Brockville Canadian Invasion ~ 2011

17 08 2011

Friday, August 12th, 2011 ~

Well, I will start this entry off, by saying that this was the largest group I have ever organized. The majority of our group for Diving Goodness arrived either on Thursday night, or Friday morning, in time for the run out to the wreck of the Kinghorn. We had some breakfast at Caiger’s, then headed over to Rockport Dive Centre. There were 12 to take the first run on Rick’s boat, and 14 by scooter. I think that was the biggest GUE EDGE I have ever conducted, too…lol.

Raphael and I paired up, and we debriefed our dive plan, trip back in, and even towing, should it be required. This is a swimmable dive (on doubles), so even if we didn’t tow, we would still be in good shape. I led our teams to the line, and we headed out! Raph and I did tours of both the inside and outside, and there were Go Pro cameras a-plenty, taking video of our diving extravaganza!

We decided to head back in, so I hit the trigger… er.. at least I tried to. Two of my prop blades went flying into the abyss (ok, about 7′ down)! What the…? I did manage to pick them up, signaled to Raph, and started to swim. Wait a sec… it’s lunch time.. let’s hit it, partner! I signaled to Raph again, stowed my scooter (of course, being a bit bummed), and latched on to Raph’s crotch strap. Onward!

I have to say, that I was very pleased that we had discussed this whole towing thing, at the beginning of the dive. Raph did great, and when we reached the 55′ mark, I tapped off. We had a relaxing and leisurely swim back in. Thanks for the tow, amigo!!

Bottom Time: 47 mins.
Max. Depth: 90′
Water Temp.: 71F
Visibility: Decent

Me, sportin’ the Grape Kool-Aid shirt…

After a couple of runs out to the wreck, in Rick’s boat, we reconvened on the deck at Rockport Dive Centre, and headed over to The Cornwall/Boathouse for lunch.. drysuits ‘n’ all. We took up the whole room, this time around. Tammi and her peeps were ready for us, as usual!

We got some food in our bellies, some laughter, and fun, then we walked back over for another run out to the wreck. Since I didn’t have use of my scooter (and thank you to Oren for the offer to use yours… while you made a bit of a drive… *cough*), I was going to jump in with Andy, for a swim along the line. Andy had some new tanks that he wanted to check out, and I would be doing my first test dive with the new Light Monkey wing! w00t!

 

We really took our time, and had an extremely slow and comfortable swim, partway to the wreck. We went back and forth, played with a few fish, and waved at some of our friends, passing by. I was seriously digging this wing. It is a 45# wing, that is put together very well, and has some really nice finishing touches (the heat shrink on either end of the corrugated hose). I was using it with a set of Luxfer AL80s, and I really did like the way it filled around the tanks. The edges are a bit wider than other wings, and it just felt really easy to trim out in. Very freakin’ cool wing! First test dive >> Like Factor = Extremely high.

Bottom Time: 35 mins.
Max. Depth: 56′
Water Temp.: 71
Visibility: Decent.. still.

I think Chris enjoyed the dives…

Piotr, too… Lovin’ the jet fuel!

Reconvening…

After our dives, we headed back to Caiger’s, where we got ourselves sorted out, showered, and changed for dinner. We had a buffet of a bunch of extremely delicious foods, and we definitely filled the entire dining room. There was also a live band playing on “The Upper Deck,” that some of us checked out, before hitting the sack!

Saturday, August 13th, 2011 ~

Up and at ’em! We had boats going to the Keystorm and America, as well as to the Jodrey. We had most of the boats going out in the morning, with another afternoon run to the Jodrey.

Buffet breakfast for everyone, and boats loaded. I brought down lunches for each boat, and the morning runs were off! We had one bit of a miscommunication on boat departure time, so two friends ended up going for a shore dive.

Breakfast…

Loading up…

 

Relaxing after breakfast…

Carm and Steph…

Then the boats came back!

We then loaded up our boat, to head to our afternoon Jodrey dive.

On the ride out, I managed to get a good punch in the face, from a flying boat bumper, whacked my head on the boat, and with me being a bit pooped, I opted out of the dive. We were moored in a different place than usual, and my gut just said, “no.” It sucked to have to miss Jodrey Goodness, but I was also pretty pooped, with all of the organizing. I did gear up, and even got in the water, but it wasn’t my day. Yes, my buddy had someone else to dive with…

Pooped (+ sucker punch + head whack) + Jodrey = Thumb.

Instead, I had a bit of a nap on the boat, and took some pics. 🙂

A little shout out to DUI? 😀

 

Self portrait, of course…

When we got back, we unloaded, then got ready for dinner. This dinner was a little more fancy, and we had some extra delicious food! Thank you to all of the staff at Caiger’s!!

We also had a draw for some prizes. Thank you to Liquid Productions, Rockport Dive Centre, and Exploration Promotions for the prize donations!

We finished the night off with some karaoke… Ohh.. what a blast! Bill Baker is a crazy… wha???

Steph also got up for some singing magic!

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to have the bon fire that we wanted to have. A big thank you to Becki and Dan for bringing the S’mores goodies!!!

What a fun finish to the day!

Sunday, August 14th, 2011 ~

Well, today was the final day of the Brockville Invasion. We did a bit more loading, diving, unloading, bidding goodbyes, and taking more pictures. Today’s dives were the Vickery, a drift dive, and for the Tech divers, the Jodrey. I still wasn’t 100%, so I opted to stay aground, and wait for all of the boats to come in.

Fern and LoJack!

 

It really is amazing, how many wonderful people attend the Brockville Invasion. I have made so many new friends, and love to see friends that keep coming back. It does mean a lot to me, that people have so much fun on this trip. It is exactly why I do it.

A group shot… of most of the group, plus most of the reamining folks. Next year, I will allot a time and place for the pic, on the itinerary! We had 49 people attend, this year!

Below is Forest Rothchild, who did a really cool write-up on his Invasion experience. Thank you, Forest!

Link to write-up on TDS…  http://thedecostop.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48322

Below is a little video of some of the stills! Come on back next year, ya hear!

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