Free-Z-Dive 2014!

10 03 2014

Saturday, March 8th, 2014 ~

Well, it is that time of year, again! When our free diving friends meet with us, for some under ice fun and Shenaniganry! I still cannot believe what these guys and gals do – Diving, under ice, in wet suits, and… No.. Tanks! I also still cannot believe that they think that WE are the crazy ones! 😛

Chris P. and A.J. were visiting, and Christian also joined in!

We devised a plan, and got into the water. The free divers had three holes, in deeper water, while ours was in about 2′ of water, in the beach area. Our gear checks were done, cameras were ready, and we made our way to the plane. Steve had the D200, and I had the D100, so there would be no shortage of pictures.

Steve, making sure the settings were ready to go, on the D200.

We got to one of the holes, and a couple of free divers were getting ready to duck under.

Getting ready to dive.

In the first set of free divers, we were serenaded by the Piano Man, Jean-Sebastian Bourassa…

Play on, Maestro!

I was then greeted with a fly-by, from Superman Philippe Beauchamp…

Where is your red “S?” 🙂

This photo was aptly named by Chris Phinney…

Natalie Hebert, featured in, “The Ballet Photo.”


Hanging out in First Class.

Christian St-Pierre and Natalie Hebert talk about the weather (the frozen glove-leaking kind)…

Chance meeting, with Christian and Nathalie.

I had no idea that Neo could dive.

Entering the Matrix.

We even got to watch a performance of Blue Man Group!

Blue Man, checking his camera, after he took a picture of me!


…and another one of Philippe…

François Leduc, giving us a pose!

El Presidente

A.J. Vertlieb and Chris Phinney, chillin’…

A.J. and Chris seem to be having fun!

Once the free divers started to come down in slower shifts, we realized that we were getting a little chilly, too. Time to go in.

Pack it up, pack it in!

Chris brought the line in, and I snuck a couple of extra pictures (yeah, I know… I have already taken about 200, today)…

Time to get out.

The entry/exit hole was a bit deeper than we normally have it, but since there were other divers there, when we arrived, we didn’t want to stick the chainsaw in, while they were in the water. It was not an issue for most. Let’s just say that in my vertically challenged 5’4″ state, and the ice being a little taller than my knees, I was not expecting the most graceful exit. I was also dealing with a pulled (or slightly torn) muscle in my leg, so that would make it even more challenging.

I opted on getting out of my tanks at the entry, and thanks to A.J., they mysteriously made it back to our van (you rock. A.J!).

A.J. and Chris P.

Bottom Time: 39 mins.
Max. Depth: 22′
Water Temp.: 37F
Vis.: Not too shabby

I still ended up with a complete arm flood, thanks to my glove rings, that I did not switch out (my own fault). :/

I think that François was turning into a Popsicle, here…

The Ice Man cometh.

I’m pretty sure that Philippe was, too. I still can’t believe that these guys are in wetsuits.

I cannot thank these guys ‘n’ gals enough. They are wonderful people to dive with, and a lot of fun.

For more information on the goings ons in the free diving community, see the CASM and AIDA websites!




Group shot!

Bad ass, under ice free divers!

This is probably the best selfie that I have ever experienced! Thanks for a great day, friends!

Best. Selfie. Ever.

Free-Z-Dive 2012 – The Free Divers

11 03 2012

Saturday, March 10th, 2012 ~

Since our Free Diving friends were not able to come out last year, it has been two years since we have seen them. We were happy that they were able to come out this year, and we were able to “shoot” them! Mike Grebler was also along for some Picture-Taking Goodness.

François Leduc is the current president of AIDA Canada, that the group is all a part of. They train in Quebec, and travel the world for competitions. It is a real treat to be able to share this with them!

The hole was nice an open, and the beach entry was the easiest it has been all winter.

Steve, Eric, and I timed our entry for when the Free Divers were ready, and were on our way.

Steve brought his scooter along, so that his video camera had more stability, and handed it off to Eric, while he took Serge’s for a test run. They would interchange, throughout the dive. 🙂

We made our way over to the plane, which would be our post, for the dive.

They started coming down, from one of their three entry points. Eric gets a Dive-By buzz from Philippe Beauchamp…

I find it absolutely amazing that these people are able to do this, and it still gives me the “heebeejeebees,” when I watch them swim from hole to hole. They are incredible to watch!

Warwick Long flies by for a pose!

Lionel Bernard has some fun!

AIDA Canada president, François Leduc…

Philippe even had fun with some bubbles…

I just love being able to be a part of this, and helping to make memories for the divers.

Of course, we had to take a couple of shots of us, too!



..and… of course, me hamming it up for a self-portrait!

Bottom Time: 49 mins.
Max Depth: 29′
Water Temp: 37F
Vis.: Not too shabby!

A wonderful group of people, and I look forward to some fun projects with them, this year! Thanks guys ‘n’ gal! 🙂

The Free Divers Back In Town!

19 03 2010

Saturday, March 6th, 2010 ~

It is that time of year again, when some of the members of AIDA Canada and CASM come up to Morrison’s Quarry, for their free diving adventures under the ice.

This would be our third time watching our free diving friends under the ice, and the second time I had been invited to take some pictures of them. It is a pleasure to watch their mesmerizing grace under the water.

There were six of us in the water with them. I had my stills camera, and Steve had the video camera.

Harold and Anne were the special guest stars of the day, and came diving with us too…

I let Kevin take a stab at my camera, and he snapped a picture of me…

Then he donated his reg to the camera…

Steve took video of the day’s events…

Steve’s video…

Steve also brought in our red-shrouded scooter, that I blew up last year, to see if all of the hard work to fix it would pay off. It seems the fix worked!

Kevin found the other one, and had a joy ride.. Nice find…

After approximately 40 minutes in the water, I started to chill a bit, since we weren’t moving around much, and I had a leak in my drysuit. Kevin grabbed the reel and brought us back in.

What a beautiful day for a dive!!!

Bottom Time ~ 48 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 21′
Water Temp. ~ 40

Sunday, March 7th, 2010 ~

Today, there were more people in the water, and many more cameras. I think we all did a pretty good job of working around each other, and we all had alot of fun.

Posing for the camera… The other camera…

Getting the shot…

Philippe, having some fun…

We had yet another incredible day of watching our free diving friends dance under the ice. Even though the ice was almost non-existent at this time.

Bottom Time ~ 45 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 45′
Water Temp. ~ 40

Mike G., who rarely has a pic of himself…

Group shot of the free divers, with me at the end!

A great big thank you to Francois, and all of the members of CASM and AIDA Canada, for making two days of diving goodness memorable ones!

A collage of pictures from the two days…