Canadian Invasion ~ Kingston Edition

21 08 2009

Friday, August 14th, 2009 ~

The van was locked and loaded once again, as I made my way to the mighty Ktown. This was the second installment of the Canadian Invasion, and for this segment, we were in and on the lake!

We convened for a charter upon the Vickie Marie, out of Northern Tech Diver. This would be the first time on this boat for me, and I was hopeful that there would be no fish feeding moments. It was a bigger boat, so my chances were good! It also helped that the lake was pretty flat.

Due to the fantastic conditions, we decided that we could go out to the Sheboygan, then the Marsh. Two of my favourite wrecks out there!

Captain Vinnie James gives his boat speech…

First mate Nancy has the wheel…

I was teaming up with Mark for these dives, and we both tagged along with Mer and Gerard as well. We descended on to the Sheboygan, and were greeted with some nice visibility. The water temperature was nice ‘n’ frosty below the thermocline, but it was actually quite refreshing, due to the crazy heat wave we were having this weekend. We did a few tours of the wreck, including playing with the prism: Mer and I took turns holding our light on one side of it, while the rest of our posse swam underneath to see it.

Of course, we had more dance moves, and played along side of the wreck. Gerard called me a cheap date… narced at 90’…lol. I guess that makes me narced at 1 ATA as well, seeing as I am the same on the surface. šŸ™‚

We made our way back up to the boat, ditched our tanks, and jumped back in. It was hot!!

Bottom Time ~ 40 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 92′
Water Temp. ~ 64 and 54
Visibility ~ 60′

We gathered back up and headed over to the Marsh. It seems a couple of other boats also decided that the Marsh was a good wreck to dive that day, so we opted to go over to the Comet instead. Good stuff.

When we got there, we met up with Anne and Sorobon, who moved over for us to take the mooring, and Anne hooked up to us. When we reached the wreck, the visibility wasn’t as fantastic as the Sheboygan, but it was an incredibly relaxing dive. We took our time, checked out just about every little nook and cranny, and squeezed through a couple of tight spots as well. Alot of fun! You could actually see the thermocline at the wreck!

Bottom Time ~ 55 mins
Max. Depth ~ 80′
Water Temp. ~ 55 & 64
Visibility ~ 20′ and milky

It seems the combination of a flat lake and a nice, big boat were a great remedy for my stomach. There would be no fish feeding today!

When we came back in, Casey had arrived, and Mer posed with him…

We headed next door for some grub, then back over to the hotel to freshen up and check in. We decided that the call for ice cream was louder than the call for the pillow, so we ventured over to Dairy Queen for some dairy goodness! I opted for the Oreo Blizzard… yummm. When we got back to the hotel, Steve and Frankie were not long to arrive.

Saturday, August 15th, 2009 ~

Today, we had Sorobon and Spike for charters, as well as a group scootering. The charters went out, and the rest of us headed for the KPH, where we were going out to the Stacked Hulls, and checking on the line. Dan MacKay was the captain on this adventure.

George and Dan L getting ready…

Sean and Oren…

Tom, getting ready to take some shots…

Tom, getting ready to take some shots...

Steve, Frankie, and Eric V….

We had quite a large convoy of people, and managed to all stay together on the ride over. We brought our scooters and stage bottles down to the water and geared up.

Dan, Steve, and I were a team, as were Dan L and George, Oren and Sean, and Francois and Eric. We were going to check out the running of the line, and see what needed repair.

We went down to 20′, and did a sweep, looking for the line. Steve thought he had it at one point, but it turned out to be someone’s spool.. doh… We stopped, took care of the situation, and carried on.

I just happened to be looking down at the right moment, and there it was.. “Look! Look! Steve! Line!” W00 H00!! We had found it. Along we went, and Dan cleaned off alot of it as we went. We reached the wreck, tied off our scooters, and checked out the place. This was the first time I had been here, but not for lack of trying. Last year, a bunch of us took the line out of Olympic Harbour, but never made it to the wrecks.

There was alot of wreckage to see. Not a whole lot of structure left, but still an interesting bunch of things to check out. Alot nicer than just dirt and rock. We did a few passes up and down, and Dan inspected the line further.

We turned back, and the three of us decided to follow the other line, that goes to the harbour, to find out why people weren’t making it to the wreck. Well… apart from the line being in the wrong spot, we surfaced to see that we were quite far out. Repair spot!

We went back down and did a bit of swimming, and weed ducking, then headed back in to meet the others. I was sure liking Dan’s new Mini G… Need more pennies…

We packed up and went to the Pilot House for some grub.

It was a really hot day, and a bunch of us opted to chill out at the shop for a while, as some people went back to the hotel for a nap. Christine and I went out for a few odds and ends, for the barbeque, and got a small taste of free beer at the liquor store. Nice treat. We were on a neverending quest for a few items in Wal Mart, and it seems that they were out of a couple of things we needed. Oh well… carry on.

Once we got back to the shop, we were greeted with big smiles. Of course we were… we had beer…lol. We waited for the remaining boats to come in, then fired up the barbeque! Dan L. was an awesome cook, and our burgers ‘n’ dogs were extra yummy! Thanks Dan!

Some more shots from the BBQ!

George, Frankie, Oren…

Erin and Gerard…

I think Tara’s hiding something… or.. is it someone??? There is photographic evidence that she painted the town with Casey, later that night!

Gerard, Andy, Jamie, Mark…

Zi and Kevin A….

Christine!

Mark, taking a bit out of crime!

Mer…

Dan, in his riding gear!

We had a ton of fun in the sun, and were joined by a few others, whose boat came in later. The more, the merrier. I tried some Swedish Berry Cider, thanks to Pickens! That stuff was really nice! We shared the day’s stories and looked forward to the next!

After cleaning up after the BBQ goodness, we headed back to the hotel, reconvened, then went to White Mountain for more ice cream goodness… Homemade ice cream goodness… I can just hear Homer Simpson now.. Mmmmm… ice cream… *drool*

Sunday, August 15th, 2009 ~

The boats went out once again, and the scooter folk headed out to the river, to get a drifting scooter dive in. Well.. we tried… Our attempts to get near Centeen Park were unfounded, as they were having a triathlon, and had all of the roads blocked off.

We met at Tim Horton’s, and altered the plan. It would be Island 99, also known as Teapot Island. I had been here before, but not in quite a while, and never with a scooter. This had been the site of my first ever long hose dive.

There is a hill with a bit of a steep decline into the water, and a private dock. We step to the side of the dock, so that we do not disturb anyone’s property. We carried stages and scooters down the hill, then suited up. With the extreme heat, it was hard to get suits on, but we quickly went down to the water, to get some relief.

Once geared up and in, we dodged the silt and weeds, and hit the basin at around 60′. We headed west, and followed the wall out, where we saw so much. There were bits of china, a sleigh, pots, pans, bottles, and some really big fish. There was a giant cat fish, nesting below a massive rock crevice. We saw sheepshead carp, a muskie, pike, and even some hungry sun fish. One came right up to me, and when I stuck my finger out, he promptly grabbed it. Good thing I had gloves on. Around the corner, we saw many more sun fish. They were all very curious. I had one right up alongside of my face, and Steve pointed out that I had a new buddy. Oren had one nibbling on his fingers as well. What an awesome dive. We made our way back to the basin, and took a compass bearing back to shore. There were way too many weeds to be able to recognize anything. Along the way, we encountered a giant pike, who seemed to be a bit grumpy that we came near his spot.

When we surfaced, the people that own the dock were there, and their dogs had no idea what to make of these strange looking creatures that had just erupted from the deep. They were pretty funny.

Bottom Time ~ 90 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 100′
Water Temp. ~ 73
Visibility ~ 2′ in the shallows, 50’+ in the basin

We climbed out, made the trek up the hill and packed up. Off to the Family Restaurant we went, to meet up with some of the folks from the charter! We filled half of the place, and told stories of our weekend.

Another excellent weekend of diving goodness.

Being the first year for the Kingston Invasion, I have a couple of things to iron out, but all in all, I would vote it a success. Everyone went diving, and everyone had fun. It was pretty amazing to have so many people from so many different places and backgrounds in diving, come together and just dive and have fun.

Thank you so much to everyone at Northern Tech diver, for all of their help and hospitality. Thanks also to Kingston Dive Charters for all that they did for us too. Anne and Chris McMullen… I never got pictures of you!!

Commander Tom…

Cap’n. Harold…

Cap’n. Vinnie James…

Chris and Mike… two of the best helpers anywhere… Thanks guys!!

Here are a couple of shots of the new fill station that was up and running for us!

Until next year!!!

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