The Back Mine

22 07 2007

Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 ~

Steve, Leigh, Sarah, and I took a drive to the ferry, to cross over to Buckingham, QC. We were going to have a splash in the Back Mine. This was an old mine that was eventually flooded, that is listed in dive books as a dive site, but not many people actually dive it. The back road leading up to the side is every off-roaders dream… not exactly great for a dive gear transportation unit, with 4 sets of doubles, stages, gear, and 4 divers. There were bumps, holes, trenches, hills up and down galore! After spending most of the trip across the back road cringing every time the mud flaps and trailer hitch scraped the ground (keep in mind that we were going about 10 km/h), we made it!

There were a couple of campers that were packing up as we got there, who said that they had wolves invade their camp site, the night before. They opened their tent, and were face to face with one, who tried to bite one of them. They ended up sleeping in the van.

We unpacked our van, and gawked at the gorgeous entry point. It’s basically an above ground cave, that you can see right through. The water was very clear, but also pretty chilly. There is often ice on top of this site until late June, as it’s covered by the rock, and no sunlight gets to it.

Another van with 4 single tank divers pulled up to the site while we were getting ready, and hadn’t been there before. They asked about the site, and when pulling out their dive book, Steve realized that what was printed in the book was not correct. It said that there were three chambers and that they went to a depth of 390′! Not so much..

Yes, there are places that lead to deeper places in the mine, but the OW part of the dive only goes to about 110′.

As we were getting ready, we noticed that one of us had forgotten fins (nope.. wasn’t me! ). So we had to take turns.. Leigh and Sarah went in first, and were in for about 30 mins. Next, it was time for Steve and I to go for a splash…

We got in the water, and as we descended, it turned dark as night. With the cave-like structures above, there was no ambient light. My little 10w was a bit dull compared to the 24w camera lights Steve had. We followed the wall to the back of the mine, where there were amazing rock formations, some truck parts, a computer monitor , and a car at the end of it. Apparently, there was a newer model Toyota pulled out of there not too long ago. I am not quite sure how it got there, as there is no entry that you can fit a car through, leading up to the site.

There are a couple of spots where there is chain link fence, that has been torn for diver and hiking entrances. I really don’t know how a car got through it!

While in the water, I found the Owner’s Manual to the Toyota, and Steve found the Pouch with all the car info in it. We captured that on video too….

Well.. seeing as I have a very leaky dry suit, I only lasted for about 29 minutes. Water Temperature was 41, and Maximum Depth was 71′.

It was a beautiful dive, and a great day to do it!

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