Bloody Nora… I Bet He Thinks We’re Barmy!

3 02 2014

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014 ~

This British fellow, by the name of Marcus, showed up at our door, and asked to go ice diving. What kind of people would we be, if we turned him away??

Yes, we did know he was coming, and we had some gear ready for him. Of course, we had to take him to Tim Horton’s, along the way. We needed to show Marcus all of the Canadian things that we do, eh?

https://i1.wp.com/www.northlondonbaseball.com/sites/default/files/images/tim%20hortons.jpg

We arrived at the quarry, where Eric and Christian met us, as well. Steve had the “new-to-us” camera/strobes, and I had the older camera. I wanted to take pics, too! Eric ran the reel. We had briefed Marcus as to our usual plan, and took turns going under. I went ahead of Marcus, and turned to wait for him. He didn’t seem to mind this icy cold hole in the water, so we did our bubble checks, and away we went!

Marcus entering the water. Christian behind him, and Eric in front of him…

Steve, with the new-to-us camera…

Pic of me, taken by Steve…

I caught Eric at the plane…

After I took Eric’s pic, I got a signal, from Marcus… He was saying… “Please, can we go in? I am rather Parky…” …which I cannot blame him for. It turned out that he had had a complete arm flood, thanks to a glove leak. D’Oh!

At least I was able to talk him into going back under, to take a few pictures. 😛

“Psstt… Marcus… Wanna go back down?”

“Why, yes. Yes, I do!”

“Just for a little bit, plz.”

“Ok. I’m done, now.”

Bottom Time: 21 mins.
Max. Depth: 21′
Water Temp.: 37F

I think Marcus quite liked that, even though it was a little short.

Yep… He enjoyed that…

The other fellas came in, after we had doffed our gear.

Christian…

I was goofing around, stuck the camera in the water, and clicked (my face was not in the water)…

We had shoveled, “GUE UK,” into the snow, but since our dive was cut a little short, I didn’t get any pics of it. Eric gave me his tanks, and Steve and I went back under. It wasn’t the best effort, but with the snow being very slushy, topside, it was tough to shovel. Oh, well. We tried!

Steve and I both had glove leaks, so we didn’t stay back under, for long.

As we do with many of our guests, that have not been to the Great White North before, we took Marcus to our favourite aprés dive spot, for some poutine. I think we got him hooked on Timmies and poutine. Sorry about that, Marcus. 😛

We did have a great time, and even met up again, the following weekend, for some Winterlude fun!

Thanks for the fun, Marcus! Come on back and see us, sometime! There are a few months of the year, when the water isn’t frozen, and other fun dives to do! w00t!





Back To Reality – Oops, There Goes Gravity…

21 01 2014

Sunday, January 20th, 2014 ~

Happy New Year! Ok, we were a little late in getting back into the water, after Mexico. How could we not be? Going from the 77F cave water, and coming back to the frozen stuff?

Oren came for a dive, so he convinced us. Otherwise, we may have been content with sitting on the couch, watching our videos, from the Mexico cavezzz…

As we got changed in the cabin, I noticed that I had grabbed my 6mm Santi hood, instead of my 9/7mm Santi hood. That was definitely not going to be warm enough. Thank goodness, Steve had his spare WP hood with him, so I could use that one. It was too big on me, and I had quite a bit of space at the front, between my head and the front of the hood – Oh, well… I can’t be fussy, today. It seems that I had also taken my glove liners off of the wall, but failed to put them in my gear bag. Sheesh… It’s just not my day, is it? Thankfully, Oren had a spare set, and we were dressed for Ice Diving Goodness. We also brought the “new” camera, to try out the strobes, for the second time.

Steve ducked under, first. Oren followed, and then me… ACK! H-H-H-H-HOLY SHEEEEEET! That was some exceptionally cold water, flooding into the hood. I had never had that feeling before, and it literally took my breath away. I kept wanting to breathe through my nose (duhhh), and was very uncomfortable. The long neck on the hood was also restricting me from turning my head, and I really didn’t like it. Of all of the years that I have been diving (including my years of ice diving), this is the most uncomfortable that I have ever been. I did NOT want to be under the ice, feeling like this.

I hovered in the opening for a little while, to see if the feeling would dissipate. I signaled to Steve, to let him know that I was “so-so,” and that I wanted to “hold,” for a minute. He took a few pictures, and as he did that, my head got used to the shocking cold, and I was fine. *Phew* What an odd feeling! Mark my words, I will never allow myself to forget my own hood, again! At least… I’ll try not to. 😉

Steve kept the camera for a little while, so I picked up the reel, and ran it to a semi-permanent line, that someone else had run, this year.

We swam over to the plane, and noticed that the toy box had been moved, and there were toys strewn all over the place. Of course, we had to pick them up, and put them away.

Then, Steve handed me the camera.

Oren…

Steve…

Me, flying with the plane (by Steve)…

Oh, look! It seems that my selfies are contagious! 😀

Me, at the controls…

Steve, playing piano (I had no idea that he could play) 😉 …

We then made our way back to the shallows for a few pics.

Bottom Time: 38 mins. (that was a short one!)
Max. Depth: 26′
Water Temp.: 37F

The pics didn’t turn out as nicely as we had hoped, but there is definitely a learning curve to this camera/strobe combination thing.

Since we hadn’t seen Oren in a while, we had to celebrate with some poutine, from Jean Burger.

*Note To Self* Your (warm) hood is extremely important, and you should never forget to bring it. 37F water flooding like a water fall, into the top of your hood is morbidly uncomfortable, and not something that I recommend to anyone… 😀

Oren, I am also sorry for soaking your glove liner. 😀

Some theme music, for me to remember my warm hood…





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…

Illumin-Eric…

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!





Just Another Just Culture

5 02 2013

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013 ~ 

Since I had harassed Gareth Lock enough times to come and visit us, he finally caved. 🙂

I picked Gareth up from the airport, and Steve, Tim, and Eric B. went up to the quarry, to get a head start on getting the hole cut. It was a pretty chilly day, too. We would christen Gareth with some Canadian winter, that’s for sure!

*NOTE* The in-water pictures are horrible. I tried some new settings on my camera, and clearly they did not work well. I am posting a few anyway, to document our day. *END OF NOTE*

Gareth’s plane was late arriving, but he finally found me, and we were off to the quarry!

Once we arrived, there was already a hole cut from previous divers, so Steve had just added on, making a nice runway, for easier entry/exit (brought it more shallow).

Gareth and Steve…

Tim…

Since it was pretty cold, we geared up quickly and splashed in. Steve had the line, and led the way out to the plane.

*Reminder: Pics are not great* 🙂

Heading out…

Gareth, by the plane…

Gareth, hanging out inside the plane!

Steve, Tim, and GLOC…

There was definitely some Shenaniganry going on, but how could you expect anything else?

We then went over to visit Morrie…

I even handed my camera to Gareth, and he got a pic of me!

Yep… I think Gareth fits right in, with us…

Ooh… a diver down ice sculpture!

Or, is it Pac Man???

As we made our way back in, it was clear that Tim and GLOC didn’t want to get out…

Bottom Time: 58 minutes
Max. Depth: 41′
Water Temp.: 37F

Yes… That was fun!

 

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013 ~ 

GUE Ontario Presents: Gareth Lock – Just & Safety Cultures presentation, chez nous. A bunch of GUE Ontario members came over, each brought some food and drink, to make it a pot luck, and Gareth spoke for about two hours (including questions and some discussion).

It was an absolutely fantastic presentation, and we all walked away with more knowledge, and a little more thought into applying some of this into our every day diving. I know all enjoyed it.

We thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule, to come and shed some light with your work! Please come back soon!

We didn’t have very much time with GLOC after the presentation, and we had to rush him off to the airport, again. Perhaps one of these days, we can come and visit you, over the pond!

If you have an hour to spare, it is definitely worth the time to tune into the below presentation, of Gareth’s (recorded from another venue).

Thanks again, Gareth!!!!!!!





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…

Eric…

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!