to have a small leak in my drysuit.

Bottom Time ~ 35 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 64′
Water Temp. ~ 33
Vis. ~ 30′ out, 50′ up

Although the water was hardly above the freezing point, it felt so good to be back in the river!


Despite the warmer air temperatures, Jeremy’s reg still seemed to have a nice frost to it…


Ahhhh… Spring is coming!!


Tomorrow, we’re headed back to the quarry to watch the free divers!

The Quarry Is Melting!

11 03 2009

Sunday, March 8th, 2009 ~ 


Another busy and gorgeous day at the quarry, and we headed up to meet Kevin and Jeremy. There were many people taking advantage of the beautiful weather today, and getting their gear wet. There were many courses going on as well. 


Kevin ran the line today, and we headed out to the plane.


Kevin tied off the line, and we worked on some skills. Steve and I paired up, as did Kevin and Jeremy. We played around a bit, and avoided being landed on a couple of times, by some of the course candidates.

Steve even worked on his “Upside Down Frog Kick.”


We practiced valve drills, finning techniques, as well as picked up some of the “Police Line” that had fallen in the melting water, from the courses.

Kevin even tried the Upside Down Frog Kick…


We looked above, and noticed the big, gaping hole in the ice. We knew there had been a bit of melting, but weren’t sure how much. We made our way to the surface, to check it out… It was a massive open water hole!


Before descending again, Steve pointed out to me, how well you could see the plane from the surface.


We descended again, and did some more playing around the plane.


We finally decided to head in, as it really started to get busy, and we did have to duck a couple of times…


This shot was kind of neat, as it wasn’t until we got home, that I noticed the two people in the ice hole above! It has now been dubbed, “The Alien Picture.”


On the way in…

Bottom Time ~ 60 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 35′
Water Temp. ~ 39
Vis. ~ Great!


When we returned to the hole, we were greeted by other friends about to gear up as well!


We doffed our gear, and Steve wanted to go and play in the big, melted hole, where he got a couple of pretty cool shots…


I came over to say hello, and… lo and behold, my leg went through… Trust that camera to be ready… lol…


We finally packed up and headed over to Jean Burger, for Poutine and chicken! Ok.. chicken for me… Poutine for the fellas!

A Trip To The Quarry

5 03 2009

Sunday, March 1st, 2009 ~

We headed to the quarry this past Sunday, and we were able to drag Jeremy out, despite the fact that he has been accustomed to desert weather, over the last 9 months (welcome home, Jeremy).

It was a busy day at the quarry as well, and the visibility wasn’t as great as it has been recently.

Here are a few pics from the day’s events…

A shot of Jeremy in his brand spankin’ new TLS…


Another member of Team Red…


Another one for the Red Team…


I guess I just don’t fit in with my Maroon…


A few shots from the dive…


Steve, doing a modified flutter…


Getting ready for valve drills…


Coming up on Kevin and Jeremy in the shallows…


Who could this be?


I think this one is my favourite of the day…


When we came in, we fooled around some more, and took some more shots…


Bottom Time ~ 41 minutes

Max. Depth ~ 30′

Water Temp. ~ 40

Vis. ~ Starting to change a bit, but still good!


All in all, it was yet another beautiful, sunny day for a dive!

Busy Days At The Quarry

4 03 2009

Saturday, February 21st, 2009 ~ 


When we arrived at the quarry today, we noticed that there were ice diving courses going on again. Since they carved their holes in the deeper section of water, we would be out of their way. 


I’m not exactly sure what settings I had the camera on, but all of the pictures turned out blurry today. I was a bit disappointed, as many of them looked amazing on the display screen. 


We dropped in, did our checks, and carried on. I will post a few pictures anyway… blurry or not…



We headed over to the boat, carefully staying out of the way of the tethered divers.



To stay out of the way, we made our way down to the stove and freezer. I used to think the mini freezer was a laundry sink… apparently, I was wrong… lol…


This is the best shot I’ve been able to get of them so far, without strobes. They sit at about 105’…



We ran a line over to the car, which I had not approached from that angle before…


We then headed over to “the pit.” I had not been here before. It’s a pit that goes to about 120′, and houses a tractor tire, and another small piece of machinery. Pretty cool stuff… We headed back over to the car, picked up our line,  went back up to the plane, and headed in.


Bottom Time ~ 35 minutes

Max. Depth ~ 111′

Water Temp. ~ 40

Vis. ~ Not as good as last week, but still great


I had received a special package in the mail, from Heleen, and had to take pictures with the yummy licorice she sent!





When we arrived home, I received a call from Rona, from Saskatchewan. Since she was in town, we met up for some singing fun. What a blast! We had a great night, and it was really good to meet her! Thanks Rona!!


We ended up having an action packed day, filled with diving and friends. I couldn’t ask for more! Well.. except pictures that weren’t blurry…



Sunday, February 23rd, 2009 ~

I left the camera at home today, as Steve brought the video camera. We took turns taking video of each other doing skills and finning techniques. We did valve drills, frog kicks, modified frog kicks, flutter kicks, and modified flutter kicks.

We had a really great skills dive!

Bottom Time ~ 46 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 42′
Water Temp. ~ 40
Vis. ~ Pretty darn good

There were other friends diving as well…

Until next week, when I have the camera back in hand!


Here are a couple of pictures of another surprise from Heleen!