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…

 

 





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…





Another Day At Mo’s Quarry – Camera Day!

29 09 2013

Saturday, September 28th, 2013 ~

We met David J. at the quarry, with Hugh, so that Dave could do his Fundies Rec to Tech upgrade, which went really well! We also did some rescues, which were a lot of fun.

Congratulations, Dave! You have worked very hard, and come a long way! w00t! *Clap Clap*

First Dive
Bottom Time: 51 mins.
Max. Depth: 58′
Water Temp.: 55F (below thermocline)

Second Dive (Rescues)
Bottom Time: 20 mins.
Max. Depth: 13′
Water Temp.: 64F

Steve and I had a little snack, then got back in. We recently upgraded our camera system from Tom W.’s old backup system, to the system that he had upgraded to, when he sold me his old one. We now have both generations of Tom Wilson cameras. Thank you, Tom! If I can only shoot half as decent as Tom, I will be a happy camper. This would be my first time ever using strobes, so it is a totally different ball of wax, for me! Shooting with ambient light, for the last 5 years (wow… I can’t believe it has been almost 5 years, since purchasing the Nikon D100), and switching to the Nikon D200, with…. STROBES, is going to be just a little bit different!

We got in on the far side, and we each took a couple of shots.

Me…

Steve…

We swam across the quarry, towards the plane, where we kicked on the strobes. We each took a few shots, that didn’t exactly turn out very well. We will need to work on positioning the strobes, and getting them to a good place, using a wide angle lens.

One, that turned out, of Steve…

I notice that in the above picture, my habit of using ambient light is still there. 😛

Me, in front of the boat…

Steve, in mid-water, as we made our way down to the sub…

Time to play…

I spy a Steve, hiding in the Shark Sub’s mouth!

Then, it was my turn!

Out, I come!

w00t!

We made our way back up the wall.

In this pic, it looks like I am about to do a somersault. I have no idea what I was doing, here…

Steve…

Bottom Time: 35 mins.
Max. Depth: 61′
Water Temp.: 55F

Well, there is a wide margin of improvement to be made, with regards to the camera settings, and I am really looking forward to some fun winter shots, this year!





Santi Demo Day – Morrison’s Quarry!

7 09 2013

Saturday, September 7th, 2013 ~

Today, we had Michael Gerhartz (Santi Canada) and Harvey Morash come to town, to show off some Santi Goodness!

The day was pretty grey, and there were bits of rain as the day went on, but we soldiered on!

Michael, in the tent, as we were setting up…

Steve, in his new Santi jacket!

Harvey and Steve…

Shawn and Michael…

Adam, modeling the BZ400x…

…and the E.Lite (Nice fit!)…

Going to go and try it out!

Adrian, trying on an E.Motion (all the while, I am plotting to own that red hoodie, in the background)…

Of course, I was keeping warm with a Santi vest!

Then, Adam tried the E.Motion…

Mat, sporting an E.Motion, too!

It will be Elwira’s turn for a drysuit, next year!

Lights out!

Harvey, gearing up…

Michael, gearing up…

Yes… The fellas all ditched me, and went for a splash. *Sniff* I even supplied the Maple Cookies and chocolate, and they still went diving without me!

I guess someone had to guard the fort. 😉

Steve, ready to go!

Amusing myself, while the guys went for a dive, and keeping warm in my BZ400 Santi Panties!

While the weather only half cooperated, we still did have a few people come and try on suits, and see what Santi was all about!

Thanks for coming, Michael and Harvey!

Below photo by Adam Kulczycki





Weekend Of Skillz ~ Day 2

1 09 2013

Sunday, September 1st, 2013 ~

We planned on two dives for today. The first dive, we were going to see Morrie the shark, take some pictures, and have a little fun (with all of our bottles on, of course). The second dive was reserved for more skillz.

Steve approached the unsuspecting shark, and got some rare footage! 😛

He did not want to push his luck, so Steve moved away. Morrie looked pretty hungry!

Karen and Dave both moved in for a look, but didn’t stay long, as Morrie was looking for lunch…

We let Morrie be, and headed over to the boat. Karen wanted to go for a ride…

Seeking more adventure, Karen then wanted to take the Ski-Doo out!

Ok, Ok… Time to get back down to skillzzzzz.

Back over to the plane, we went…

We did a few more valve drills and rotations, and I parked my camera out of the way of the newer OW divers, so that it wouldn’t get knocked.

Steve, in his new suit!

We then came back in for some lunch!

Bottom Time: 54 mins.
Max. Depth: 38′
Water Temp.: 66F

We even shared Maple Cookies, with Flat Laurynn…

For the second dive, Eric B joined us! Our T2 team was together! Our team name has been dubbed, “Team: I Got Nothin’.”

We went back in, and went back to bottle rotations and valve drills… bottle rotations and valve drills.

Steve, Dave, and Karen…

Dave and I…

Eric, loaded up…

Some bottles were then dropped, and it was time to go see Morrie, again…

What’s this? Morrie is trying to take my spot on the team???

I think not!

Of course, it just would not be a day of Diving Goodness, without Le Princessi coming out to play…

Bottom Time: 54 mins.
Max. Depth: 38′
Water Temp.: 66F

Fun group shot!

Team: I Got Nothin’!

From there, we went to Ha Noi Pho for some most excellent Viet cuisine, and of course… Baskin Robbins.

Two days of ice cream, in a row. I think that means more gym time, this week!