Weekend Of Skillz ~ Day One

31 08 2013

Saturday, August 31st, 2013 ~

My Arizona sista came to town, to work on skillz for our upcoming Tech 2 course. Dave M was also visiting, to work on rotations and skillz, too! Steph, Carm, and Julie also joined us, for skillz, skillz, skillz. David J also met up with us, for skillz. You may notice a theme, here. ๐Ÿ˜‰

After filling tanks and loading vehicles, we made our way up to the quarry. We unloaded too many tanks (that’sย  how it seemed), and were off to the races.

I had a bit of an ankle injury going on, and wasn’t sure what finning would be like, but I figured I would give it a try. Steve, Karen, Dave M, and I loaded up with three bottles each. We were using 130s on our backs, which is complete overkill for the quarry, but we wanted to use what we would be using during our course.

I had my camera with me, but set it down, while we worked on Valve Drills, S-Drills, Bottle Rotations, and Steve even brought out his bubble gun, to surprise us with some scenarios. After our drills, I took some pictures! My foot was sore, from my fin squeeze on the swelling, but I was managing.

Karen, loaded up!

Dave M’s bottles were a little heavier than ours. While peeking through the flaps of the plane, he may have been searching for lighter bottles? ๐Ÿ˜›


Steve took a pic of me, too!

David J, after some excellent valve drills!

Julie and Steph…

Carm, while moving a bottle around!

I decided to come in, since my foot started to get pretty sore. At least I was able to bang out some drills! Steve, Karen, Dave, and Dave followed me in, then went back for more!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 5 mins.
Max. Depth: 23′
Water Temp.: 69F

Dave M. and Steve…

Karen and Dave J…

Julie, Steph, Me!

When the others got out, we packed up all of our gear, then headed to Jean Burger. Dave M just had to have the poutine experience (even though he didn’t order it, he still got to taste it)! There was a little bit of ice cream talk, so we had to stop at Baskin Robbins, for some Ice Cream Goodness!

Normally, I am all about the chocolate, but I opted for pink and green, this time!

We headed back for fills, and prepared for the next day!

6th Annual Brockville/Rockport Canadian Invasion!

21 08 2013

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 ~

The van was loaded, and I made my way down to Caiger’s, after work. I had a few things to do, before the dives would start on Thursday, so I wanted to be ready, Freddy!

I arrived, and found Dev on the “Upper Deck,” so we sat around for a little while (of course, while I was up and down the stairs, taking care of stuff), until the mozzies were on full attack. We moved inside, and were joined by Mark, Raph, Fern, and Daniel.ย  w00t!

Thursday, August 15th, 2013 ~

Today, we were going to Centeen, for a shore dive! Centeen is a good place to go, when you have divers of all levels. There is something for everyone to see, the entry is easy, and… it’s fun!

Some of the divers, getting ready to go on their dives. Eric and I stayed behind, in case there were any stragglers, that needed to know where they were going.

Darth Nash and Raph of Kahn, getting ready…

Hong and Dev…

Once it seemed that there were no more stragglers, Eric and I geared up for a dive.

We headed upstream for a bit, dropped into the channel, and appeared to be in a spot that we hadn’t been to before. There was debris everywhere, once we had drifted about 30 minutes. We wanted to drift longer, but we had made our plan, and followed it. I think we need to go back there, if we can find it!

We made our way back in, and had overshot the Gaskin, so just ย came back to the shallows, where we hung out for a little bit, then in. Very fun!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 37 mins.
Max. Depth: 104′
Water Temp.: 71F

Andy was stylin’, as he was trying out an E.Motion drysuit!

Daniel, Raph, Mark…

The one and only… Frankie Boy!


Becki, Andy, and I… followed by Dan’s fancy cap…

Eric B even had his toes painted, for the event!

From there, we went back to Caiger’s, where we got ready for dinner!

Friday, August 16th, 2013 ~

Charter time! We had four boats going out, with both Rec and Tech divers. We had Rec divers aboard the “Arrow,” and Tech divers aboard “River Diver,” “Run Time,” and “Island Diver!” The Tech folks went out to the Jodrey, and the Rec folks went to the Keystorm and America!

Neil wanted to make sure that Oren knew that he had his passport…

Steve, Eric, and I were aboard River Diver, with Daniel, Dev, Joanna, and Stretch, and were heading to the Jodrey.

We had a great dive, going through swim-throughs, and seeing some of the wreck that I hadn’t seen before (rooms on the third deck). We noticed that someone took the radio out of one of the rooms, which was incredibly sad. Besides that, it was a most excellent dive! Thanks for the tour, Steve! There was also some Go Pro video, in which I am hoping that Steve will edit, soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 12 minutes
Max. Depth: 186′
Water Temp.: 71F

When we returned back to Caiger’s, we unloaded, chilled for a bit, then had a yummy Fajita dinner, and some prizes!

Thank you very much, to our Prize Donors! Also, thanks to Dave Pickens, who also donated a few boxes worth of goodies! Thanks Pickeeeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnnnnsssssssssss!!!

Prize Tables:


Table: Team Wet Rocks!

Table: Team Retrieving!

Table: Team #1 Phan!

Table: Team Exploration!

Thanks very much to Chris Phinney, for stepping up, when our speaker could not make it! Chris gave us a presentation on Ship Construction, that is part of the NAS-1 course. THANK YOU, CHRIS!!!

Saturday, August 17th, 2013 ~

Day 3 of Invasion Diving Goodness! Back to the Jodrey, for the Tech boats! The Arrow was taking the Rec folks out to the Vickery, and for a drift dive!

Stretch, Eric, and Steve…

Dev, fixing some gear…



…and Captain Rick!

We met up with the Arrow, at customs!

Then, Samer demonstrates that it is very important to hydrate, so that you can hook up, while diving…

For today’s dive, Steve, Eric, Dev, and I were heading to the stern. I hadn’t been to the stern in a very long time, and I was looking forward to getting there, again. We followed the rail of the wreck down, then back up, and in no time, we were there (it helps that we had current on our side). We did a tour of the outside, through the walkways, and peeked in, a little. I absolutely LOVED this dive!

With some years more experience on the wreck than when I last did the stern, we had a really good time of everything. Doing this dive is scooter dependent, when doing it from the bow. I’m not sure if there is still a stern line on the wreck, or not. Just a fantastic dive!!!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 16 mins.
Max. Depth: 200′
Water Temp.: 71F

Stretch, after rescuing Le Princessi from the evil cave line…

Tonight’s dinner was a most excellent Prime Rib (with a couple of vegetarian options, too), and…. GRAND PRIZES!!!

Of course, the group shot had to come, first! Such a wonderful group of friends!!!

We had two Grand Prizes, thanks to Light Monkey and Santi Canada! w00t!

Congratulations to Dev Clifford, for winning the 45# Light Monkey WIng!

Congratulations to Chris Phinney, for winning the BZ400x undergarment, from Santi Canada!

After dinner, a gaggle of us decided to go to Centeen, for a night scooter dive to the Gaskin! There were 11 of us, so we spread out the teams a little, putting teams that knew the area in the front, middle, and back of the pack!

As we got to the Gaskin, we swam inside, and I have never seen so many eels, in my life! I knew that they were around, but really had no clue that there were this many on the Gaskin. They were burrowing down, left and right, leaving little silt clouds as they dug themselves back into the silt! While I felt like I was on an episode of Fear Factor, I did find myself wildly fascinated, at the same time. ๐Ÿ™‚

We spent a little time on the wreck, then headed back in. There were many laughs, and we had a blast!

Bottom Time: 47 mins.
Max. Depth: 65′
Water Temp.: 71F

As we packed up, and were getting ready to leave, it seemed that there was a bit of a key incident. I won’t mention any names, but… we were pretty late getting back to Caiger’s, and I’m sure that the CAA fellow would rather not have had 12 of us surrounding him, as he was trying to do his job! *Giggle* Ah, well… all ended happily, and since there was Diving Goodness involved, it was just another adventure to tell!

Sunday, August 18th, 2013 ~

The last day of our Invasion FUN!

A few folks decided to get on the road early, another bunch went out for a charter to the Kinghorn, and another bunch of us went back to Centeen, for a scooter run!

Ok, so it took us a little longer to get to Centeen, due to the Brockville Triathlon, but… we eventually made it there… convoy, and all!

Thank you! Thank you! No applause needed (Andy)…

Becki and Dan…

Joanna, Eric P., and Stretch…

There were some people swimming out to the Gaskin, and we were taking the scooter folks out to see the old Truck!

Becki’s going DIVING!!!

We did make it to the Truck, and there were a few Happy Dances, as we arrived. There were a few video cameras going, but I haven’t seen any footage, yet!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 55 mins.
Max. Depth: 103′
Water Temp.: 71F

You must be “this” tall, to ride this ride… But, at least there is Kool-Aid – Thanks to Dan Humble, for the Kool-Aid packs!

Stretch and Daniel, photobombing Joanna and I! Love it!

Steve, Dan, Daniel, Becki…

Eric B., Frankie, Eric V.!

Thank you to everyone, for making this year such a blast! I can’t wait to see you all, next year!!!





Another Day Of Fun & Training!

11 08 2013

Saturday, August 10th, 2013 ~

Today was more Diving Goodness, at the quarry. Donna and Steve were working on some skillz, and AJ and I went for a swim, so he could try out a Santi Demo suit (and get measured for one of his very own).

We made our way to the quarry, that was extremely busy with OW courses. We found a couple of spots in the second parking lot.

Finding DEMO!

Aj and I started our swim out…

As we got to the piano, AJ decided to play us a tune. He didn’t have a tip jar, so I couldn’t leave him anything.

As we went through the boat, it appears that there has been more damage done to it. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

We passed a couple of thermoclines, and went down to the swim through.

AJ, coming out…

I made another pass through, and took a shot, approaching the exit hole…

It was pretty frigid down there, so we ascended some, then made our way back towards the boat.

We were going to swim through the boat, but were met by a couple of other divers…

We then went over to see Morrie, and AJ gave him a hand with a stray bottle nose…

I’d say we had a bit of fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 1 min.
Max. Depth: 101′
Water Temp.: 44F, at depth; 73F, at surface
Vis.: Better at depth. Milky at the plane, and zero vis., coming to the shallows

We came out, had some lunch, then went back in. This time, we joined Donna for some skillz. I gave Steve the camera.

On our way back in, Steve decided to get a better perspective on things.

Donna, myself, and AJ…

We practiced some rescue skillz, which was fun, then came in. A fun day, with a mixture of everything!

Bottom Time: 52 mins.
Max. Depth: 29′
Water Temp.: 68F to 73F


AJ gives us a Whoooooooooom!

Steve and I…


Steve and Donna!

…and, of course, a selfie!!

DPVs & Drifting Goodness

5 08 2013

Sunday, August 4th, 2013 ~

Steve was taking Frankie and Christian out for their final day of DPV 1 (the awesome Experience Dive day), and Eric, Jen, and I went for a scooter upstream, and a drift!

Centeen was a very busy place today, so we ended up parking some of our vehicles on the side streets.

We brought our gear down to the water, and discussed our plan…

The three of us planned on going upstream to some wreckage that we had found, then drop in a little deeper, to check out the scattered pieces of wood (which were absolutely everywhere), then drop into the channel for some Drifting Goodness!!

We did exactly that! Checked out the many pieces of wreckage, and when we had seen enough, we made our way down to the channel. We ended up in a spot that had a ton to look at, and there were spots that we may not have been to, before.

I knew from the timing, and from my floaty stage bottle, that I was likely nearing my gas switch time. As I checked my stage bottle pressure, the handle came off in my hand. I managed to keep the knob, but the little bits were now lost… Doh! The current was pretty strong here, so I didn’t have much of a chance to turn and search. Well, at least I was spot on for my gas switch. I wasn’t exactly there, but close enough to switch.ย  I signaled to Eric and Jen that I was switching, and Eric switched with me (Jen had switched a little earlier). At least I could still shut down the post, with the knob. I then stuck it in my pocket, for safe keeping.

Once we reached our “time’s up” for drifting, we made our way back up, to go to the Gaskin. We thought we had overshot it, but we didn’t. Since the currents were different in a few places in the channel, we weren’t moving as fast as we had planned (only in a couple of areas, was the current ripping).

We made our way in, did our deco, then Eric and I did some bottle rotations, and we all did valve drills. A most awesome dive!

Eric… Thanks for lending me Le Princessi! ๐Ÿ˜›

Bottom Time: 2 hours, 23 mins.
Max. Depth: 101′
Water Temp.: 71F
Vis.: Varied from 10′ to 30′

In other news… Congratulations to Christian and Frankie, for completing their DPV 1! w00t!

Happy Civic Holiday, Ontario!

Even More Skillz, DPVz, & Free Divers!

4 08 2013

Saturday, August 3rd, 2013 ~ย 

While Steve was teaching a DPV 1 course, I went for a skills dive with David J.! It also happened to be on a day where some of our free diving friends were in town! Of course, I brought the camera. We would do our main skills dive before the divers got there, then go back in for pics with the free divers.

David J., after our skills. Lookin’ good, Dave!

Bottom Time: 31 mins.
Max. Depth: 42′
Water Temp.: 55F

We came in, doffed gear, and met with our free diving friends. The plan was for us to go back and do a few more skills, ย while the free divers set up their markers. Once we were done, we were to surface, and signal the guys to come in! Our timing was perfect, and we started at Morrie!

Eek! Shark!

I even got a shot of a couple of remoras…

Then, Philippe decided to go with no shoes, no shirt, no service…

Love it!

David J., getting read for his Fundies Pool Noodle specialty…

Then, we moved on to the sub. It was a bit chilly down there, so no one was there for long.

Then… craziness! How chilly was Philippe?? Pretty chilly!!!

What a blast, we had! Thanks for being my buddy, David J.!

Bottom Time: 54 mins.
Max. Depth: 54′
Water Temp.: 55F

Steve, Frankie, and Christian were doing their DPV stuff, while all of this shenaniganry was going on!

Christian and Steve…

I think Christian is happy with his new suit!

Frankie Boy!

Such a great group of guys!

See you back in March, under the ice!