To Dive Or Not To Dive? That Is The Question…

25 11 2010

Saturday, November 20th, 2010 ~

Steve and I headed down to Kingston, to pick up Steve’s new drysuit. Oren was also going to meet us there, in the hopes of getting in some Diving Goodness.

Raluca and Cory also made the trek, as they were picking up their new scooters, and Raluca’s new suit. Cory’s was still in production.

We hung about for a while, while suits were tried on, seals were cut, and pics were taken.

From there, we headed to the Loyal Oarsman for some grub. I was beginning to think that our dive would be postponed. It was starting to get dark, and the air was pretty chilly.

Cory and Ral…

After dinner, the decision was made… Oren, Steve, and I were going to swing by Centeen Park, for a night dip on the Gaskin. It had been a while since Steve and I had done a night dive, so we were in!

We geared up pretty quickly, brought our short bodies to the water, and got in. 

Gear checks were done, and away we went. It seems the line that we laid a few weeks back was in good order. The visibility in the water wasn’t as good as we thought it would be, but it wasn’t too bad.

Once we got to the wreck, we noticed that there was a bit more damage, and the block had moved. It was very difficult to distinguish what exactly had happened, due to the darkness, but there were a few drag marks in the silt.

We did a quick tour inside the wreck, then decided to drift a little bit. We did a little investigating, but all was barren. We headed back to shore.

Once in the shallows, we noticed quite a few mud puppies and crayfish, so we played amongst them for a bit, before coming in. It was a short dive, but worth getting in the water. I missed diving last weekend!!

Bottom Time ~ 34 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 67′
Water Temp. ~ 47
Visibility ~ Dark ūüėČ





Gaskin Line Clean Up

31 10 2010

Sunday, October 24th, 2010 ~

Well, the weather wasn’t all that great for a Sunday afternoon in October, but a group of us met at Centeen Park, to fix up the line to the Gaskin. Someone had vandalized the line that Steve, Leigh, and Francois had laid about 5 years ago, and we were on a mission to fix it. We had posted for anyone that wanted to help us was welcome.

Steve and I headed to the river, and met with Mike, Jen, Andy, Cory, Adam Kulczycki, Julie, and Stephane.

Steve, Mike, and I scootered out to the wreck, running a reel from the wreck, back to the stop sign, as a reference. Mike had the new line, and proceeded to run it out, following the reel. From there, Steve put the stakes in the ground, leaving Julie and Stephane to push them in.

Of course, Steve had to push a couple in, with his fancy stake hammer. ;o)

Cory, Adam, Jen, and Andy were collecting the myriad of lines that ran in many different directions. Some of it was really good line, that we can reuse. Good thing, as we did run out of new line to run to the Gaskin. We will probably run back out next weekend to finish it up.

Bottom Time ~ 1 hour, 41 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 65′
Water Temp. ~ 53
Visibility ~ 20′

There was quite a bit of line picked up!

It was cold and rainy, but we all kept smiling, and we had a fantastic time!

Thank you to everyone that helped, and to Marc G. too!

Here is a video of some of the dive!

We capped off the day with a meal at Santa Fe, which seems to be the new favourite spot to eat. Fajita Goodness, with homemade tortilla wraps, that you can watch being made. Absolutely delicious!

Thank you so much to all that helped. It was a grand day to play and dive!





Centeen Or Bust…ed…

19 10 2010

Sunday, October 17th, 2010 ~

 

 

After having a very lazy Saturday, Steve and I had our arms twisted for some Sunday Diving Goodness. Yes, it was quite difficult to do that arm twisting…

Cory and Raluca were going to head to the Gaskin, and Steve, Eric, and I were going to have another look for that truck. Apparently, it does exist, as Kelly, Dave, and Warren found it last week! We gave Cory and Raluca a lift to the Gaskin, then headed off in search. We took a bearing south, hit the channel, then back up on the other side, where we started to drift. Steve was in the middle, I was on the left, and Eric was on the right. The visibility wasn’t the greatest, but we stayed just far enough where we could still see each others’ lights, and were still able to mow the lawn a bit.

We found another sleigh, some pots, bottles, and drifted amongst the periwinkle shells, but still no truck. I had the camera rolling, in case we came upon it, and I could have that magic moment on film! Yeah.. not… lol. I had the little Go Pro HD960 with me for the first time, and wondered what kind of footage I would get, not having any lights for it. The standard one is alot of fun, but does not pick up alot of ambient light at around 100′. I guess we’ll see with this one!

We decided to cross back over, and hit the trigger upstream again, to see if we could locate it there. We did find alot of very interesting bits of wood, bottles, and even a science beaker, but alas.. no truck. We decided to move a bit more shallow, and were amazed at how upstream we were, as the current was pretty strong, and we had drifted quite a bit, before going back upstream. We decided not to go back to the wreck, but check out the route back from the shallows. We came across some people carving pumpkins, so I got a very quick shot of that. I have still never done that…

We got back to the park, and played around in the shallows some more. Steve and Eric pulled out their Kool Aids… Mmm… Blue Raspberry!

Eric…

When we came in, Cory and Raluca were also in the shallows, working on some skills. We all finished up, doffed our gear, and headed to “Santa Fe.” We tried to go there last week, but it was closed for Thanksgiving. It was a new place for us, and we were anxious to try it. Southwestern food, and it happened to be All You Can Eat Fajita night! Oh boy… They were definitely yummy!

Bottom Time ~ 98 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 102′
Water Temp. ~ 57
Visibility ~ 15′

Steve…

Cory and Raluca…

I couldn’t resist taking a pic of this. There are election signs all over the place, but¬†these ones¬†stood out a little…

Yet another excellent adventure, even though we still have not found that elusive truck!





The Oconto

28 09 2010

Saturday, September 25th, 2010 ~

On Friday afternoon, I received word that our planned dive to the Jodrey for today, was not going to happen. The rumour was that it was closed down to divers, due to an oil leak, and that it would to be assessed. It has happened before, and was closed down a few years ago as well.

There were six of us ready and mixed for the Jodrey, so we tried to think of another option for today’s dive. We finally decided on the Oconto. Only¬†1 out of 6 of us had done it before, and the 6th last did it 9 years ago, so we thought we’d give it a go.

Jeff, at the customs dock…

We knew that the currents here were a bit rock and roll, so we made plans accordingly. We were three teams of two, and would let one team of two go, then another, then another. We planned on entering the water, clipping off to the gear line while attaching deco bottles, then heading over to the channel marker, where we would be sheltered from the worst of the current.

Channel Marker, where you can get a bit of shelter…

Eric B was my buddy, and once we got in, and deco bottles on, we made our way to the channel marker. We had done most of our gear checks on the boat, but did our remaining ones there.

Very long tag line.. just in case…

Since we didn’t know what to expect, other than raging current, our plan was to descend on the trigger, five minutes, heading upstream, and drift onto the wreck. We followed our plan, and at 5 minutes, started to drift, and finish our descent. We weren’t sure what the wreck looked like, so we kept our eyes peeled. There were some seriously massive boulders along the way, which could have easily been mistaken for pieces of wreckage. Yes, I did mistake a giant one for a piece of something…

We did come upon some wooden wreckage though, that looked like a piece of a hull. There wasn’t much to it, so I wondered if that was it. Did we miss it?? We drifted on, and came upon a giant mast-like structure, sticking out of the periwinkle shells. Ok.. how about this? No, this was not the Oconto.

Just past this area, we came upon some large, wooden wreckage. Jackpot!! Ok.. this was not easy to miss. We checked out both large pieces of the wreck.. Half of it was laying upright, on an angle, with the other half laying upside down. Apparently, there is some wonder of whether or not there are actually two wrecks at this site. When we got to it, we saw one of the other teams of two inside a swim through. We did a little investigating, then met up with both teams in between the two pieces. I gave them a wave as we passed by.

When it was time for us to turn the dive, Eric and I decided once again, to hit the trigger, and move upstream, so that we could drift a little, on deco. We prepared for our gas switch a little early, so that there were no issues when it was time. Everything went smoothly and quickly at the 70′ stop. Once we got to our 20′ stop, Eric found a sweet spot to move into, where he was sheltered from most of the blasting current. I tried to tuck in as well, but didn’t get as sweet of a spot.

Up ahead, I noticed a bit of a cubby, where I thought it might be easier, so I signaled to Eric, and we moved up. Yes, this was much better. The current was still moving, but there was a little bit of alleviation here. Jeremy also noticed our little spot, and he and Kevin moved in as we moved up.

When surfacing, we tucked in behind the marker buoy once again, and did our 1 ATA deco stop… ūüėõ We all seemed to surface in perfect succession, and we all made our way back to the boat, taking turns, as we had gone out.

Max. Depth ~ 178′
Bottom Time ~ 67 minutes
Water Temp. ~ 64
Visibility ~ 40′

Frankie, clinging for a quick, “Rock On, Dood!”

Steve, coming up the ladder…

Jeremy…

Kevin…

Eric – Thanks for the dive, my friend! Thanks to Andy, for the loan of his scooter too!

Me…

On our way back, we saw buoys over the stern of the Jodrey, where there were divers earlier, assessing the oil. We did actually see a few splotches of oil on the surface. Let’s hope there isn’t much damage to the water, and that the leak can be contained.





Jelly Roll Park!

29 08 2010

Saturday, August 28th, 2010 ~

Time for some more scootering adventures! Steve and I met Claudia, Oren, and Jen down at Centeen Park, and had planned to hit the little “Unknown Hull” that Steve discovered a few weeks back.

Jen, getting her gear together…

Our plan was going to be a bit different from our previous treks to the wreck, but we had hoped to still come upon it.

On the previous weekend in Kingston, Jennifer had told us of some Jelly Fish that she had seen in the water. I was completely mesmerized, and was a little bummed that I had not been on the boats, so that I could see these little guys.

We did our pre-dive checks, and started to make our way out. The park was busy, as there were a couple of Open Water courses going on, so we made sure that we were out of their way. As we ventured out, I was absolutely wide-eyed when I saw a little clear creature in the water column, with mini tentacles, and a round shape, moving rather “jellyish-like.”

I saw one!! Then another.. and another.. Holy smokes! These little guys were so neat looking! I can’t believe they are in the St. Lawrence! They were in about 20′ to 30′ of water, and we saw a bunch of them along the way.

We headed 30 minutes upstream, on the trigger, dropped into the channel, then drifted for 30 minutes amongst the periwinkle shells. Before ducking into the channel, I actually let go of the trigger a couple of times, to allow the jellies to pass through.

As we drifted, we came upon some more very old wreckage. It was in about 65′ to 70′ of water, and just had some ribbing left to it. It was all wood, with ladder-like rungs through the ribbing. There were big metal pieces strewn about one side of it, and it was hard to tell what they once were. It was still very interesting to check out.

We left this wreckage, and went in search of the “Unknown Hull.” It seems we had overshot it, as we didn’t find it this time. Oh well.

We made our way back to the Gaskin, where there were some charters moored to it. We motored around the wreck, where there were some folks a little mesmerized by motorized machines passing by. We swam around the wreck for a bit, then decided to head home. As we moved in the direction of the line, we were saddened to see that it had been cut. Someone on shore had mentioned that the line was gone, and that they had driven four hours to do that dive from shore, for the first time, and it was missing. They had been to the stop sign on Friday afternoon, and the line was still there. It was gone by Saturday morning.

Steve, Leigh, and Francois had laid that line about 5 years ago, and you could tell that the line had been cut. There were no anchor marks, and there were still bits here and there, that you could see a definite cut mark. Sad. There were even parts of it balled up, underneath a rock.

So, we still had a great dive, and it was good to get back out into the channel!

Bottom Time ~ 116 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 104′
Water Temp. ~ 71 (the river is starting to cool a bit)

Claudia and I…

Sunday, August 29th, 2010 ~

Eric came down to join in the fun today, and since we all had the burn time, we were going to follow the “usual” path to the “Unknown Hull.”

We would head upstream for 40 minutes, drop into the channel, drift for 40 mins, then head back up to 75′, where the wreck sits. As we headed out, there was a noise that made us all jump. It didn’t sound like any boat or sea doo that we’ve heard before. It was extremely loud, and actually felt like someone was firing missiles into the water. We looked around, but didn’t see anything. Of course, our first reaction was wondering if a scooter had blown up behind us…lol. What it was remains a mystery. We saw many more Jellies as well.

Along the way, we found even more remnants of a really old wreck. There was a huge chain buried in the periwinkle shells, that was very long. There were also chunks of wood and metal, as well as a bunch of bottles in just about every direction. Another bit of goodness to explore on another dive.

We also made it to one of the horse carriages. There were so many weeds on it, and the horse harness is pretty mangled now. You can still see the metal wheels, with big spikes in the middle, and other parts that are difficult to distinguish.. for me, anyway.

We managed to get to the Unknown Hull again, and showed it to the rest of the gang. There’s not much left to it, but it’s old, new to us, and very cool. I decided to leave the camera at home, but should come back with it next time.

It was around here that Jen must have come into contact with some kind of clear petroleum. It was after her gas switch so she wondered if it was her gas.. which it ended up not being. We had turned the dive anyway, to be sure. Whatever kind of oil it was had completely encased her back up regulator, neck seal, and part of her wing. You couldn’t see it, but you could definitely smell it. I think Jen has now mastered the art of oil clean up.

On our way in, we met up with Chris P. and Allan in the shallows. Chris had his camera with him, and took some pics of us.

Me, taken by Chris Phinney…

Bottom Time ~ 118 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 100′
Water Temp. ~ 71

There were two OW courses going on, and I spoke with one fellow that was so pleased that he had finished his course, and had succeeded with the mask removal/replacement. He said he had tried it last year, but just couldn’t deal with the mask, until now. Practice, practice, practice…¬†Congratulations!!¬† W00t!

It was great to partake in another weekend, filled with friends and Diving Goodness!