AGGAST…With A Little Bit Of Awesome Sauce! Part 4 of 4.

15 09 2011

Tuesday, Septmber 6th, 2011 ~

Karen had to catch her flight today, so we went down for our Free Hotel Breakfast, which really wasn’t bad at all, then back up to the room.

I decided to go for a walk, and went down to the Pike Place Market. I had never been to Seattle, so I wanted to check it out!

There were so many interesting booths and goodies for sale. I even passed a fellow playing a sitar. He was pretty good!


I toured around for a couple of hours, then made my way back up the hill. I did stop in a couple of stores, and took in the scenery. I even found a very yummy taco place, where I picked up some dinner, to go!

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011 ~

I was undecided as to what I was going to do today. I had a few ideas, but wasn’t really sure where anything was. I looked up the Seattle Aquarium, as Kathryn had suggested going there. I was going to call a cab, but then did a search on the directions.. Yeah.. that would have been silly. It was about a kilometer away! Off I went!

Oh look! A self portrait with an orca!

I saw sharks, sea horses, crabs, shrimp, fish of every kind, otters, seals, and I was even there for the Octopus feeding.

I also spoke to a girl about molting, which was actually quite interesting!

Seattle King Crab molting…

Yet another self portrait, with my head facing the wrong direction…lol.

Thank you for the suggestion, Kathryn! I had a great time there!

I walked back up the hill, lounged for a bit, then met Laurynn! Richard came to meet us too, and we headed to  the infamous Cove 2. There was a Tweak dive going on, but we were a bit early, so we decided to go to “Don’t Worry Be  Happy Hour,” down the road!

Of course, we were well-behaved.

Yes… there was much laughter…

Melody even joined in on the fun and goodness!

Bartender’s Mix? What does that really mean???

We finally made our way back down the road, where we met up with the gang. We were not diving tonight, but it was good to be able to bid “until next times” to everyone, and even meet a few more new faces. Marc was in town, too!

What an excellent place to dive, with such an awesome community. An extra thank you to my AGGAST sisters, for such a great trip! In the words of Arnold.. “I’ll be back!”

Thanks for the Awesome Sauce!!! See you in February, for the next AGGAST adventure!!

Below are a couple of videos that I put together, from the trip. 🙂

Keystone Jetty…

Day Island Wall…

AGGAST…With A Little Bit Of Awesome Sauce! Part 3 of 4.

13 09 2011

Monday, September 5th, 2011 ~

Today, we were diving with Bandito Charters! Very cool boat!

We pulled up to the ramp, and brought our gear down…

We then met the Captain and the First Mate!

Once we were all aboard, we set sail for Sunrise Reef. We were right on for the slack tide timing, so in we went. I think I have been here before! Lol. We saw more GPOs, Wolfies, cool looking fish, crabs, cucumbers, sun stars, and so many other creatures that I am just not used to seeing in fresh water!

We had yet another excellent dive, and of course, there was no Shenaniganry had at all. Nope, none…

Bottom Time: 49 mins.
Max. Depth: 61′
Water Temp.: 55F

Definite Goodness was had!

While we made our way to our next destination, there was soup, brownies, cheese bread, and other delicious omnoms for us to feast on. I still can’t get over how amazing it is to have full kitchens aboard these boats!! It really is incredible, the service that we got out here. I “heart” the charters here! Not to mention, that there are some pretty fantastic people here, too!

Our next dive was at Z’s Reef. Another most excellent dive with Laurynn, that involved many tears of laughter, mask flooding, and hella fun. I don’t think I could get bored, diving out here. There is way too much to see, and most fun had!

Bottom Time: 58 mins.
Max. Depth: 58′
Water Temp.: 53F

I am not sure which of the two dives it was, but as Laurynn and I were ascending, we noticed a big Lion’s Mane Jelly Fish, about 40′ away from us. We were hovering at 20′, and making each other laugh, when I saw what appeared to be a bit of filament in front of me.. Um.. yeah.. that wasn’t filament. That was Jelly tentacle.. and there was another one. *Signaled to Laurynn… next stop, up!* *Phew!* Lol.. Crisis averted!

Catching some Zzz’s, after Z’s reef…

Do not forget to stay hydrated, while complying with Rule #6!

This would surely make a nice dive boat!

When we returned to shore, we packed up, unloaded gear, then back to Laurynn’s. It was time to shift shop! Since our AGGAST sister Laurynn had to be up silly early, Karen and I went to a hotel. Not before we went for some delicious Indian food!

Thank you so much for everything, Laurynn, Karen, and Kathryn!!! Thank you to everyone that loaned us gear, tanks, fills, lights, and drove us around! It really was such an amazing experience, to be here. I *heart* Seattle. 🙂

Karen and I checked in to our hotel, relaxed, then went and met Lamont for a bevvie, at a really cool place, just up the road from us!

Another excellent adventure in Seattle!!

Stay tuned for Part 4 of 4!

AGGAST…With A Little Bit Of Awesome Sauce! Part 2 of 4.

12 09 2011

Sunday, September 4th, 2011 ~

Today, we were going out on Scott Boyd’s Boat – Dive Bum!

It was cool to have a full kitchen and head on board. We are not used to this kind of thing, in our area!

Our first dive was on the Day Island Wall. The goal of the dive, was to find GPOs and Wolf Eels. Since Laurynn is known as the Octo Whisperer, I was optimistic! We managed to find both, quite quickly. I also think I did ok, for my first creature hunting attempt! The first GPO that I found, was hidden deep into a crack, and did show a hint of orange colour, which I was able to spot! It was a little like Where’s Waldo, at first ! I wasn’t sure how I would react, seeing an octo, as they kind of freak me out.. coming from me, who had never seen one. I was quite wide-eyed with excitement! 

We were looking in a hole, watching a pair of Wolfies, which was extremely cool. Laurynn had her video camera, so once I had a good look, I backed up a bit, for her to get some footage. Kathryn and Karen were also near us, and came up for a look. Kathryn had her stills camera too, so I backed up a little more, to give everyone some room. As I did this, I looked down… “LAURYNN!!! LOOK!!” Ok.. I didn’t yell it, but that about sums up my level of enthusiasm. I signaled Laurynn… There was a Wolfie, right out in the open! Wait a sec.. What’s that on his back? Is it a.. a.. Holy smokes.. it is.. There was a small octopus on his back!

Yes, there was photographic evidence! Pic by Kathryn Arant!

There is also videographic evidence! Video by Laurynn Evans Bugles/Seainggreen!

So.. on my first Seattle boat dive, we see something as spectacular as this. What else was in store for us??

Bottom Time: 53 mins.
Max. Depth: 77′
Water Temp.: 53F

After our dive, Scott fired up the BBQ, and Janet made us brownies! What kind of service is that??? 🙂

For the second dive, we went to Sunrise Reef. We were waiting for slack tide to “arrive,” and as we waited, we noticed that the kelp went from being completely sideways, to standing up, with ease.  It was time to splash in! There seemed to be a bit of a surface current, so we did a quick gear check, and down we went. It seemed that it was a bit of a pain to fin against the current, and all I could think of was, “This is slack tide?” Lol! It was like that for about 10 minutes, then.. whoosh.. gone. No current at all. I guess the kelp fooled us on the way down, and the current had a little extra for us, before letting up. It was much nicer, now. 🙂 We found more octos and wolfies, and had quite a lot of fun, playing amongst the sea life.

Surfacing to this, is really not difficult…

Bottom Time: 42 mins.
Max. Depth: 60′
Water Temp.: 53F

Yeah… I think I could really get used to diving here. This place rocks, just a little bit…

After our dives, Scott and Janet took us to a really cool little restaurant, on the water.

AGGAST sisters, after another most excellent day of Diving Goodness!!



 Stay tuned for Part 3!


AGGAST…With A Little Bit Of Awesome Sauce! Part 1 of 4.

10 09 2011

Friday, September 2nd, 2011 ~

Short and sweet… Flight landed at Sea Tac, at about 10pm. Picked up luggage, met Kathryn (thank goodness), and headed to Casa Evans Bugles! Settled in, put gear together, and sleeeeeeeep….  

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011 ~

Up and at ’em! We headed to the ferry, to go over to Keystone Jetty, for the GUE Community Dive and BBQ, that Koos had arranged.

Taking in a few sights, as we waited for the ferry…

On the ferry…

We arrived to a full parking lot, where we greeted many really wonderful people. Some, I knew from before, and some, I was finally able to put faces to internet names. After socializing a little, we decided to gear up for Dive 1! 

As we were gearing up, we chatted, laughed, and.. well.. Then there was Doug, teaching Park Ranger Randy how to use a condom cath. Yes, this really happened. I can’t make this stuff up…

Time to dive!

Dive 1 – Holy smokes… So much life! This would be my first salt water dive since my AOW dives, in 2005. Diving in fresh water all the time, we really do not get to see all of this underwater wonder. There were so many ling cod, and they were definitely not afraid of us, or shy. I had a few swim right up to my face, which was both a bit strange, and utterly delightful. Laurynn was helping out, so did not get in for the first dive. Kathryn, Karen, and I had a grand ol’ time!

Bottom Time: 45 mins.
Max. Depth: 40′
Water Temp.: 53F

After our dive, we were graced with some wonderful BBQ, delicious nacho dip, chips, fruit, and some fantastic company. Koos and Jeannine rock!

Dive 2 – All four of us went in! We stayed in the same area, and were in two teams of two, although still stayed relatively together. We saw the same things, but it was neat to really focus, and look for some of the smaller life. There were crabs of all different varieties and sizes, more big ol’ ling cod, anemones, and even a giant lion’s mane jelly fish. It was a good thing he didn’t have any tentacles (which was odd, apparently). What a cool looking creature! I had never seen one like this!

Bottom Time: 45 mins.
Max. Depth: 52′
Water Temp.: 50F/52F

What an excellent day, and it was really awesome to see friends, and to meet some that I have only met online! Great way to kick off the diving!! 

When we returned back to Chez Laurynn, we had a little get-together, that included The Biebs, The Princess, and The Pokeman Pig…

Doug also tried to convince us that it was entirely possible to pop a cork from a wine bottle, with a rock and a shoe. Let’s just say that the shoe suffered a terrible fate… and I still think that Koos won that bet…

It was also really nice of Ben to join us, wearing his team shirt…

An awesome day of Diving Goodness, in Seattle! w00t!

Stay tuned for Part 2!

Heleen And Sander Came To Town!

3 09 2011

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011 ~

After a crazy day of work, I filled up the Dive Gear Transportation Unit, and headed to the airport. I only had to do two circles around, and I found my passengers! Our friends from Holland were here! w00t! I finally got to see them in person, and would be spending the next few days diving and talking about everything under the sun!

Our first stop was the Quarry, directly from the airport, as the plane was a must-see for Heleen!

I brought my camera along, for some pics, and we jumped in the water. We went straight to the plane for some pics, then to the boat, sub, and back to the plane for more pics and most excellent Diving Goodness fun! It was definitely fantastic to finally get in the water with Heleen and Sander!

Sander and Heleen, over the infamous plane!

w00t! Myself and Heleen!

Sander, giving the moose ears!

Coming back in…

Bottom Time: 41 mins.
Max. Depth: 55′
Water Temp.: 60F
Visibility: Goodly

Off to Boston Pizza, for some delicious dinner, and to meet Steve!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011 ~

Today, we were heading down to Rockport, to go for a scooter run to the Kinghorn (thank you for the extra scooter, KR). We had a few errands to run in the morning, and I cooked us a big breakfast, so it was early afternoon before we got to the shop.

We made our way to the wreck, played around on the outside, then headed inside, to swim around the core of the wreck. It seems that the wreck has deteriorated even more, and it appears that there have been a few deck beams that have fallen in. I still never tire of seeing the view of ambient light, up through the inside of the wreck, through the wheel. We made our way back, and back up, onto the boat. What a fantastic dive! I think Heleen and Sander liked this one! 

Bottom Time: 64 mins.
Max. Depth: 90′
Water Temp.: 69F
Visibility: Not too shabby

Yummy… Kool-Aid…

After our dive, we topped it off with some ice cream, from the upstairs shop! Mmm.. Rolo…

Jeff and Sander were chatting, so we grabbed Sander an ice cream, too… or.. did we?? 😀

We headed back, and were able to make it back in time for the last 10 minutes of Steve’s Final Hockey playoff game! Way to go, Steve!

When we got back, we unpacked, and had some fun with the neighbours…

Thursday, September 1st, 2011 ~

Today, we had planned on going down to the river, for a scooter dive, but decided to go a little closer, so we could do some tourist stuff, after our dive. Quarry? Meh.. went there on Tuesday.. Hmm.. How about Back Mine? Steve and I hadn’t been there in over a year, and this would be a great time of year to go. The water is always extremely cold, as this mine was built into a mountain, and the water does not see sunlight. Although there is a covered dome overtop of the site, there is a large area of open water, where we dive. There is a mine shaft that starts at about 120′ deep. It is an absolutely beautiful dive, but as I said… is cold.

We took the ferry across to the Quebec side, and once we arrived, we took a bit of a jaunt up to the top, to take some photos.

 There happened to be a photographer there, doing a photo shoot, and he was gracious enough to take some shots of us, too! Thank you, Rick!

Once we entered the water, we made our way to the other side of the open water area, saw the old truck, old line, and other interesting formations. There was obviously not much ambient light, so it was a bit murky… and crisp. We surfaced on the opposite side, had a chat and a laugh, then headed back down. We showed Heleen and Sander the grim reaper sign, then made our way back in.  

Good thing we were already hooked up…

Bottom Time: 45 mins.
Max. Depth: 105′
Water Temp.: 38F
Visibility: 25′

After we packed up, we made our way downtown, to the Byward Market, where we grabbed a snack from the Chip Wagon. We just had to introduce Sander to poutine! We did a bit of a tour of the Parliament buildings, the lock system, and a few other cool buildings.

On the way back, we stopped to pick up some BBQ and sweet corn!

What a fantastic day!

Friday, September 2nd, 2011 ~

Well.. today was the day that we were all departing for different places. Heleen and Sander were on their way home, Steve was heading to Florida, and I was going to Seattle, for the Team AGGAST adventure.

It was so amazing to finally meet our friends from overseas, that we have been corresponding with, e-mailing, and sending so many pictures back and forth with. We were able to give them a little taste of Canada (besides their adventures in the Rocky Mountains, before they got to us), with Tim Horton’s, Kool-Aid, hockey, poutine, the Parliament buildings, maple syrup, and some of the diving we have to offer. What an amazing time for us, too… please come back!! See you next year!! 😛

Here are the links to Heleen’s Canada videos!

The Quarry and The Kinghorn…

Back Mine…




Other Wethorse videos can be seen at: