2011 – A Year Of Friends and Adventure!

1 01 2012

This year has been another wonderful adventure, and we were blessed with some really amazing new and existing friendships.

We usually do a New Year’s Day dive, which we did, but it ended up being on the 2nd, instead of the 1st. There was not much snow on the ground, and the quarry was still open!

It did not take long for the quarry to freeze, and Ice Diving Goodness Season was upon us. I was very fortunate, to be able to test the DUI Heated Undergarment, too!

Then there was the release of the movie, Sanctum. A group of us went to see it, on its second night of showing, and decided to do a parody of it, the following day. We had quite a bit of fun, filming Sanked ‘Em. There were so many tears of laughter had, and thoughts of a sequel. Thanks to Chris Phinney, for his handy dandy camera work, and editing while being a passenger, on the way back home!

Then… Jacob came to visit, and try this ice diving thing! He was just in time, as this was the last weekend of an ice-covered quarry!

We were even able to take him down to the river, for some Scootering Goodness!

John Bailey got a bad ass tattoo!

We also hosted a GUE Meet ‘N’ Greet, which brought some new faces, and shared some information about GUE.

Andy and I, at the quarry!

Fred and Angelica came to town, too. It was really great to be able to share some of our dive sites with Fred, and to spend some time with both of them!

Raphael, Denis, Mick, and Mark came up for a visit too, and we went out for some St. Lawrence River diving!

We spent some more time doing some exploring, in the St. Lawrence River. We did some nice three hour dives, with our scooters.

Becky and I had threatened on many occasions to go diving together, and did not seem to be able to coordinate. Then the stars aligned, and Becky came up to dive with us! We had a blast!

I could have sworn that I saw David on one of the dives…

Becky took some shots of us, too (Below pics by Becky Kagan Schott)…

We then had the 2011 Brockville Canadian Invasion. This was the biggest group to date (50 people), and everyone was just absolutely wonderful. Thanks to all for being so wonderful!

I was also very fortunate to get one of the first Light Monkey wings, in which I started diving at the Invasion. This is a really nice wing, in which I have tried a few different tank combinations with.

*Thumbs up!* Thank  you, Light Monkey!

Forest Rothchild did a write-up of his thoughts on the Invasion. Thank you, Forest!

Forest’s Write-Up

More pics from the Brockville Invasion…

Then came the Kingston Invasion, which was smaller this year, but still much fun!

After the Invasions, we were finally able to meet Heleen and Sander, who came to visit us from Holland. They had been to Alberta for a week, before seeing us, then we took them out for some dives, and to see the infamous plane! We had been looking forward to meeting them for a few years, and the time finally came! w00t!!!

Here are Heleen’s videos, from the Quarry, Kinghorn and the Back Mine!



I then took a trip to Seattle, while Steve left for his RB80 training, where I met some of the coolest kids on the block, and the “AGGAST” sisters were born! Leg Number One of the AGGAST (All Girls GUE All Star Team) sisters world adventures. This was the first time I had been in salt water, since before I had any GUE training. That is, apart from below the halocline… 😛 What an amazing place to dive, and a really fantastic GUE community. I can see why people love diving here! There are octos and wolf eels, and so much life! Anyone hiring in Seattle?

We even witnessed an octopus riding a wolf eel!

Laurynn’s video of the underwater rodeo!

My videos of Keystone Jetty (GUE day) and the Day Island Wall…

When Steve got back from his RB80 training, he hit the water with Blake and Steve S.

I ventured out with some other friends, too.

At the end of October, a group of us headed down to Mexico, for two weeks of Cave Diving Goodness. A few were taking Cave 1, a few taking Cave 2, and a few of us just going diving! We did some absolutely amazing dives, and each day, the dives seemed to be even more amazing, topping it off with a dive at Ox Bel Ha, on our last day.

One of our favourites was going to the Boa Restriction, in Grand Cenote/Sac Actun. Gorgeous cave and a lot of fun! Another highlight was Tux Ka Paxa, where we saw Mastadon bones. Just an absolutely incredible trip! That is, when we finally got there, and finally got our rental car. 😉 We even saw a Puma cross a jungle road, but still no “Tadantulas.” Well.. at least Steve and I didn’t see one. It seems everyone else did!

Me, in Dos Ojos…

Back to Canada, we went, where the water was significantly chillier than in the Mexico cavezzz… We still managed over an hour on the triggers!

Throughout the year, we made a couple more attempts at finding that darn truck, including the beginning of December.

We still haven’t found that thing, which brings us to the end of four years of looking for it. I think the other people that have seen it are photoshopping it into their pictures. Either that, or they move it, every time we go looking for it! 😀 Maybe next year! At least I got my new Santi undergarments in time for winter diving!

That brings us full circle, preparing for our season of winter ice diving. We recently went out to the quarry, to put in some “permanent lines,” for easier ice diving reference!

In between all of these adventures were also Fundamentals classes, in which Steve was teaching, and I was helping. Allan came up to intern, too!

I also had two photos chosen by National Geographic, in their Daily Dozen. At least one of them was supposed to have made it into the magazine, but I have no idea which issue. Two of them were made into Nat Geo wallpaper downloads. Thank you, Nat Geo! w00t!

A Year In Video…

If Steve and I have half of the adventures in 2012, that we had in 2011, we will be very lucky! *Cheers* to happy and safe Diving Goodness in 2012! Let the planning begin!!

Hola Amigos!

7 06 2011

Monday, May 30th, 2011 ~

Yippee! Fred and Angelica were in town! We decided to head to a Vietnamese restaurant for some delicious cuisine and some great chats. We ended up talking for quite a while, and with the restaurant’s closing time at 9pm, we  realized we were a little over our time. Time to go back to our casa for a tour, a beverage, and some more hang time. 🙂 

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2011 ~

We were a little behind schedule, thanks to some gnarly construction on the 416, but we were on our way to Centeen, where we were meeting Mike, Michel, and our special guest star, Fred! When we finally got there, we put our gear together for some Diving Goodness!

Fred, in the background, putting his fins together…

It was nearing dusk as we got into the water, which we knew was going to turn into a night dive. Sweet!

Gear checks, dive plan, and away we went. We hit the trigger, heading upstream, then dropped into the channel at the park bench. The visibility was pretty stinky on the way out, but it did get better as we hit the channel, apart from the darkness. 

Our plan was to bring us back to the Gaskin, where we did a couple of passes over and through, before heading back in. It had been a while since Steve and I had done a night dive here, and everything did look so different. Especially not being able to see farther than your light would shine. It was alot of fun! Fred even stayed warm in our “frigid” waters! 😛

 Bottom Time ~ 78 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 94′
Water Temp. ~ 55F
Vis. ~ Stinky, until we got a bit deeper into the channel

After the dive – Michel, Fred, Steve, Mike…

After we packed up, we had to do the Canadian thing, and hit Tim Horton’s. Fred went to pick up Angelica, and we met for something to eat. Before we knew it, it was 1 am on a “school night!” Time flies when you’re having fun. 🙂

Fred and Angelica.. Now THAT’S Canadian!

Fred, Me, Steve…

Sunday, June 5th, 2011 ~

I requested the day off of my Fundies Filming duties that I had been on on Saturday, and was able to join Fred and Jen for some more Goodness in the River, Sunday! We met at Jeff’s, and since there was a charter heading out to the Kinghorn, we were able to hop on it with our scooters, and scooter back in to shore. Angelica came with us on the boat too! We did our gear checks on the boat, as there is usually a nice surface current here. We jumped in, tied onto our “turbos,” and down we went. It has been a while since I have taken a boat here, but since it is high boating season, diving off of the dock is not permitted until the late fall. So, it was jump in off of the boat, and scooter back, getting back onto the boat as we get back in.

As we got to the wreck of the Kinghorn, we drifted along the top of the deck, to show Fred the wreck, then went for a tour inside, taking time to look at everything. We did another tour around the outside of the wreck, then came back around the starboard side, where we picked up the line, heading back. Along the way, we saw a few really large carp! I came upon a rather large crayfish, and played with him a little. As he scurried backwards, Fred got behind him. As he was going to greet him, I signaled to Fred to look behind him… An extremly large carp was sneaking around us. Jen also saw quite a few of her “little guys” along the way, and showed them to Fred.

Bottom Time ~ 48 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 91′
Water Temp. ~ 55F
Vis. ~ Not bad at all!

Jen, Fred, and I, taken by Angelica!

After packing up, the four of us went for a nice lunch at the Boathouse Restaurant, overlooking the water. It was really great to see Angelica and Fred, and also getting in some fun dives. Thank you, Fred and Angelica! See you soon!

Me, Angelica, and Jen, taken by Fred!

After lunch, Jen and I lingered for a little while, then went to top the day off with some dessert!


Jodrey Jodrey

21 06 2010

Saturday, June 19th, 2010 ~

Some of our US friends were visiting for the weekend, and we were slated to dive the Jodrey on both Saturday and Sunday. We loaded up the van, and met the gang at Jeff’s, for Diving Goodness!

Steve, Kevin, and Jay teamed up, as did Chris, Ed, and Piotr, then Sean and I.

Chris, Ed, and Piotr…

Sean, playing boat captain…

Me, being a completely silly git.. and with the “1” in the right place, added by Chris.

I’m lovin’ Ed’s shoes…

Sean and I dropped down to the bow, then went around to the starboard side. We saw alot of things that we had not seen before, and really enjoyed our dive. We stayed on the starboard side for the remainder of our dive, then made our way back home. A very nice and relaxing dive. Thanks, Sean!

Bottom Time ~ 62 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 166′
Water Temp. ~ 60

Our gear, under the boat…

Steve, Jay, and Kevin, after their dive to the engine room…

How many Gavins does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A short video, taken by Piotr, at our 20′ stop!


Sunday, June 20th, 2010 ~

Well, today started out to be a great day. We loaded up the boat once again, and had another day of Jodrey Goodness planned. Jay and Kevin weren’t out today, so Steve was going to join Sean and I.

Piotr, posing with his fancy new badge…

Happy Father’s Day to Sean and Chris!

Once we got to the mooring tree, we tied in, put our bottles and scooters in, and in we went. We did our predive checks and headed down the wall. The current was a little bit stronger than the previous day, but it wasn’t unmanageable on the wreck.

We headed down to the bow, peeked through to the bathroom, near the crew’s quarters, swam down and around the crane, and saw some pretty cool stuff. What an awesome dive!

Bottom Time ~ 66 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 187′
Water Temp. ~ 60

Jeff lowered my camera down to me, during our 20′ stop, so I took a few shots.

I handed my camera over to Steve, and he took one of me too…

A fish that seemed pretty interested in what I was doing…

This turned out to be one of those days, where sometimes not everything goes as planned. It was a day where it was proven that team work is priceless, and buddy choices were golden.

Chris, Piotr, and Ed… I’d dive with you guys any day of the week. 🙂

Back To The Rivaa ~ Rockport

12 04 2010

Saturday, April 10th, 2010 ~

Steve, Jay, and I got a taste of scootering the river last weekend, and decided to go back for more. We met in Rockport, at Jeff’s dock, and it was good to see Jeff back from school. Only two more months until he’s back from commercial scuba school. Jay brought Lloyd down, for some fun in the sun too.

Jeff had his small boat in the water, and some folks had already taken a charter out to the Jodrey. There were some other charters that probably weren’t going out that day…

I decided to bring the camera along, as I have only had it in the river a couple of times, and need practice. We had our scooters with us as well, but I wanted to try clipping it off, instead of using the scooter mount.

We geared up, and in we went. The water was pretty green, so quality shots were tough to get.

We scootered out past the Kinghorn, then travelled a bit south east, where we found what looked like a couple of car frames.

Jay, with the car frames…

The ground was quite silty, and would stir up very easily, when a fish scurried off, or a crayfish jumped back into his house. We found some pretty interesting things along the way. There was a giant structure that we found, that looked like it was some kind of mega-fire pit. I was getting ready to take a picture of it, when I kicked up some algae, and ruined the shot. Doh!

Steve took a picture of me…

Jay and Steve…

We scootered about for a while, checking out things we hadn’t seen before, and there were an incredible amount of crayfish.

When we came back into the shallows, it was much better picture taking. We dumped our gear, and had some fun.

Jay, before dumping gear…


Jay, with dinner…

Steve, eating some… (no, not really)…

This little fellow stole his buddy’s house. His buddy was not very happy, and stuck a pincer in after him, with his bum curled under him…

We surfaced with grins, which is not unusual after diving goodness in the river!

Bottom Time ~ 68 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 110′
Water Temp. ~ 42

Ahoy To The Kinghorn

21 10 2009

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009 ~

Since my other half was working, Andy and I decided to take a run out to the Kinghorn, with his fancy new Mini G. He was hoping that the last challenge of weighting was exactly that… the last challenge.

We stopped at Caiger’s, to see if we could meet up with Yasuko, who was on a charter that day, but they had not come in yet, so back to Jeff’s we went. We took our sweet time getting ready, as it was a gorgeous day, and we decided to have a bit of a snack before diving.

Ok.. enough snacking.. time to dive. Another two buddy teams surfaced before we got in, and said the visibility was improving. Andy and I got in, did our predive checks, and noticed some funky black clouds over the river. We got through our checks, and headed out. As we followed the line out, I could feel water coming in through my neck seal. I knew I needed to replace it, but I was hoping to get a few more dives out of it. I guess this was it.

I knew it was going to be a short dive, and that it would be me that called it, but I figured we could at least get to the wreck. We came upon the bow of the Kinghorn, paid respects to Doug’s plaque, then made our way down to the stern. Ok… time to call it… I had already communicated to Andy, that my neck seal was pooched, so he was waiting for my call. As we swam over the deck, we came upon one of the holds. We looked at each other, smiled, and down we went. We had to swim that way anyway, we may as well go in. You know… since we’re there and all. 🙂 We swam inside, checked out the artifacts, then made our way back up and back to the line.

We saw some pretty big carp on the dive, as well as a couple of pike. Although it was a short dive, it was still alot of fun. I’m sure the bruise on my shin will heal quickly…lol.

Bottom Time ~ 37 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 91′
Water Temp. ~ 60/61
Visibility ~ 35′ – 30′

When we got out, I had received a text from Yasuko, so we ended up seeing her after all!