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 Β – 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!







Shivery Return

18 01 2015

Sunday, January 18th, 2015 ~

One of the hardest things to do, is to go diving under the ice, right after a nice trip to the Mexico cavezzzzz… Alas, if we want to dive, we suck it up, and do it. πŸ˜›

Myself, Steve, Frankie, and Eric B. went for a spin, at the quarry. There was already a hole, which was good, since our chainsaw needs a little bit of TLC. I am also really happy to see that our “runway” tradition has caught on. It’s so much easier to get in and out of. πŸ™‚



I didn’t bring the UW camera with me, so this post will seem a little less interesting, I’m sure. πŸ™‚

We got changed in the cabin, with the wood stove going, which was really nice. Of course, all of our undergarments and drysuits shrink in the winter, so we had to deal with that, too (riiiiiiiiight… it couldn’t have a thing to do with too many cupcakes).

We got in, swam over to the plane, then past the habitat, to the boat, and then back to lingering around the plane, for a while.

There really wasn’t a whole lot of excitement, but we did get to go diving, so that is a good thing!

Here is an old picture of the plane… and, in open water…

Bottom Time: 45 mins.
Max. Depth: 47′
Water Temp.: 37F

After-dive hair!



Of course, there was the mandatory selfie, too…



…and… showing off my new Ladies First hoodie!



There was also some after-dive chatter…



…and… since we were dreaming of Mexico, we opted to go to Mucho Burrito, for dinner!





It’s (FINALLY) Spring!

16 04 2014

Sunday, April 6th, 2014 ~

This winter has been a terribly brutal one, and one that many Canadians didn’t think would end. It became a cruel joke, to which we stopped laughing, quite a while ago… until today!

The sun was out, and it was above 0C!!! FINALLY!! A great day to take the scooters for a ride! The St. Lawrence River is mostly open, but temperatures are still hovering around 32F and 33F. There are still flash freezings and ice floes, so it isn’t the safest place to be diving, right now. We went back up to the quarry, and I finally got to take my new XK1 for a spin!

We brought the gear to the water…

Frankie, Christian, and Mike teamed up, and Steve, Eric, and I teamed up – even though we were still all together. Our team of three was going to run a line over to the plane, the shark, the rock wall, then back over, so that we would have a large square, to scooter around.

Steve and Eric, after Steve ran the line…

I let Steve take the camera, for this most amazing shot…

There was some glove leakage, and in these temperatures, can be horrible. We ended up turning around, leaving the reel behind.

Christian and Mike…

As Eric says, it isn’t the easiest thing, to try and smile, with a frozen face!

I must say, even though I didn’t get to use my scooter very much, I am sensing a very strong bond. πŸ˜›

As Eric and I waited, we ran into Mike and Matt, who were going on a leisurely swim…

Back in we went, to retrieve the reel. Steve…



A selfie, of course. This time, with my turbo…

We made our way back in, with Steve’s chilly, soaked hands.

Bottom Time:
Max. Depth:
Water Temp.:

It was such a beautiful day, that there was some gear tinkering, after the dive/s.

There was even time for snuggles, with Zora…

A great day for Diving Goodness, and even though the quarry is fun, we cannot wait to get back into the River!!!

I have some good looking dive buddies! πŸ˜› Mike, Eric, Frankie, Christian, Steve…



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! πŸ˜›

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?” πŸ™‚

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 FranΓ§ois 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.

Oren’t You Glad We Went Diving?

17 02 2014

Sunday, February 16th, 2014 ~

We hadn’t seen Oren in a while, and he finally escaped the holds of his practice, and came out for some Ice Diving Goodness! The three of us got into the water, and while Steve was helping a couple of nice fellows with a scooter, Oren took the reel, and the two of us headed to the boat. I took the “new” camera (and attached lighting devices), and was trying to play with the settings… enough so that I didn’t have washed out pictures, and uneven lighting… *cough*

Not the best shot, but at least it’s not blurry.

Oren, going into the boat.


Mandatory Selfie

Steve eventually joined us (the other two guys came over at the same time), and our team of 3 was reunited.

Steve, hangin’ with the Oreo scooter.

Oren and his canisters.


Steve took the camera, and took a pic of me, too.

I confiscated the Oreo scooter.

We made our way back up to the plane, since there were two of us with glove leaks. The rings that I have put on my suit are used, and apparently, they do not seal.

Oren, bringing the reel to the plane.



Da Plane!

Da plane… From the front.

Going over to pick up the reel.

Steve and the Oreo, once again.

…and, of course, one more selfie…

Fromage. :o)

Bottom Time: 47 mins.Β  (Not easy, with a completely flooded arm – thanks to my faulty glove rings) πŸ™‚
Max. Depth: 42′
Water Temp.: 39F
Vis.: Pretty nice!

When we doffed our gear, at the cars, it just so happened, that I was completely soaked, up my arm. I had to wring it out! I think I will put my other set of rings back on! I know it isn’t the suit, and I know where the water is coming in. So… back to my “primary” glove rings!

We still did have a blast, and taking pics with the new camera was a lot of fun!

…and, yes… Oren DOES still dive! πŸ˜›