Chillin’ ~ Really Chillin’

20 02 2017

Sunday, February 19th, 2017 ~

Steve and I had been hibernating for a bit of the winter, but it was a beautiful weekend, so we decided to get our butts into the water. It’s not quite the Mexico cavezzz, but it’s the closest thing we have to it, right now… Ice Diving Goodness!

Our gear had been completely taken apart, fins were in piles, undergarments weren’t packed, and my drysuit didn’t have the cuff rings on it. Our last dives had been in much warmer water (cavezzzzzzzz), so we weren’t as prepared as we usually are. Ohh… and we needed to fill our tanks, too. Still, we pursued. We were going DIVING!

Purple tanks, ready to go!


At noon, we pulled out of the driveway, and made our way to the quarry. Since the sun had been shining for two days, with above 0C temperatures, the ice was a little bit soft, near the entry. There was already a nice hole to enter through, so we didn’t have to worry about a chainsaw. Good thing, seeing as we didn’t bring ours.

It was pretty busy there, but most of the divers were done for the day, leaving us the ice hole to ourselves (what did you call me??).



Steve attached the reel to the ice screw, before we entered the water, so that we were ready to go! We did our gear checks, and one by one, we descended under the ice. w00t! w00t!

I had the D100 with me, and Steve was toting the D200. We both wanted to play around and take photos, so we were both armed!





Fred and Mike, as we all made our way to the plane…


Well… we didn’t really have a whole lot to do, other than goof around and play with toys. So, that’s exactly what we did. We stayed around the 25′ mark, since it was our first ice dive of the season (seriously… I wonder if there is something wrong with us, this year).

The plane…


Mike, having a cuddle, with the toys…


Mike took a pic of Steve…


…and then of both Steve and I…


Steve also practiced his upside-down backfinning. Yes, it is possible to do this. I witnessed it, with my own eyes.


As we were thinking about turning around, we noticed a small camera appear in front of us. Uh… hello? Big Brother? Are you there? Fred had some close-ups with it, but we had no idea where this thing came from  – apart from the rope that it was dangling from.


Between Steve and I, we took about 170 photos. I guess we’ve been having some withdrawal. Then again… that’s not completely unheard of, for me.


We finished having fun with the little video camera, and started to make our way back in.

I don’t think that this piano has any pending concertos in its future…


Mike brought in the reel…


…and we saw a little froggie, along the way. We stopped to say hello.


Of course, we had to stop for a few more photos.


Bottom Time: 41 mins.
Max Depth: 27′
Water Temp.: 37F (39F, in the shallows)
Visibility: Decent, but not as clear as it usually is, in the winter

Getting out!



This photo shows the fellow that dropped the camera on us…


I must say, that fleece-lined leggings, for $7, at Giant Tiger = WIN-WIN, as a bottom base layer, under my Santi undergarments!

…and… *drum roll*… a Chantelle-fie, for the close!


Of course, we had to make our visit to Jean Burger, for ice diving poutine, where I noticed that they had some of my pics on display! w00t!







A Happy St. Paddy’s Quarry Day, To You!

18 03 2013

Saturday, March 17th, 2013 ~

Well, there were not any green drysuits today, but I did have my green GUE hoodie on, so I guess that counts.

Steve, Eric, Blake, and I joined forces and headed to… yes, the quarry. Our options are pretty limited in the winter, so this is where we spend a lot of our diving time.

Of course, we wondered if Blake would be up for it, since is is now a resident in the Florida cavezzz, which are just a bit warmer than the ice-covered quarry. 😀

Glove test. Yep… a little chillier than cavezz…

I wonder what Eric and Steve were up to, here…

Eric ran the line…

Steve was very relaxed, during his dive…

I think Blake was seeking cavezzz…


Yep… Blake was still “cool” with this whole ice diving thing. “Moose ears!”

Blake found a frog, but he looked a little bloated. I don’t think he was hibernating…

Oops… Looks like Le Princessi caught another victim!

Hawt date night!

There was even a round of golf, on the front nine…

On our way back into the shallows. You can see that our “H” cut out is still visible, even though it is completely frozen over.

Blake, just hangin’ around…

Yep… Steve is still pretty relaxed…

…and Eric is reflecting on his dive…


The sun finally came out, as we were exiting!

Bottom Time: 40 minutes
Max. Depth: 25′
Water Temp.: 37F

Well, what can I say? We had yet another fun-filled and excellent day of Diving Goodness, in the quarry! A great way to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day! That, and The Works, afterwards!

*Cheers to a fantastic day! Go team!

Happy New Year – A Few Days After

10 01 2013

January 5th, 2013 ~

Ok, so we didn’t make it to the quarry on January 1st, but we did get there for the 5th, and to christen the new year with a dive under the ice.

When we arrived, Steve had to shovel a path for us to get to the water.

The ice looked pretty thin at the entry, so we didn’t think we would need the chainsaw.

We geared up and headed for the water. Eric had his tanks on, I was on my way, and Steve was leak testing his gloves, when he realized that the ice was a bit too thick to break up. Between the three of us working on it, we finally managed to make the hole big enough for us to squeeze through.

Eric was running the line today, followed by Steve, and then me.. with the camera.

Eric looks way farther away than he actually was…

Steve, with his RB80…


We played around the plane for a while, and Steve actually fit inside it…

We were then greeted by the resident pike, who was looking a little hungry…

I was able to get pretty close to him…

He seemed to have either some kind of fungus on his other side, or even something left over from a hook…

We were a little concerned about him, wondering if he had enough to eat.

After a little more playing around the plane…

… we decided to make our way back in.

Steve, just below the air pocket…

Eric, bringing us in…

Oh… it’s me!

When we surfaced, we noticed a natural ice cave arrow that formed, just for us…

Bottom Time: 38 mins.
Max. Depth: 25′
Water Temp.: 39F

We packed up and headed to The Works, where we met Chris P. for some delicious dinner.

The water felt a little chillier today, even though it was still above zero. Maybe we are getting a little less tolerant to the cold??? Ah well, it was still fun to get in the water, and to see that the pike is still there!

2012 Brockville Canadian Invasion!

21 08 2012

Thursday, August 16th, 2012 ~

Packed and ready to go! I started off toward Ivy Lea, making a stop at Dive Tech (thank you for the prizes!), then to the Capricorn Motel Royale, where I met Bill and Moira, who were most excellent hosts! Bill showed me around, gave me the instructions for the sat TV, showed me the kitchen, BBQs, and was ready to welcome our group with open arms. Great start!

Dev was the first one to arrive, and most others followed pretty quickly. I handed out goodie bags, assisted with the sat TV instructions (I got pretty good at it, by the end of the day), and we made our way to Smuggler’s Run. Chris Muffin Man Malinowski and Damian also came by to have dinner with us, which was a nice surprise. The food and service was very good, and the convenience factor of it being right across from the Capricorn was excellent!

The dock, near the hotel and restaurant…

Really cool little car, parked outside of the restaurant…



Friday, August 17th, 2012 ~

Up and out early, for breakfast, at Caiger’s. Boats were loaded, and our departure was around 9:30am. For the Rec boat, we had The Arrow, which can house 22 divers. We had 19, plus one bubble watcher. The Arrow was headed for the Keystorm and America! The two Tech boats were River Diver and Run Time, and we were headed to the Jodrey. It was grey and a bit rainy, but that didn’t stop us.

The Arrow, almost ready to go…





Loaded up, on River Diver…



…and on Run Time!



Happy faces! Look! Jenni M is going diving!







Our guest speaker was revealed, since Fred was joining us on the Jodrey!



Let’s go diving!

We went through customs, then made our way to the mooring tree. Moe’s boat was there, which meant… so were Raphael, Tyson, and Mark! After our gear checks, and we were ready to descend, we saw our three friends, who had left from the US side. “Good to see you, friends!” 🙂

Run Time folks, ready to go!
(Vinny was hiding, but at least the sun came out)…

For this dive, we had two groups of three, but would all be staying together, to descend down the wall. Myself, Eric, Fred, Dev, Marc, and Frankie. We made our way down the wall, and the wreck eventually came into sight. The visibility was horrible, so we didn’t really see too much. Once on the wreck, our group of six split into two groups of three. We stayed around the bow, did a circle of the wheelhouse, and stayed close, since the vis was so bad. The current was down, too. There was hardly anything, and even the swimming folks went around the port side of the wheelhouse, where the current is usually famous for wanting to flip you over, and throw you up from 150′. Today, it was kind! So, due to the vis., we didn’t get to tour too much, but it was still good to get down there!

On deco, Eric, Fred, and I got to our 20′ stop, where Fred showed us some new deco tricks. We also played around, writing in wet notes. We learned that “Deco,” in Spanish, is “El Deco.” 😛

Bottom Time: 64 mins.
Max. Depth: 173′
Water Temp.: 75F
Vis.: 5′
Current: Very low

Clockwise, from the back: Dev C., Frankie F., Kevin A., Neil M., Marc H., Chris McM., Eric B., Fred D.

…and me, at the far left. 🙂

Frankie… Rock on, dood!

Once we returned to shore, cleared customs, and unloaded, people dispersed for fills, and Steph had brought us a present, thanks to Brian Ross, of Banner’s Plus!

I headed back to the hotel, to hang up gear, charge scooters, and my light, and I think I actually got a 15 minute nap!

Dinner was planned for 6:30pm, at Caiger’s. The dinner was amazing, and the service equaled it. Thank you, Mary (and the rest of the staff, too)!

I gave away a few prizes, then Fred Devos began his presentation on the Mexico Cave Exploration Project, which was top-notch. Some really great information, as well as video from some very unique cave. Thank you so much, Fred! It was great to have you here! It was also great to have a few extra friends come by for dinner, as well as the presentation. Bob Sherwood, I didn’t get a picture of you! :O

After the presentation, a bunch of us headed upstairs for some karaoke fun. Steph showed us how it was done, and I sang a few, too!

Saturday, August 18th, 2012 ~

Early to Caiger’s, to hand out breakfast tickets, then loaded the boats! The Arrow headed to the Vickery, then for a drift dive, and River Diver and Run Time were back to the Jodrey!

Steve, loading up!

Steve was here for this dive, and he and Frankie were diving together. Marc and Dev paired up, and Eric and I. The six of us descended together, and Steve was going to lead the way, to show us a penetration. I have been diving this wreck for four years, and had yet to go inside it.  I was number 6, and I have to say, that I really did not see much. The visibility was already pretty crappy, and being #6… well… there was quite a bit of percolation, which got in the way (No, I am not blaming my dive buddies.. they were all great!). We got to the end of the line, and it was time to turn around. It was up to me to navigate the line out… which was not the easiest task, with all of the stray lines in there, but we got to our exit safely. 🙂 I really enjoyed this dive, and would really like to go back there! Perhaps with just one or two buddies. 🙂 Kevin A., Neil M., and Chris McMullen had also buddied up for the dive, and went for a tour around the wheelhouse.

Bottom Time: 69 mins.
Max. Depth: 203′
Water Temp.: 75F
Vis.: 8′
Current: Very low

After our dive, a few of us went up to Tek Div, to say hello to Stephane. It was the first time that I had been there, and it is a really nice set up! Thanks for helping us out, Stephane!

Back to the motel to charge, hang gear, sneak in a 20 minute nap, then back to Caiger’s, for our group photo, then dinner! We had some more friends join us for dinner, and laughs. Tonight was prize night! Thank you to all of our friends, who donated prizes: Liquid Productions, Whirling Girl, Dive Tech, Rockport Dive Centre, Hi Def Pictures, 2 Beez Training, In Depth Scuba Services, Exploration Promotions, and GUE Ontario!

We also had a few special prizes for the friends that have been to all 5 Invasions, and one for Jenni M, who has attended 2 as a bubble watcher, and this one as a diver.. finally!

Pic taken with Becki’s camera (not sure who took it)…

Thanks also, to Brian Ross/Banner’s Plus, for the awesome banner!

Sunday, August 19th, 2012 ~

Today, the Tech boats were picking up at Mallorytown Landing. We were going to go over to the Daryaw, and do a drift off of it. The surface current at the Daryaw mooring was crazy.. as always. We had a tag line set up, as well as a few gear lines, so that we could tie in, to get our gear on… and not drift away. Eric and I splashed in, got our gear on, and were joined by Marc and Dev. These are the times when I am extra thankful for my scooter. 🙂 We descended down the line, on the trigger, and proceeded to the underside of the wreck, where we were mostly sheltered. We tied off our stage bottles and scooters, and ran a line, to go into the wreck. I ran the line, and as we were going in, Steve and Frankie were coming out… followed by quite a huge amount of silt. Apparently, as they went in, there were a ton of eels that retreated, and stirred everything up… I will give them the benefit of the doubt. 😛 So.. we waited for them to pass, and I was trying to make a call on whether we kept on, or turn around.. wondering if the “dust” would settle. It didn’t. I signaled to turn around, and went to go another way, which was also silted out. There had also been a few boats on it before us, as we pulled up to the mooring.

Hanging onto the tag and gear lines, in the crazy surface current, about to descend (taken by Rick Lymer, with my camera)…

So.. back under the wreck, we went.. Picked up our gear, then ascended into one of the holds, where we surfaced and waved to each other, in the air pocket. There was quite a big pocket, which does grow throughout the summer, from all of the divers’ bubbles. We came back down, did a tour of the outside of the wreck, then went for a drift. We stayed on the North side of the wall, and there wasn’t a whole lot of current where we were, in most of the areas. I did see the biggest sturgeon that I had ever seen in my life.. 6 feet long! There were a few big carp, a lot of baby walleyes, and even more bass. It is nice to see that the fish are doing well! I even saw a couple of the fresh water jellies, which I didn’t see, last year!

There were some pretty cool rock formations along the wall, but then we got to an area where there was just a lot of dirt. We weren’t exactly sure if we were getting close to our target (the big white channel marker), so we drifted for a while longer, then Dev blew a bag, to let Rick know where we were, to pick us up. Due to a lack of current in the area that we were in, we weren’t that close to the marker…lol. Oh well.. still fun. 🙂

Bottom Time: 75 mins.
Max. Depth: 88′
Water Temp.: 73F
Vis.: 20”
Current: Very low

Apparently, Frankie found a nice pink clip…

The sky got a bit dark as we made our way back, but we were still all smiles…

…and Neil passed out the Deco Cookies… Yumm… Maple Cookies….

Once we returned, we unloaded, said some goodbyes, then a few of us went back over to Caiger’s, to relax… and for me to pay up! 🙂

James and Leslie came over, after James did a triathlon (along with a bunch of our other friends)…

I can’t get over what an amazing group of people that come to the Invasions. I have met so many wonderful friends and dive buddies, and cannot wait until next year!

Andy, Kate… Kate, Andy!

Our group shot (even though there were a few missing)…

Also, a small video that I put together of my weekend’s pics! Thanks again to everyone! See you next year! w00t! 🙂

AGGAST Comes North~

25 02 2012

Thursday, February 16th, 2012 ~

Airport pick-ups! Laurynn and Karen were first, followed by Sonya, and then Kathryn. I had a good parking spot, but since Steve went to do a coffee run, he lost his spot. Steve called as he was getting closer to us, in the line-up of cars that were being waived through. We had some luggage ready to throw into the back of his van, so that we didn’t get in trouble from the airport cops, and Karen was ready to jump into the passenger seat. Exchange complete! They were off! We waited for Kathryn, then were on our way home, too!

Once we got to our place, we directed people towards their sleeping spots for the next few days, chatted for a while, then to sleep!

Friday, February 17th, 2012 ~

Breakfast was at Cora’s, which is an exceptional place to eat!

We ate, chatted some more, then went back to the house, to load up. Off to the quarry, we went!

Eric and Steve both had their chainsaws, and worked on cutting the hole for us. We got ourselves ready to dive, and we were off to the races!

“Are we really doing this??”

Of course, there was some shenaniganry, as we readied to dive!

The princess was preparing for a surprise meeting!

We descended under the ice, and Eric ran the line out to the main line. Steve brought our video camera, as we had to document our US friends’ inaugural ice dive! Kathryn had her camera, and Jen brought along her video camera.

Sonya and Laurynn, with Steve in the background…

Karen and Kathryn…

Eric takes in the sights, above…

We had a most excellent dive, and there was much fun and Shenaniganry! Our friends had done their first ice dive, and even enjoyed it!!!

Bottom Time: 37 mins.
Max Depth: 44′
Water Temp: 39F
Vis.: Not too shabby!

Dinner was at The Works, where they stuck us in a cage… How did they know? Everything was delicious, and although there was a Squirrel Fail, there was much laughter and grins from the day’s dive.

We made our way back to our place, for cupcakes, chatter, and some video review! We also watched a slideshow of Kathryn’s shots!

A fun day!

Saturday, February 18th, 2012 ~

Today, we headed to Timmy’s for breakfast (with a few people sneaking to Booster Juice), then we were quarry bound. When we got there, there were about 5000 cars (ok, probably about 20) in the main parking lot, and even more in the back lot. It was definitely going to be a busy day at the quarry. One of the guys told us that they were moving out shortly, and we would be able to move our cars closer. Sweet!

We did not need to cut the hole again, so we took our time gearing up. Finally, the parking spots opened up, and we were able to pull our cars down. Woo hoo! Time to dive!

James, Oren, Chris, Mike, and Jen were also here today, and this time, Steve had the video housing on the scooter mount, to get some more cool footage of everyone.  There were a couple of other cameras in the water, too (Kathryn, Chris, Jen, James.. if I remembered all of the cameras)!  It was a camera day!

So, I guess it is fair to say that there was even more Shenaniganry to be had, today. This time, we had more players!

I think Eric was suspecting that he was under attack from the Princessi!

Yeah, he was right…

We even managed to get a group shot! Well… Everyone, except for me! 😛

Ice Push-Ups, anyone?

Hmm… What is that, hanging from Eric’s butt??? On closer inspection, he seems to have been Princessified!!

Bottom Time: 48 mins.
Max Depth: 38′
Water Temp: 37F
Vis.: The same!

Sonya found an ice heart! Sonya and Laurynn must love Canada. 😛

We were a big group, today! Yes, we were all DUI Dogs of the week! w00t!

After such Diving Goodness, we made our way to Ha Noi Pho for some delicious Viet cuisine!

The Biebs came along, and since he didn’t get to participate in the day’s Shenaniganry, he wanted to try this ice diving thing, too…

I think he approves.

Then he got into the booze…

A fun way to end the day!

Sunday, February 19th, 2012 ~ 

Finally, some sunshine! Today would be our last day of Ice Diving Goodness, with our AGGAST sisters!

It was also Eric’s Birthday! Karen and I snuck over to the store, while everyone started to order breakfast, at Booster Juice! We had the perfect cake, and were hoping that he didn’t see us walking back to the van, with it!

Then… Quarry bound, once again!

Today, we decided to follow the other line, and head down to the sub. It wasn’t long before there was.. Yes, you guessed it… Shenaniganry!

Laurynn and I, with a self-portrait!

We played around at the sub for a while, came back up, then moved the reel over to the plane line!

On our way back in, we noticed that someone was waiting for us…

Coming back to the entry/exit…

Bottom Time: 46 mins.
Max Depth: 55′
Water Temp: 37F
Vis.: More of the same!

However, the Shenaniganry did not end when we got out of the water. There was dancing, pilates, and new ways to position ourselves in the snow!!

Sonya shows us how it’s done!

Sonya and Steve do “The Sonya!”

AGGAST Supastaaaaaaaaaaaas!

James shows us his fancy moves, too!

I then received a snowball!

Pardon? I can’t hear you!!

Then, it was time for cake! I was trying to get everyone to corral Eric into the cottage, while I went for the cake! I almost got caught, and I think Eric knew that something was up. Oh well… He seemed to like his special Princessi cake!! 😛

From there, we headed up to the infamous Jean Burger, where we introduced our friends to Poutine! You can’t come to Quebec, and not have Poutine!

Sonya had heard of a covered bridge nearby, so we did a little inquiring, and figured out where to go! Steve and I had never been to it, so it was a really neat thing to see!

Road closed… Um… You think???

On the way back, we stopped at a spot on the side of the road, that had a natural spring water spout. People would come with empty containers, to fill them up with incredibly yummy, fresh water! We had driven by it so many times, but had never stopped!

We headed back to our place, where we chilled for a while, then to Swiss Chalet for some Dining Goodness, then to karaoke, to finish off the weekend’s fun and adventure!

I am very happy to know such wonderful people, and to be able to dive with friends from all over. What an excellent weekend of Shenaniganry and AGGAST Diving Goodness!!!

Shenaniganry WAS had in multitudes!!!

Thanks for such an awesome weekend!!!!!! Planning for the next AGGAST get-together MUST commence!!

A video, put together by Steve!


Woo Hoo!! Team AGGAST also became DUI Dogs Of The Week!! w00t! 🙂

^Click Link!^