28 09 2014

Sunday, September 28th, 2014 ~

Today was going to be an adventure! Jen and Mike took us out for a cruise, launching from the Brockville public boat launch.

We put the boats in, loaded up, and away we went!

The ride out was pretty fun, in the two zodiacs. I managed to cling on, even when my butt got some air time, thanks toย  a couple of the waves. At least I had my drysuit on. ๐Ÿ˜›

We anchored in a spot upstream, and north of the wreck. We had scooters, so we didn’t mind the extra jaunt. We preferred the shelter from the ripping current! We were able to jump in, and do our gear checks, beside the channel marker, with ease. Bottles were also checked and verified. We dropped down, settled out, and scootered into the channel, where the Daryaw sits. As we made our way, my reg started to breathe a little tight. Got a breath, didn’t get a breath… I reached down, and the knob had mostly closed. I guess my AL40 deco bottle had somehow rolled it off. We had checked our bottles/gauges at the surface, and I even breathed it in the water. I know that I had turned it on. Oh, well… It’s on, now – carry on.

We reached the wreck, which is sitting upside down, and Frankie and Dany went inside. Steve and I poked around a bit, went up into the air hole (as the season progresses, and more divers are on the wreck, the air pocket gets larger). You can surface in it, but I wouldn’t recommend breathing the air, in there!

We checked out the other holds, and to stay on schedule, for our awesome sauce boat captains, Steve and I motioned to Frankie and Dany, that we needed to get our drift on! We drifted along, and decided to go up and over the south wall, to check out the other “valley.” There was a lot of neatness, there! We found a rather large anchor, a few large fish, and some very interesting rock formations. What an absolutely fantastic dive!

Eventually, we made our way back over the wall, and headed north, where we did our deco, blew an SMB, and waited for Jen and Mike to collect us. Absolutely LOVED that dive!!!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 38 mins.
Max. Depth: 91′
Water Temp.: 64F
Vis.: 25′

Wheeeeee! We made it back to the public docks, with minimal butt ejection, and waited our turn to remove the zodiacs.

As we waited, I even tasted a crab apple, right from the tree (Jen made me do it) … ๐Ÿ˜›

It was definitely a spectacular day! Diving Goodness, good friends, shipwrecks, anchors, some ripping current, and FUN! Thanks for taking us out, Jen and Mike!

Project Baseline: St. Lawrence River – Canada ~ Initial Dive

22 06 2014

Saturday, June 21st, 2014 ~

We didn’t have any GUE Ontario members that were able to join us, for the initial Project Baseline dive, so Steve and I went out in search of the best spot, for one of the stations. Our initial station will be on the bow of the Robert A. Gaskin. Our goals will be to monitor the deterioration of the wreck, as well as the water temperatures, visibility, and any obvious changes (eg. fish, eels).

The ship was originally launched in April, 1863, in Kingston, Ontario.

Since we were the only two divers, we decided to go for a scooter up the St. Lawrence River, and end up at the Gaskin, on our way back. Steve had the camera, in hand.

As we approached the Gaskin, the visibility was not the best. The camera would make it appear better than it was, but it was still tough to get shots, where the camera could focus very easily.

A few different angles:

Taken from 49’…

From above the deck, with the bow to the right…

Taken from 59’…

Water temperature: 60F (top to bottom)
Visibility: 25′ (a bit milky – camera makes it look clearer)

We have established a natural station, for the bow, and will do others on the aft starboard side, as well as the stern, where there is noticeable damage to the wreck. We did see a few small fish.

Project Baseline Dive #1 = Complete!

Three Sister Islands

17 06 2014

Sunday, June 15th, 2014 ~

While Steve was away, playing with WKPP and Suex-folk, Eric and I went out for a dip in the St. Lawrence. We went to our usual “leaving spot,” but wanted to go in a different direction.

Since we had more “go-go juice,” with the XK-1s, our plan was to go downstream, toward the Three Sister Islands, look around for a bit, then make our way back. Our max run time was going to be 2 hours, but we figured that we would have gas limitations, before that.

We went towards the Gaskin, first – we definitely saw the anchor, but the rest of the wreck was shadowed in a cloud – then made our way to the channel, where we drifted for a few minutes, then hit the triggers, along with the current. I swear, it felt like we were Superman and Jimmy, as we flew along with the current. I’m not sure who was who, but it sure was fun.

The water was a little bit higher than normal, and as we drifted along at around 100′, I’m sure that we were within spitting distance of the truck. We didn’t see it, but we knew we were close. It was hard to see anything, really, since the visibility wasn’t that great.

We made it to the islands, and we are pretty sure that we were in between the 2nd and 3rd island, as we hit a current “vortex.” The currents are strong, going through this area, and with the positioning of the islands, there are currents that wrap around them. We rode the “vortex” for a while, and as we both checked our compasses, we noticed that we were headed in the opposite direction. We had assumed that this was the case, knowing that the currents were different, here… and why we both checked direction at the same time.

We pointed tour scooters in a Northerly direction, and headed back. We were on the XK1’s full speed, for 20 minutes, as we scootered against the strong currents. I swear, it felt like I had done a serious weight-lifting workout, at the gym. That was some power! It only took us 20 minutes to get back, where it has taken us much longer, with our other scooters. Pretty impressive! We made our way up to 50′, then 40′, where we picked up the line, back to the bowl, near the entry, at around 20′.

We parked our gear at the log, and did a couple of valve drills, before coming in.

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 27 mins.
Max. Depth: 110′
Water Temp.: 59F
Vis. 10′ to 30′ (better in the channel, than near the Gaskin)

Pile o’ gear…

Eric, bringing his tanks back up…

Public Service Announcement, due to the Hydroplane races:

We were glad to be back in the River, doing some fun scooter diving! XK-1, for the win!


25 05 2014

Saturday, May 24th, 2014 ~

A long day, but a great day of Diving Goodness, in and around the St. Lawrence River.

Our morning didn’t quite go as we had planned, so we ended up being a little later than we had hoped, at the river. We met Christian, and since the water was warming up, a little, we wanted to do a little bit longer of a scooter run. Of course, as soon as we arrived, the rain started to come down like baseballs. It lightened up enough, for us to bring our gear down to the water, then started again, as we tried to gear up. We had the big white van, so Steve and I each had an end of the van, and got dressed. As soon as we were ready, the rain stopped. Of course, right?

We had an extra scooter with us, that we were testing out, after a repair, as well as the camera. I opted to take the extra scooter, while Steve took the camera. It’s been a little while since I towed another scooter (Mexico cavezzz), ย and I welcomed the practice. We did our gear checks, stretched out (still, winter undies), and were off. The visibility was not that great, and the water was a bit greenish, for this time of year. We scootered upstream for a while, then dropped into the channel. W00 H00! We saw quite a few dead gobies, along the way (more than usual), which were mostly wrapped in white fuzz. We drifted along, keeping a look out for anything neat. There were spots with many bottles, a lot of rock, periwinkle shells, and even the odd bass and sheepshead carp.

We made our way to the Unknown Hull, where Steve took a few pictures.

The visibility wasn’t that great, but he did get a few shots.

It was then time to go… We made our way up to 65′, where we eventually got up to the Gaskin. Poor thing, looks pretty rough, this year. It is sad, watching the bow fall apart.

I was starting to get pretty chilly, so I signalled to Steve, to turn the dive. We started to make our way back to the shallows, where we hung out for a bit, then made our way in. Ahhhhh…. Back ย in the RIVA!!!

Bottom Time: 2 hours, 6 minutes
Max. Depth: 108′
Water Temp.: 51F
Vis.: Not great, for this time of year, but clearer in the channel.


Normally, when we get out, someone will stay with the scooters, until someone goes and drops their tanks, then comes back to bring them out. Alas, those days are over, for us… Even with my doubles on, I was able to pick up the XK1, with no issues, and bring it out of the water, with my stage bottle. Ahhhh…. Suex, I appreciate you (…and Steve)!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

When we got out, it was beautiful out, again!

After our dive, Steve and I headed over the border, to see Chris, Bob, Stacey, Lisa, Mario, Nate, Jen, Julie, and Hong! I didn’t get to taste Hong’s egg rolls, but I really look forward to it, another time!!! ๐Ÿ˜€


It was pretty late, when we got home, so we left the unloading for the next morning.

Diving Goodness, hanging by the fire, with friends = The Best!

Until next week!


Turtle Turbo Alley

10 05 2014

Saturday, May 10th, 2014 ~ย 

Ahhhh… We are finally back in the RIVER! With the tough winter that we have had, it has taken the St. Lawrence River a little bit longer to thaw/warm up, than usual. Today’s air temperatures are the nicest that we have seen (this year), at 22C… and sunny!

The van was packed, and we hit the road!

Surface shots taken by me. In-water shots taken by Steve, today!

I had only used my new scooter for a short time, on our last dive, and didn’t really get to do much, since the dive was cut a little bit short. Today, we planned on heading to either Ivy Lea, or to Island 99, for some scootering goodness! Steve was bringing one of the cameras, to practice with, too. On our way down, Frankie and Christian messaged us, to let us know that Ivy Lea was not fully open, but that there were people there, getting ready to open, for the following weekend. They gave us permission to dive there, which was most excellent!


It was finally warm enough to wear flippy floppies!

We got to our entry point, and the staff told us just to make sure that the boat launch was not blocked. No problem. I think we can handle that.

There are some crazy currents, here.

Steve and I finished our gear checks, and Frankie had a glove issue, so while he and Christian were tending to that, Steve took a few pics of me. The current was pretty strong, too.

Me, hitting the trigger…






We went back for Frankie and Christian, and away we went! There were turtles, everywhere! Small ones, medium-sized ones – they were everywhere!





We even saw a few mud puppies…


This guy was standing his ground, as Steve neared him. He stood up, and stared him down.


We kept moving, and hit some crazy currents. There were even a few moments, where we had to aim our scooters straight down, as the current swept upward.



Frankie Boy…







Yippppppieeeeeeee! What a ride!



We went all the way around, and exited at the beach area. Since the camp ground wasn’t officially open, there were no people there, so we had the place to ourselves.


Bottom Time: 56 mins.
Max. Depth: 52′
Water Temp.: 46F
Vis.: A lot of green goop in the water

Christian and Frankie…

Rock on, dude!

I took one of Steve, too!



We dropped our gear, and Frankie stood guard, as we went for a walk, to get the vehicles.

We did come back for him, though. He DID have our gear, after all.




It was such a beautiful day, so we had to hang around, and talk about are most awesome dive!


We went for a quick bite to eat, and we headed our separate ways. I absolutely loved spending the day this way. Diving Goodness, friends, and… TURTLES!