St. Lawrence Adventures

24 07 2009

Saturday, July 11th, 2009 ~

Since my other half had to work, I headed down to the river to meet Claudia, for some River goodness! Our plan was to swim out to the Gaskin in the morning, then meet Steve and Andy later on, for more diving goodness.

Claudia and I met at Centeen Park, geared up, and in we went. We dropped down to 15′, did our bubble checks, then headed down the pipe. We reached the end of the pipe, and did not see the “STOP” sign, as the visibility was pretty crappy. We reached the big square rock pile, then turned back to the east a bit, in hopes of finding the line.

We were in luck! We came upon the line, and managed to make out the back of the stop sign. We headed out toward the wreck. The current was pretty light here, so following the line out was not difficult at all. Once we got to the little boat ahead of the Gaskin, the current really picked up, and we had to give a little extra “umph” to our kicks. Wow… the visibility really went to the birds here… or, shall I say to the fish.

We reached the end of the line, and still could not see the wreck, that sat right in front of us. Claudia looked at me, and wondered why the line ended, so I motioned for her to keep going forward. The visibility was that bad, that we couldn’t see the big bow, right in front of us.

We were on top of the giant anchor, that lay against the wreck, and still couldn’t see it. There appeared to be a bunch of people on the wreck, from a charter above, and I motioned for Claudia to come towards me, as there was one of them about to land on her. We hovered there for a moment, to see if the silt would settle, but it only seemed to get worse. We watched the diver land in the silt, and just stand there. Yes… he stood there. We wondered if the vis would be any better inside the wreck, so we ascended to the large hole in the side, and I went in first. Claudia followed right behind me, and I could see her light. I was “blessed” with a wall of absolutely zero visibility, so I turned around and showed Claudia my thumb. This was ridiculous. We turned around, and as Claudia made her way out, there was a gang of single tank divers that were attempting to follow us. The moved out of the way, let us pass, and we headed out of dodge. We had a relaxing swim back, as we had help from the current, and we both giggled as Claudia signalled to me that she wanted lunch. Me too! This swimming stuff is hard work! Lol…

We made it back to the break wall, and I saw something bright and pink, that I just had to pick up. It was a pink head band, and I thought it must have looked quite nice, perched on top of my hood. We kept swimming in the basin of the park, and we saw yet another head band. This one was bright yellow, and fit nicely over top of Claudia’s hood. We were quite a team now. We giggled, and ascended back to the entry point. Although the visibility was horrible, we still had a fun time, and got to play around in the water.

Bottom Time ~ 65 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 60′
Water Temp. ~ 66
Visibility ~ Um.. yeah.. right

A couple of pictures, showing off our fancy head bands…

Oh, and the Kool Aid shot…

Since we were going for a second dive, and were running a bit behind, we packed up and headed over to meet Steve and Andy, while still wearing our drysuits.

We met them, and headed on over to Rockport. Along the way, we stopped at the side of the road, to show Claudia and Andy Island 99/Teapot Island. We took a few pictures, and headed over to see our friend, Jeff.

Jeff showed us a compass that he had purchased from an antique show, that was pretty awesome…

We decided to head out to the Kinghorn.

The visibility was much better than at the Gaskin, so we were happy about that! We did a few turns of the wreck, checked out the holds, and headed back. We had a wonderful dive!

Bottom Time ~ 51 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 92′
Water Temp. ~ 66
Visibility ~ 35′

Once we got back in, we headed over to the Family Restaurant, where we had some grub, and I just had to indulge in the cherry pie, which was fresh out of the oven. This place has the best cherry pie anywhere!

Sunday, July 12th, 2009 ~

Claudia, Steve, and I had planned on a scooter run out of Centeen Park, while Andy was going to set up some of his new stuff on his gear. Zi was also coming to meet us for our second dive of the day, and was there a bit early.

The three of us headed out past the wall, then dropped down into the channel, where Steve led us straight to a little wreck that he had previously found, and over to the horse carriage. We drifted in the channel for a bit, then back over to the Gaskin. We went through it once, then came back in. At least Claudia got to see some of it this time!

We brought the scooters back in, had a snack and some water, then got back in with Andy and Zi. Claudia had a bit of a drive ahead of her, so she made her way out.

I decided to take my camera out on this dive, and see what I could come out with.

We decided to head east from the entrance, and do a nice, relaxing swimming dive. Again, the visibility wasn’t all that great, but I managed to get a few alright shots. The camera made it look better than it actually was.

Self Portrait…

We saw alot of things that we hadn’t seen before as well.

Andy, and the “Maple Leaf” wheelchair…

Steve, lighting up a tube filled with fish…

Andy, Steve, and Zi…


Andy… doing fantastic, my friend!

Yet another self portrait…

On the way back in, the current seemed to get quite a bit stronger, and we made our way in, against it. We also met up with some of the local residents…

On the surface…

Andy got a picture of me, too!

Bottom Time ~ 58 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 35′
Water Temp. ~ 67
Visibility ~ 10′ – 15′

Andy brought along some cold Cherry Coke, which I had not tried before. Holy moses, was it good. Mind you, I also gave him some Ketchup chips, that he had not had before, and got him a little hooked too.

Thanks to all of our friends that made such far drives to come and dive with us. It really is alot of fun to dive with everyone, and build new adventures.

Happy Canada Day!

24 07 2009

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009 ~

Happy Canada Day! Hmm.. what to do… How about go for a dive or two?

We packed up and headed down to Centeen Park. We thought we would give that elusive truck another attempt. Myself, Steve, Jay, Jen, and Oren made another run out with the scooters, and tried to find that darn thing, once again.

We saw things that we hadn’t seen before, which was a really good sign. We even saw what looked like a bit of a road, with rocks on either side. You’d think you’d find a truck near this, for sure, right? Yeah… not so much. We found bits of metal, pieces of this and that, bottles galore, but still no truck. We played amongst the periwinkle shells, then made our way back. The visibility was a bit stinky, and although we all stayed in our buddy teams, we ended up coming back at different times. Steve and I made it back first, followed by Sean and Oren, then Jen and Jay.

Bottom Time ~ 64 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 104′
Water Temp. ~ 62
Visibility ~ 15′

When we surfaced, our buddies for our second dive greeted us at the stairs, as well as Jeremy and Kevin, who were going out for a dive too.

We all had a bit of lunch, which consisted of some sandwiches that I had brought for everyone, and some veggies that Jen brought, then went for dive number two.

We headed out to the Gaskin, with scooters galore, and messed around for a bit, then came back in for some great fun and conversation. It was fun watching the Muffin Man get towed back, after he broke Bob’s scooter (*ducks*). Lol…

Bottom Time ~ 52 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 70′
Water Temp. ~ 62
Visibility ~ 20′ and milky

Superstar diver!

I think we celebrated Canada’s birthday in the best way possible… The River, scooters, and good friends.

Quick Dip At The Quarry

21 07 2009

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009 ~

Steve and I went up to meet Eric once again, for some skills, gearing up for his upcoming Fundies course.

We dropped down, stretched out, did bubble checks, and made our way over to the plane. We started out with a timed ascent, then a descent, valve drills, and S drills. We then moved on to finning techniques, and the illustrious back fin. Eric was determined, and was working hard!

We headed back in, doffed our gear, and came back to the water, to demonstrate the back kick without gear. It does feel funny without gear on, but it’s still pretty fun to do.

There was another group of divers looking on, that probably thought we were a bit nuts.

Bottom Time ~ 53 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 31′
Water Temp. ~ 60/62
Vis. ~ 30′

Another Kingston Adventure

15 07 2009

Friday, June 26th, 2009 ~

I packed the DGTU #2 with two sets of doubles and a scooter, and made the journey to Kingston. Steve was already there, interning on a Fundies course, and I was going to meet Andy for some diving goodness.

I arrived at the shop early, and attempted to use my little old laptop. Booting it up was painfully slow, and I wasn’t having much success. I finally got frustrated, and James and I took off to the store, to purchase a netbook. I’ve been wanting one of those little guys for a while, and it was the insubordination of my laptop that finally pushed me over the edge.

In our quest for the netbook, James found a purchase for himself, which proved quite humourous, when we returned to the shop. Apparently, the super soaker is 20 years old now, and they’ve come out with an Anniversary Edition…

James caught a rabbit…

…and a Mike…

Since I received news that my dive buddy was running a bit late, I headed over to the quarry, with the class, for a few class pictures.

Steve, and our DGTU #1…


Steve, getting his students ready…

I like this one of Guy…

When the class had finished their day, and Andy made it to town, we all went out for some grub, and called it a night.

Saturday, June 27th, 2009 ~

Saturday, we all met at the shop, and tried to get on a boat. The boats were fully booked, so we were contemplating which shore dive to do.

While the boats were loading, I also ran into David and Cynthia, from California, that I had chatted with earlier in the year.

Here’s David, with his left chest clip…

David and Cynthia…

Andy, Jenn E., and I decided to head over to Amherst Island. We packed up DGTU #2, and headed for the ferry.

We arrived at the public dock, and came upon some really nice people fishing, with a ton of questions about diving.

Andy and the entry point…


I had never been to this site before, and would really be putting my compass skills to the test. We were given a brief description of what we might find, and that there was a rock wall to follow.

We entered the water, did a briefing, and headed off to explore. The visibility wasn’t that great above 20′, but the water was pretty warm. We were swimming amongst the weeds for a bit, then decided to go down the sloping silt for a bit, to see if we could find the wall. When I say silt… holy smokes… That bottom layer had such loose silt on it, that you could probably put your arm right down through it, and still not feel the bottom. There was a definite thermocline at 21′, and you could actually see the haze of the warmer water above it. The visibility was much better at 21′.

We saw alot of dirt, weeds, the odd little fish, some pipe, and some rather large Sheepshead Carp. There were quite a few of them, although very elusive. We did find a few old pots and pans, as well as a couple of bowls, urns, and bottles. Other than that, not much else. We never did find that limestone wall. After deciding that we had seen enough dirt for one day, we turned the dive, and headed back in. I took a bearing on my compass, and we had a nice swim back.

When we surfaced, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that we were right at the dock, where we started. Wow… those compass things really DO work!

Bottom Time ~ 67 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 36′
Water Temp. ~ 68 above thermocline; 60 below
Visibility ~ 10′ – 40′

Andy and I…

Jenn, playing with my P Valve…lol…

We packed up, and headed back over to the ferry, where we took a ride back over to the main land.

It seems my iPod was following along the same path as my laptop, and would not work. Sorry… no Lady Gaga on the way back to the shop.

We felt like getting back into the water, so we headed over to the Brule Road Quarry, and Andy and I dipped in for some skills.

Bottom Time ~ 38 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 26′
Water Temp. ~ 66
Visibility ~ 5′ – 20′

A big group of us ended up going to Montana’s for some food, then to sleep!

Sunday, June 28th, 2009 ~

There was a charter available for us, so myself, Andy, Kevin, Dave H., Cynthia, Sean, and Claudia joined Anne on Sorobon for some diving goodness!

The lake was pretty flat, so I was good to go.

We went out to the Marsh for our first dive. The Marsh is a three masted schooner, sitting upright, in about 80′ of water. The bow sprit is completely intact, and still has ropes and chains hanging from it. This is one of my favourite Kingston wrecks.

We descended down to the wreck, and made a couple of passes up and down, looking at the dead eyes, then heading to the bow, to get a good view of the front of the wreck. I always seem to do that on this wreck. It’s hard not to, when it is so stunning to look at.

Bottom Time ~ 35 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 79′
Water Temp. ~ 49
Visibility ~ 20′

Seeing as the lake was still flat when we surfaced, my stomach allowed me to do a second dive, which was on the Maple Glen.

I had never done this wreck before, and was pleasantly surprised by how much there was to see on it. We descended to the wreck, and came up to a set of very large boilers. There was wreckage spread out over quite a distance, and really kept my interest. We then came up to a very large prop, which was also pretty amazing to see.

Bottom Time ~ 38 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 69′
Water Temp. ~ 47
Visibility ~ 20′

What an awesome day on the lake, and I did not feed the fish!

We returned back to the shop, where we unloaded the boats, and missed the torrential downpour of rain.

It was another most excellent weekend of diving goodness, and hanging out with friends!

Guy, Dan, and Steve ~ The Dream Team!

Andy, looking sharp in his new “DIR Ontario” jacket!


7 07 2009

Tuesday, June 17th, 2009 ~

Today’s dive was just to get in the water and play around with skills, while Eric tested out his new TLS.

We did our predive checks, modified valve drills, and modified S drills, then dropped down to sort ourselves out. We made our way over to the plane, where Steve and I demonstrated full valve drills and S drills, as well as various finning techniques.

Eric was checking his buoyancy in his new suit, which seemed to be smooth sailing.

We goofed around a bit, then headed back in. We doffed our gear, then got back in the water, with just our drysuits on. Our goal was to demo the back fin on the surface, and for Eric to practice it. This was the first time that I had done it this way, and we did have quite a bit of fun with it.

Bottom Time ~ 25 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 23′
Water Temp. ~ 59 (Ahhh…. 5mm gloves)
Visibility ~ 30′

Here is a before and after:

Eric’s old suit…

Eric’s new suit…

Congratulations, Eric, and good luck with your upcoming course!!