A Dip In The Shallow End

29 04 2013

Sunday, April 28th, 2013 ~

We weren’t sure where we felt like diving, so we decided on a place that Steve knew how to get to. Our goal was to hit the east side of Chimney Island across the way, head upstream around the south side of the island, then drift/scooter back around to our entry. The water wasn’t exactly tropical, so we wanted to keep our dive time to approximately an hour.

Chimney Island…

We got our gear out, and got ready to dive! We weren’t sure what was on the other side of the island, which we planned on having a look at, today!

We made it to the island pretty quickly, and along the way, there were some really neat contours of the river bed. A lot of really interesting rock formations. There really wasn’t much current in this area, and it was pretty shallow. Thank goodness there weren’t many boats in, yet. We were still keeping an ear out.

As we reached the other side of the island, we surfaced to see what was around us. There was a protrusion of rock, just west of us, that we decided to go and check out. There were a large number of seagulls chillin’ in the sunshine. They were a little surprised to see us. All I could think of was, “Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!” It was a pretty amusing sight.

As we made our way back around, the shallow water got even more shallow. There was just enough room for our bodies to move through the water, and we had to swing our scooters out to the side, so they wouldn’t break the surface. The water was warmer, since the sun was shining on us, and seeing each others’ shadows and reflections on the surface was a pretty amazing thing to see.

*Note to self* Not a place to be diving, when boats are in the water. 😉

Still, a pretty amazing dive!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 1 minute (even though my bottom timer only registered 31 minutes)
Max. Depth: 11′ (Average Depth: 5′)
Water Temp.: 46F

Just the “tree” of us!


SOS AGM, 2013 ~ Port Dover

15 04 2013

Saturday, April 13th, 2013 ~

After a long drive from Ottawa to Port Dover (about 6 hours, on the Friday night), I arrived…. almost… It seems that the bridge that I was trying to get across was closed for the night, and blocked off by police cruisers. Since there was a detour sign, I took the detour, only to be greeted by another officer, closing off the other side. I was pretty tired, and just wanted to sleep, so I walked up to the cruiser, to ask what I should do. She told me that I needed to go back around the way that I came (which was not exactly an easy task, at 11:15pm, after a bunch of twists and turns to get where I was), and ask the officer if I could go through.

So… I did… eventually… after a 5.5 km detour.  I finally made it to the hotel, and they had left my room open for me (thanks for arranging that, Chris). After convincing myself that a little bug on my pillow was nothing more than just that (it really was nothing more than that), I crashed out…Zzzzzzz…..

I headed over to the Port Dover Harbour Museum, where I met up with a bunch of friends, and it was not long until we were “off to the races.” Chris Phinney opened up, followed by Ian Bell, giving us some of the history of the Port Dover Harbour Museum.  He also manages the Museum.

Chris P…

Ian Bell…

There were a few prize breaks in between the speakers, which was fun… although, I didn’t win anything. Oh, well. 🙂

Bob Sherwood gave his presentation on the Vickery Project, too…

Then, Cris Kohl and Joan Forsberg gave a presentation on Shipwreck Tales Of The Great Lakes.

We then had a lunch break, where we checked out the museum (of course, we had some yummy sandwiches, too).

Warren was at the helm…

…while Krissy was keeping watch for intruders!

Rick Lymer is no stranger to this spot!

After our lunch break, we gave out some very deserving awards. Among them, was Cris Kohl, receiving the Marine Heritage Award – We caught him by surprise. Congratulations!

Then came the AGM part of the weekend, which was an interesting part of the day, and good to discuss items on the “menu,” with members from all SOS chapters.

After the meeting, Ian Bell came up again, and told us about the Shipwreck history of Port Dover and folklore, which was really neat to listen to. Ian had some really great stories. I really enjoyed hearing about the things that happened, and learned a lot about the town of Port Dover.

Capping off the day, were Cris Kohl and Joan Forsberg.

What a great day!

At dinner, of course, there was a little bit of shenaniganry going on. Dar and I had a couple of friends join us…

The Port Dover beach. You can see the lighthouse in the background, as well as the very murky water…

Sunday’s events were workshops, which I would have loved to have taken part in, but I opted to start the journey back home. There were a couple that I was especially interested in:

Primitive SkillsMooring Systems
Historic Artifact Identification

I did get a chance to walk around the pier on Sunday morning, which I am glad that I did!

Next year, the SOS will be in Brockville! Come on out for some excellent information on shipwrecks, and a great place to be!

If you are not a member of Save Ontario Shipwrecks, please consider it. Education about preserving our wrecks is a very important thing!


Dar and I!

Hop Hop Hop Into The Water

1 04 2013

Friday, March 29th, 2013 ~ 

Well, Good Friday was as good a day as any, for some Diving Goodness. We met Frankie and Christian at the quarry, for a bit of a dip!

It looks like the quarry is starting to melt, and with this gorgeous weather, it shouldn’t be too long before it’s open!

Christian buddied up with Frankie for some skills, and Steve and I went along for the ride, while Steve was going to test the Go Pro, with the scooter mount and lights set up.

Frankie was going to run the reel, but since Steve and I were ready to go first, Steve brought it in, so that we could stretch out and do bubble checks… and maybe get some footage!

Yeah.. perhaps not. The battery had spent itself. It had been charged after our last dives, but it seems that the battery drains, even when not in use. Lesson noted. On the other hand, the lights fired nicely. Steve left the rig on the line, Frankie and Christian came in, and were practicing some valve drills.

We made our way to the plane, where there was a slight bit of Shenaniganry. Steve and I played around, upside down, played with our valves, and played inside of the plane. Somebody had some cold hands (I won’t mention any names), so we made our way back in!

Another fun day, under the ice!

Bottom Time: 45 mins.
Max. Depth: 29′
Water Temp.: 37F & 39F

After-Dive shop talk…

“Follow The River.” I couldn’t resist – A reference to our parody, Sanked ‘Em…

Neat formations in the melting ice…

After our goofiness, we decided that our Good Friday dinner should be at the Vietnamese restaurant, near our house. Absolutely delicious! Then, back to our place for dive talk, galore.


Saturday, March 30th, 2013 ~ 

Today was RIVER DAY!!! We knew that it would be chilly, so we really didn’t expect a long dive, but at least we were back in the St. Lawrence!

The River is open for business!

The water looked exceptionally clear, at the entry.

It still looked nice, at the first corner (about 20′ deep)…

…and not too bad at the second corner (about 30′ deep)…

We got in the water, and it definitely felt pretty chilly! We were expecting 35F, which is what we got on our bottom timers (except for Steve’s – his always reads 2F lower than mine, so he got 33F – I believe mine, since it read the same as the A-Bay buoy). 😛

As we did our checks and descended, we were greeted by a ton of green goober. The algae bloom has started already, and is absolutely everywhere.

Since the water was still pretty chilly, we decided to just scooter over to the Gaskin, and Steve was going to get some footage, with the recharged Go Pro.

As we got to the wreck, it was like a force field of green algae, just everywhere. The wreck is really falling apart now, but doesn’t seem too much different from the fall, when we were last on it.

I guess we aren’t as “tough” as we used to be, and we were feeling the cold water. Only Frankie had a heated device on. So… after a short play around the wreck, we came back in.

Bottom Time: 33 minutes (yep… total wusses)
Max. Depth: 64′
Water Temp.: 35F
Vis.: Hard to tell, for all of the green goober, but better than last spring.

Even though the water was so chilly, we were totally bulked up with thick winter undies, and thick liners and dry gloves, I have to say that I felt so relaxed, and very happy to be back in the River!!!

Group shot, and group smiles!

Christian is also the proud owner of a new Light Monkey wing!!! Enjoy it, Christian!

Ahhhhh….. Diving Goodness!!!