Two Days On The Jodrey

8 10 2009

Saturday, September 12th, 2009 ~

Steve and I had prepacked the DGTU #2 on Friday night, and were ready to head down to the river. We bid a good morning to Mer, who was going down to the river for some scootering goodness, and away we went. Once we got there, we met up with friends from the east, and some friends from the good ol’ US of A, for a trip out to the Jodrey!

Our friends, Becky and David were tying the knot today, so we decided to congratulate them from afar!

Me…

Jeff P….

We loaded up the Shaleka J, and headed out towards customs.

Claudia, Sean, and I were diving together today, Kevin and Steve were headed to the Engine Room, and Ron, Ed, and Chris were also diving together.

We got through customs, and made our way over to the mooring tree. We had all geared up, and had to have a couple of Animal Crackers, that Chris so generously shared.

Since Kevin and Steve had a longer run time than the rest of us, they splashed in first. Their mission today, was to go into the Engine Room, and plan to bring the camera the following day.

Chris and Ed ready to go…

Then Sean, Claudia, and I splashed in, and descended down to the wreck. Or… so the plan was… When we reached 140′, we realized that we were in a different spot, and did not see the crow’s nest. We descended a little more, and decided to hit the trigger. We scootered alongside the wall, with no wreck in site, so we turned around and headed back. Ohh… look! A wreck!! *Phew!* Judging by the time that we had gone out and back, we realized that we had descended beside the hull, and being in complete darkness (lights didn’t do much there), we did not see it. Oh well… here we were.

We swam around the bow, and did a tour of the wheelhouse, before it was time to turn around. We made our way up the wall, and had a nice, relaxing deco… until we got back around the boat. The current was screaming there, and Claudia’s borrowed scooter wasn’t cooperating. We managed to make it back to the boat, and chilled in the shallows for a bit. Oh… not without some more congratulations…

Then, of course, the Kool Aid shots…

Once everyone was back aboard, we headed for the dock, and went for dinner. The kind folks at Boston Pizza donated a pizza to our cause, which was very much appreciated!

Sunday, September 13th, 2009 ~

Another day, and another trip out to the Jodrey. Kevin and Steve took some video footage of the Engine Room.



It was a fantastic day out on the river, and we even had a rasta friend aboard…

Some shots from the day…

A couple of happy Engine Room fellas…

Special thanks for all of the Scuba Snacks too!

When we got back to the shop, Jeff showed us his new Commercial Diving rig, for his upcoming course!

We had alot of fun in the sun, and really, there’s only one way to sum it up…





Another Dive On The Freighter

30 08 2009

Saturday, August 29th, 2009 ~

Six of us headed to Rockport, and loaded up Shaleka J with our gear and scooters, for another ride to the Jodrey. Upon bringing our gear down, we noticed a spider, about the size of a baseball…

Kevin and Steve were going to do some investigating, Jay and Jeremy teamed up to explore, and Jen and I paired up once again. We did our predive checks, and away we went.

Jeff and Jen… on the way out…

Jeremy and Steve…

Kevin…

Jen and I descended alongside the wall, and came upon the port side of the wheelhouse, where there is normally a screaming current, that tries to flip your feet over your head, as it makes its way over the port side railing. Today, there was nothing… zilch… nada… no current there at all. Despite our confusion of the matter, we took advantage of the situation, and swam around that area. We checked out the holes that we normally get swooshed past. The aft side of the wheelhouse did have a screaming current, so we made our way over to the crane, where we checked out a few other doors and windows.

We made our ascent, and did our usual playing with the fish on deco.

A very fun dive!

Max. Depth ~ 176′
Bottom Time ~ 64 mins.
Water Temp. ~ 73
Visibility ~ 25′

Jay, after his dive…

Kevin and Jay…

Jen…

We waited for Steve and Kevin to surface, as they were headed to the Engine Room today!

Jen and I jumped in for some fun while we waited…

It seemed that we had some company too…

Jeff made a call to the US Coast Guard, who came down the hill with another nice looking dog, and picked him up. Apparently, he is deaf, and belongs to the US Coast Guard.

The fellas were successful in finding the correct entrance to the engine room, and were taking the camera on the next venture out!

Self portrait…

When we got back to the dock, we were greeted by Andy, who was there to say hello, and to see Steve about a machine. 😀

Before heading out for our tradition of a post dive meal, Jeff showed us his new rig!

Another great time was had by all, and we were all looking forward to the footage that Kevin and Steve would gather on their next dive to the Engine Room!





Canadian Invasion ~ Brockville Edition

20 08 2009

Friday, August 7th, 2009 ~

I had packed the van the previous night, so that I was ready to roll in the morning. This was going to be the first weekend of the two Canadian Invasions, and we were meeting at the Bridge Island Resort, in Mallorytown.

When I arrived, there were already folks convening and getting gear ready!

Eric V. and Frankie…

Pickens…

Brent…

Bob P….

Randy…

Stephanie…

Piotr…

Andy…

Jamie and Rod…

Hmm.. it seems Chris was able to avoid the camera…

We organized the convoy, and went over to Rockport Dive Centre, to see Jeff. There were 13 of us to dive, which was a bit many for the Shaleka J, so 5 of us were going to scooter out to the wreck!

Chris M., getting ready to scooter (got him this time)…

Bob P., getting ready on the boat!

I had never navigated this dive from shore before, and was looking forward to the adventure! We dropped down, found the line, and headed out. Chris, Piotr, and I were in the lead, with Francois and Eric behind us. Frankie also brought his HD video camera. We got to the end of the line, and didn’t see anything. The visibility wasn’t that great, so we moved forward a little bit more, taking a bearing off of the line. That didn’t work. We went back to the line, and I looked to the right… Ohh.. look at that.. a big bow in the murk. I signaled to my team mates, and around the wreck we went. We saw the boat divers on the wreck as well, and I managed to give a couple of high fives to a bunch of people. We went inside for a bit, then came back out and headed back. What a fun dive!

Bottom Time ~ 54 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 92′
Water Temp. ~ 71
Vis. ~ Stinky

We broke for lunch, and went over to the Boathouse Restaurant. Notice Andy got in both pictures.. 😀

What would an Invasion be without stacking things??

After lunch, we headed back over to Jeff’s for a second run out to the Kinghorn. Chris was sitting this one out, so I took his scooter. Piotr and I teamed up, and Frankie and Eric were a team, once again.

We followed the line out again, but were able to get to the wreck in one this time…lol. We had a leisurely swim around the wreck, greeted some of the other divers, and went back in.

Bottom Time ~ 50 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 94′
Water Temp. ~ 71
Vis. ~ Still Stinky

We headed back to the Bridge Island to meet up with more arriving folk, then went over to the Boathouse again, for a party!

Everyone had arrived, once we got to the Boathouse, and there were so many of us, that we had to line up tables in two rows. We laughed and had a great time, even though Mr. Karaoke Man didn’t get there. Oh well… I can sing without music.

Saturday, August 8th, 2009 ~

We had four boats for the entire group: Two boats of Wayne’s and 1000 Islands Pleasure Diving, leaving out of Caiger’s, and two boats of Jeff’s, leaving from Rockport Dive Centre. We were all heading to the Keystorm, as the Poker Run was going on again, and we were limited to which wrecks we could do. It’s better to stay out of the channel with speeding boats nearby. Apparently, every dive boat in the water, was also headed for the Keystorm. It was going to be one busy day on that wreck.

Steve and I, playing around…

Cap’n. Jeff!

Steve and I were buddied up, and Chris, Piotr, and Jen were joining us as a group. Steve had the video camera, and he and I pointed the scooters down on the hull side, and down we went. We stopped at about the 85′ mark, and went underneath the wreck, to wait for the second gang. Steve filmed them coming down. It was kind of fun to have the scooters on this wreck, as we have always just swam this one. We did a tour down by the props, waved to our other friends, then played around in the cargo holds. We then followed the wall around for a bit, but didn’t see much of anything but wet rock. Coming back, we were right on the anchor. Alot of fun!

Bottom Time ~ 44 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 111′
Water Temp. ~ 71
Vis. ~ 20′ ish

In between dives, Steve and Mer went over to investigate the other group’s boats!

There are always the Kool Aid shots…

Steve, playing in the water…

The Poker Run was going on again, and since there were fewer boats than last year, it really wasn’t so bad. I caught a picture of one little boat in the air.

Oh.. what’s that? A police boat! I need a picture of them…

Um.. no, I didn’t mean for you to come over…

They were pretty friendly, and just checking up on us, to make sure that the speedy boats were cooperating.

Once we were all back on board, we headed back to shore, picked up a few goodies, and convened for some BBQ goodness! We had giant steaks and chicken (thanks to Jen for bringing the meat), potato salad, chips galore, a draw for some prizes (thanks to Rockport Dive Centre and Dive Tech for the donations), and plenty more laughs. Thanks to Pickens for his master cookery on the BBQ too!

Sunday, August 9th, 2009 ~

Today, we were on different runs. Wayne’s boats headed out to the Vickery, then to do a drift dive, and Jeff’s boats were headed off to the Jodrey.

Junior was overseeing the plans…

We tied up to the mooring tree, and prepared for our dive. Chris was a bit under the weather, so Piotr was going to join Jen and I.

We did our predive checks, then drifted to our descent spot. Once we got to the edge of the wall, down we went. It seemed that the current was an extra bit strong today, so on the way down, it felt like we were being carried over a bit. When we got down to 140′, we didn’t see the wreck. We descended a little more, then realized that we were definitely in the wrong spot. I could have sworn that the current had taken us farther past, so I figured we should go a bit west. We scootered along the wall, until we hit even stronger, screaming current, and I realized that we were on the wrong side of the wreck. The current gets even stronger, heading out near the channel, so we turned around, and got a bit more shallow. We scootered for a couple of minutes, then voila!! We were on the wreck! Judging by the distance that we travelled back and forth, we had to have been right at the hull, when we descended. Since it’s quite dark, and you don’t have any ambient light at the hull, neither of us knew that we actually were right beside the wreck. So… we didn’t actually get to spend much time on the wreck, and I have to take alot of that responsibility. I could actually blame it on Chris, on the boat, as just before the dive, he said to Piotr, “Just follow Chan. She knows where she’s going.”

Right.. famous last words! Lol.. well.. it was still an interesting experience, and we still did have alot of fun! Scootering in mid water at depth was actually a really cool experience. I guess the next case of Kool Aid is on me! Oh wait.. I did bring the Kool Aid… good call.

When we returned to shore, we packed up and headed back over to the Family Restaurant, to meet a bunch of the gang from Wayne’s boats, before everyone departed. Becki had the best napkins…rofl.

We shared our stories from the weekend’s dives, shared even more laughter, and enjoyed each other’s company.

It was really amazing to see alot of friends from last year, and we also made some new ones. Last year’s group was 18 people, and this year, we grew to 28, and two different weekends, in two different towns/cities. What an awesome group of people. I can’t wait until next year!





August Long Weekend!

19 08 2009

Saturday, August 1st, 2009 ~

Steve and I ventured down to meet Jen and Jay at Centeen Park. Today, we were going to scooter out past the wall, drop into the channel, and drift away. When we arrived there, it was so busy, that we had to park farther away than we knew there was parking for.

We brought our gear down, and noticed a new friend in the park…

Apparently, the town of Brockville put him there, to deter the geese from playing in the grass. There sure are alot of goose bombs everywhere.

We entered the water, discussed the plan, and away we went.

Once we made it to the drop off, we descended and made our way out on a different path. We saw so much wreckage that we had not seen before, and some that we had as well. There were bottles galore, and pieces of ship machinery scattered just about everywhere.

We didn’t drift onto the Gaskin this time, but carried on past it, looking at other cool things. We eventually made our way back into the basin at Centeen Park, where we played in the shallows for a while.

Bottom Time ~ 130 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 100′
Water Temp. ~ 71

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009 ~

Woo Hoo! Another trip to the Jodrey! A bunch of us went out with Jeff, and planned for another goodly dive on the massive wreck. Jen and I were teamed up, Oren and Sean were Team Grey, and Steve joined Jeremy. We also had Andy aboard as a Bubble Watcher!

We went through customs, and made our way to the mooring tree. Steve was anchor man, once again!

Getting ready for the dive…

The currents were a bit odd this time around. There seemed to be back eddys galore, and very strong currents. We were a bit slower than usual descending, and ended up on the port side of the wheelhouse…. where the current is rather nasty on a good day. We were happy to have our scooters with us, that’s for sure. We headed back over to the center, where you are sheltered from the current, and started our tour. We investigated some areas that we hadn’t been to before, and peeked in some more crevices. Alas, we had reached our bottom time, and made the trip back up. Our deco was relaxing, and I had to giggle at Jen’s goby feeding. We finished our deco, and scootered back around to the boat. We hung around on the surface for a while, ditched our tanks, then jumped back in to relax in the water.

Some pics on the ride back…

I swear… that crayfish was THIS BIG!

When we got back to the dock, we waited for customs to clear us, then headed over to the Family Restaurant.

We saw this treat in the parking lot…

Another excellent day!

Monday, August 3rd, 2009 ~

Four of us headed to Cornwall, where we were going to check out the Paper Factory Basement. The current is always stronger in this part of the river, and scooters are a wonderful tool in this environment.

We made our way out of the public dock area, and went for a line search. Once we located it, we headed towards the Basement. I was thankful for the warmer water, as I had a leaky neck seal, and was pretty soaked. We made it to the basement structure, and Steve was communicating to me, on how to find the entrance. I gave the “ok,” and we proceeded…. um… “Uh ohhh…” I took my hand off of the trigger, but my scooter was still going. I gave it a couple of love taps, to see if it was jammed, or if there was something stuck in it. Nope.. pft…

I signaled to Steve, and he came over. I pointed at the trigger, and while he looked, it took him a second to realize that I wasn’t holding it. “DOH!” There wasn’t much we could do, except for pull out the thumb.

Since the scooter was still moving, we opted to keep it going. We were headed back against the current, and any extra scooter power is appreciated. Jay had my little 18ah attached to his butt, so at least I had back up, should I need it.

We went for about 15 minutes, and Steve asked me if I wanted to switch scooters with him. I figured he’d probably handle it better, once we got to the shallows, so I was happy to oblige. Since the current was ripping, I was able to anchor the scooter, and pull it back, so Steve could unclip it. He clipped his 26ah to me, and took the 35ah. It was a pretty smooth transfer! He also tried knocking it a bit, to see if he could unjam it, to no avail. Then.. out came the palm. Ohhhh… this was gonna hurt… One tap… nothing… Two taps… there she goes… He clipped the scooter to his butt, and took my little 18ah from Jay’s butt, and in we went, dodging the weeds, near shore.

Bottom Time ~ 80 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 50′
Water Temp. ~ 72
Current ~ Rippin’!
Vis. ~ 20′

When we got out, we had a look inside. It seems that there was a loose terminal, that caused it to overheat, and fuse the wires together, sticking it on.

So with the smell of burnt wires in the back, we ventured to Kelsey’s for some grub and laughs. Although we had a kick in the butt end to the weekend, it was still fun to hang out with friends, and do some cool diving.

I guess the Basement will have to wait!





St. Lawrence Adventures

24 07 2009

Saturday, July 11th, 2009 ~

Since my other half had to work, I headed down to the river to meet Claudia, for some River goodness! Our plan was to swim out to the Gaskin in the morning, then meet Steve and Andy later on, for more diving goodness.

Claudia and I met at Centeen Park, geared up, and in we went. We dropped down to 15′, did our bubble checks, then headed down the pipe. We reached the end of the pipe, and did not see the “STOP” sign, as the visibility was pretty crappy. We reached the big square rock pile, then turned back to the east a bit, in hopes of finding the line.

We were in luck! We came upon the line, and managed to make out the back of the stop sign. We headed out toward the wreck. The current was pretty light here, so following the line out was not difficult at all. Once we got to the little boat ahead of the Gaskin, the current really picked up, and we had to give a little extra “umph” to our kicks. Wow… the visibility really went to the birds here… or, shall I say to the fish.

We reached the end of the line, and still could not see the wreck, that sat right in front of us. Claudia looked at me, and wondered why the line ended, so I motioned for her to keep going forward. The visibility was that bad, that we couldn’t see the big bow, right in front of us.

We were on top of the giant anchor, that lay against the wreck, and still couldn’t see it. There appeared to be a bunch of people on the wreck, from a charter above, and I motioned for Claudia to come towards me, as there was one of them about to land on her. We hovered there for a moment, to see if the silt would settle, but it only seemed to get worse. We watched the diver land in the silt, and just stand there. Yes… he stood there. We wondered if the vis would be any better inside the wreck, so we ascended to the large hole in the side, and I went in first. Claudia followed right behind me, and I could see her light. I was “blessed” with a wall of absolutely zero visibility, so I turned around and showed Claudia my thumb. This was ridiculous. We turned around, and as Claudia made her way out, there was a gang of single tank divers that were attempting to follow us. The moved out of the way, let us pass, and we headed out of dodge. We had a relaxing swim back, as we had help from the current, and we both giggled as Claudia signalled to me that she wanted lunch. Me too! This swimming stuff is hard work! Lol…

We made it back to the break wall, and I saw something bright and pink, that I just had to pick up. It was a pink head band, and I thought it must have looked quite nice, perched on top of my hood. We kept swimming in the basin of the park, and we saw yet another head band. This one was bright yellow, and fit nicely over top of Claudia’s hood. We were quite a team now. We giggled, and ascended back to the entry point. Although the visibility was horrible, we still had a fun time, and got to play around in the water.

Bottom Time ~ 65 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 60′
Water Temp. ~ 66
Visibility ~ Um.. yeah.. right

A couple of pictures, showing off our fancy head bands…

Oh, and the Kool Aid shot…

Since we were going for a second dive, and were running a bit behind, we packed up and headed over to meet Steve and Andy, while still wearing our drysuits.

We met them, and headed on over to Rockport. Along the way, we stopped at the side of the road, to show Claudia and Andy Island 99/Teapot Island. We took a few pictures, and headed over to see our friend, Jeff.

Jeff showed us a compass that he had purchased from an antique show, that was pretty awesome…

We decided to head out to the Kinghorn.

The visibility was much better than at the Gaskin, so we were happy about that! We did a few turns of the wreck, checked out the holds, and headed back. We had a wonderful dive!

Bottom Time ~ 51 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 92′
Water Temp. ~ 66
Visibility ~ 35′

Once we got back in, we headed over to the Family Restaurant, where we had some grub, and I just had to indulge in the cherry pie, which was fresh out of the oven. This place has the best cherry pie anywhere!

Sunday, July 12th, 2009 ~

Claudia, Steve, and I had planned on a scooter run out of Centeen Park, while Andy was going to set up some of his new stuff on his gear. Zi was also coming to meet us for our second dive of the day, and was there a bit early.

The three of us headed out past the wall, then dropped down into the channel, where Steve led us straight to a little wreck that he had previously found, and over to the horse carriage. We drifted in the channel for a bit, then back over to the Gaskin. We went through it once, then came back in. At least Claudia got to see some of it this time!

We brought the scooters back in, had a snack and some water, then got back in with Andy and Zi. Claudia had a bit of a drive ahead of her, so she made her way out.

I decided to take my camera out on this dive, and see what I could come out with.

We decided to head east from the entrance, and do a nice, relaxing swimming dive. Again, the visibility wasn’t all that great, but I managed to get a few alright shots. The camera made it look better than it actually was.

Self Portrait…

We saw alot of things that we hadn’t seen before as well.

Andy, and the “Maple Leaf” wheelchair…

Steve, lighting up a tube filled with fish…

Andy, Steve, and Zi…

Zi…

Andy… doing fantastic, my friend!

Yet another self portrait…

On the way back in, the current seemed to get quite a bit stronger, and we made our way in, against it. We also met up with some of the local residents…

On the surface…

Andy got a picture of me, too!

Bottom Time ~ 58 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 35′
Water Temp. ~ 67
Visibility ~ 10′ – 15′

Andy brought along some cold Cherry Coke, which I had not tried before. Holy moses, was it good. Mind you, I also gave him some Ketchup chips, that he had not had before, and got him a little hooked too.

Thanks to all of our friends that made such far drives to come and dive with us. It really is alot of fun to dive with everyone, and build new adventures.