Rollin’ Up And Down The River…

23 06 2014

Saturday, June 21st, 2014 ~

Since Steve and I were the only team available for the initial Project Baseline: St. Lawrence River – Canada dive, we decided to do a bit of a dive, before our station-seeking, on the Gaskin.

We brought our scooters and a camera along, and went for a ride!

We scootered upstream, and before we dropped into the channel, we played around, and took some pictures…
(Pics of me, taken by Steve; Pics of Steve, taken by me – Nikon D200 – playing with strobes)

 

After our “photo session,” we dropped into the channel, and looked for anything “neat,” that we could find!

We did come across many burned planks of wood, that could very well have come from a couple of the wrecks, from the War of 1812. We know that they were burned at the water line, in the area.

Also along the path of wreckage…

More burned wood…

There was a lot of debris along the path that we took, and we are happy that we had the camera along, to take some pics of it.

Once we started to make our way back up to the Gaskin, we readied for our initial Project Baseline: St. Lawrence River – Canada dive. Details of that dive, are in the entry, before this one – found, HERE!

 

Bow of the Gaskin…

If you would like more information on Project Baseline, and how to get involved, in your own community, you can find information HERE!

Doing a little deco, at 30’…

…and a little more deco, at 20′!

Bottom Time: 3 hours, 12 mins.
Max. Depth: 107′
Water Temp.: 60F
Vis.: 5′ to 20′ – milky

I did get a little chilly, near the end of the dive, but it was absolutely wonderful, to be playing out in the channel, again!

 





A Bit Of Fundies Fun-Days

8 06 2014

Over the last couple of weekends, I have been with Steve, during his Fundamentals courses.

One course was a four day straight course, where I tagged along, while Steve and an intern were hard at work. I did help out, taking video of the dives, as well as installing the smb in the water (I know… tough work!). 🙂

Saturday, May 31st & Sunday, June 1st, 2014 ~

Field drills…

Team debrief. Notice my handy SMB work, to the left…

Exiting the water…

Day 1

Bottom Time: 58 mins.
Max. Depth: 36′
Water Temp.: 47-50F (depending on where you were)
Vis.: Not terribly great, thanks to some of the divers that swam through our perimeter, silting it out. Milky.

Day 2

Bottom Time: 56 mins.
Max. Depth: 33′
Water Temp.: 47-50F (depending on where you were)
Vis.: Not exceptional, but manageable – milky.

Good lookin’ crew!

Sunday, June 8th, 2014 ~ Course #2!

Une course en Français… mostly. 🙂

This was the first weekend of a split weekend course. I wasn’t there for Day 1 of the course, but was ready, willing, and able, for Day 2!

Field drills

We went in for dives 2 and 3. I showed off my smb skills, once again.

Pic taken by Adam Kulczycki…

Frankie had the camera, so I hovered, reached my valves, practiced some finning techniques, as the students did, and enjoyed the water.

We surfaced, debriefed for a bit, then went down for dive 3. S-Drills aplenty, and more finning! After this debrief, Frankie and I descended to get the SMB, then swam to the shallows, while the team was practicing reaching their valves. A good day of learning and practice!

Bottom Time (Total): 1 hour, 4 mins.
Max. Depth: 34′
Water Temp.: 50-51F
Vis.: Better than last week

Another great team!

As we were packing up, I noticed a dragonfly on my chair. He did not want to get up, so I got a bit of a closer look. It seems that he was showing me his valve drill…

 





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. 😛

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…

Eric…

Christian…

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! 😛 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! 😛

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.”

Freedom

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!

Ninja!

…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!

CASM

and

AIDA

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.





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!