… And Then There Was Ice

23 01 2012

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 ~

We were not surprised to see that the quarry had completely frozen over, when we arrived, today. The temperatures have been brutally cold, over the last couple of weeks, and we came prepared with our extra piece of dive kit.

Steve and Eric shoveled out our entry point, then Steve traced, and cut. We were ready to get ready…

Mike and Michel were in before us, and we passed them on our way in…

Eric had run the reel, and tied in to the plane line. We made our way to the plane, hovered for a little while, reached valves, acted silly, then went down to the boat.

Steve posed for a shot with the Pirate flag…

My camera was acting a bit funny, and was not taking pics when I asked it to. It may have been down to a low battery… at least, I hope so.


Of course, there is me, with a self portrait…

We made our way back to the plane, where we goofed about some more, and I attempted to take more pictures. I found if I turned it off, then on again, I would get one shot. I missed a couple of shots that I thought may have been neat.

Steve, grabbing his wet notes, to tell us that he wants another TLS…

I managed to get one more shot, before getting back to the hole, and watching Eric behind me, with the reel…

Bottom Time: 37 mins.
Max. Depth: 42′
Water Temp.: 39F
Visibility: Still not crystal clear

We doffed our gear, then headed in to the cottage, where Evelyn had the wood stove going (Thank you, Evelyn)! It is really nice to keep warm, while changing.

It did not take long for the gear to start freezing…


Yours truly…

Argon… Do NOT Breathe! 😉

Or else, this could be you…

That was today’s tidbit (*NOTE* No, he did not actually breathe gas from the cylinder. There were no GUE Instructors harmed in the making of this week’s Bloggy Entry).  

Another day in the life of DIR Ontario members, under the ice. Of course, we topped off our Ice Diving Goodness with The Works, and more laughs. Until next time!

First Dive Of 2012

11 01 2012

Sunday, January 8th, 2012 ~

The first dive of the year! We usually get in for a splash on January 1st, but were a bit lazy this time around, so the 8th, it would be!

After a group breakfast at Tim Horton’s, we made our way up to the Quarry. We were not sure what to expect, as far as ice coverage, as our last quarry dive had been in open water. We have had some serious arctic temperatures, recently, so figured there would be some ice.

Arriving, we saw that the beach area was ice covered, but the larger area was still wide open. Sweet!

We were in two groups of three: Eric, Steve, and myself, and Team Cave 1 (who had recently done C1, in Mx.).

Team Cave 1: Cory, Raluca, James! James had only been back from the warmth, for two days!

Eric, getting gear ready…

Steve, Eric, and I got in, did gear checks, and away we went. We headed down to the sub, played around a little, then came back up. I was feeling a little light, with my new undies, but they were extremely warm. I had quite a bit of weight on me, so chalked it up to having a bit of gas in my suit. We carried on for a little while, then headed in. We were getting chilly!

Bottom Time: 27 mins.
Max. Depth: 58′
Water Temp.: 39F
Visibility: Not horrible, but still a bit milky

Raluca, doing a dance…

We had a fun day of diving, and the quarry will more than likely be frozen over, on our next dive. We headed to The Works for some post dive burgers and banter! Until next time!


2011 – A Year Of Friends and Adventure!

1 01 2012

This year has been another wonderful adventure, and we were blessed with some really amazing new and existing friendships.

We usually do a New Year’s Day dive, which we did, but it ended up being on the 2nd, instead of the 1st. There was not much snow on the ground, and the quarry was still open!

It did not take long for the quarry to freeze, and Ice Diving Goodness Season was upon us. I was very fortunate, to be able to test the DUI Heated Undergarment, too!

Then there was the release of the movie, Sanctum. A group of us went to see it, on its second night of showing, and decided to do a parody of it, the following day. We had quite a bit of fun, filming Sanked ‘Em. There were so many tears of laughter had, and thoughts of a sequel. Thanks to Chris Phinney, for his handy dandy camera work, and editing while being a passenger, on the way back home!

Then… Jacob came to visit, and try this ice diving thing! He was just in time, as this was the last weekend of an ice-covered quarry!

We were even able to take him down to the river, for some Scootering Goodness!

John Bailey got a bad ass tattoo!

We also hosted a GUE Meet ‘N’ Greet, which brought some new faces, and shared some information about GUE.

Andy and I, at the quarry!

Fred and Angelica came to town, too. It was really great to be able to share some of our dive sites with Fred, and to spend some time with both of them!

Raphael, Denis, Mick, and Mark came up for a visit too, and we went out for some St. Lawrence River diving!

We spent some more time doing some exploring, in the St. Lawrence River. We did some nice three hour dives, with our scooters.

Becky and I had threatened on many occasions to go diving together, and did not seem to be able to coordinate. Then the stars aligned, and Becky came up to dive with us! We had a blast!

I could have sworn that I saw David on one of the dives…

Becky took some shots of us, too (Below pics by Becky Kagan Schott)…

We then had the 2011 Brockville Canadian Invasion. This was the biggest group to date (50 people), and everyone was just absolutely wonderful. Thanks to all for being so wonderful!

I was also very fortunate to get one of the first Light Monkey wings, in which I started diving at the Invasion. This is a really nice wing, in which I have tried a few different tank combinations with.

*Thumbs up!* Thank  you, Light Monkey!

Forest Rothchild did a write-up of his thoughts on the Invasion. Thank you, Forest!

Forest’s Write-Up

More pics from the Brockville Invasion…

Then came the Kingston Invasion, which was smaller this year, but still much fun!

After the Invasions, we were finally able to meet Heleen and Sander, who came to visit us from Holland. They had been to Alberta for a week, before seeing us, then we took them out for some dives, and to see the infamous plane! We had been looking forward to meeting them for a few years, and the time finally came! w00t!!!

Here are Heleen’s videos, from the Quarry, Kinghorn and the Back Mine!



I then took a trip to Seattle, while Steve left for his RB80 training, where I met some of the coolest kids on the block, and the “AGGAST” sisters were born! Leg Number One of the AGGAST (All Girls GUE All Star Team) sisters world adventures. This was the first time I had been in salt water, since before I had any GUE training. That is, apart from below the halocline… 😛 What an amazing place to dive, and a really fantastic GUE community. I can see why people love diving here! There are octos and wolf eels, and so much life! Anyone hiring in Seattle?

We even witnessed an octopus riding a wolf eel!

Laurynn’s video of the underwater rodeo!

My videos of Keystone Jetty (GUE day) and the Day Island Wall…

When Steve got back from his RB80 training, he hit the water with Blake and Steve S.

I ventured out with some other friends, too.

At the end of October, a group of us headed down to Mexico, for two weeks of Cave Diving Goodness. A few were taking Cave 1, a few taking Cave 2, and a few of us just going diving! We did some absolutely amazing dives, and each day, the dives seemed to be even more amazing, topping it off with a dive at Ox Bel Ha, on our last day.

One of our favourites was going to the Boa Restriction, in Grand Cenote/Sac Actun. Gorgeous cave and a lot of fun! Another highlight was Tux Ka Paxa, where we saw Mastadon bones. Just an absolutely incredible trip! That is, when we finally got there, and finally got our rental car. 😉 We even saw a Puma cross a jungle road, but still no “Tadantulas.” Well.. at least Steve and I didn’t see one. It seems everyone else did!

Me, in Dos Ojos…

Back to Canada, we went, where the water was significantly chillier than in the Mexico cavezzz… We still managed over an hour on the triggers!

Throughout the year, we made a couple more attempts at finding that darn truck, including the beginning of December.

We still haven’t found that thing, which brings us to the end of four years of looking for it. I think the other people that have seen it are photoshopping it into their pictures. Either that, or they move it, every time we go looking for it! 😀 Maybe next year! At least I got my new Santi undergarments in time for winter diving!

That brings us full circle, preparing for our season of winter ice diving. We recently went out to the quarry, to put in some “permanent lines,” for easier ice diving reference!

In between all of these adventures were also Fundamentals classes, in which Steve was teaching, and I was helping. Allan came up to intern, too!

I also had two photos chosen by National Geographic, in their Daily Dozen. At least one of them was supposed to have made it into the magazine, but I have no idea which issue. Two of them were made into Nat Geo wallpaper downloads. Thank you, Nat Geo! w00t!

A Year In Video…

If Steve and I have half of the adventures in 2012, that we had in 2011, we will be very lucky! *Cheers* to happy and safe Diving Goodness in 2012! Let the planning begin!!