Oh Buoy, Was There Ever Current!

13 08 2012

Sunday, August 12th, 2012 ~

Eric and I joined in on a charter, with Bottom Time Diving, run by Andy. Luc, Frank, and Sandy were going out to replace a damaged mooring buoy on the Eastcliffe Hall, and Eric and I were along to help, if needed. Once I arrived at the docks, the clouds quickly joined me, and gave us a bit of a downpour.. Oops.. Did I bring that??

We loaded up, and since there was room on the boat, Andy let Eric and I bring our scooters aboard. Thank goodness… Holy surface current, Batman! I think it was comparable to the Oconto surface current!

Funny enough, I had never been on the Eastcliffe Hall. We had threatened to scooter out to it a few times, but the times that my buddies did it, I wasn’t there. Eric and I descended, and there was a crowd around Luc et al., putting a new line onto the mooring (including divers from another boat). We were going to coil up the old line and bring it up, once they were finished. Instead of getting in everyone’s way, we decided to check out a few of the holds, while the guys did their thing. Visibility was not very good, and apparently, it had been really good for the past couple of weeks. There had been quite a bit of rain over the last week, as well as a few boats on it, before we got there.

We scootered about for a bit, then noticed some flapping line. We figured it was for divers to use, to pull themselves along, in the ripping current, so we secured it a little better. There were two lines that we did this to.

Eric and I hovered over one of the hatches, to go inside. Eric had brought along his reel, in case we felt like going for a tour. We looked at our bottom timers, and since the others had already surfaced, and we were keeping the dive under an hour, we decided that next time would probably be a smarter time to go in. *Doh!* 🙂

As we came back to the mooring line, we did not see the old line, so made our ascent. It turns out that Frank had brought it up. Good stuff!

We surfaced at the bow of the boat, it took about one second for us to reach the ladder, and grab on tight. Eric tied in to the gear line, and I passed him my scooter. *Phew!* That current was rock ‘n’ roll!!! It was bubbles sideways current! It didn’t help that the wind and waves had really picked up. Oh well, we still had a fun dive!

Bottom Time: 49 mins.
Max Depth: 67′
Water Temp: 75F

After we boarded, the damaged buoy needed to come in, and would be replaced with a new one. Andy, Frank, Luc, and Sandy were the experts, and got the job done! Well done, guys! I was trying not to be sick, since the weather had taken a bit of a turn, rocking the boat. I did hold the tools, though. 😀

The damaged spar buoy…

Luc, workin’ the chains…

The new buoy…

Once the new buoy was attached and away, we were off! The weather started to clear, and we could actually see the sun! We headed back towards Morrisburg, and Luc was going to lead us on a drift dive. We had done most of this drift before, but have not been to a couple of the places that we went. We drifted by a few old wrecks, with some strong current in some places, and letting up in a few other places. We drifted along the old lock wall, and to the pump station. Along the way, we saw many different fish! A few giant Sheepshead Carp, Walleyes, Pike, Bass, Mud Puppies, and I even caught a glimpse of a couple of the Freshwater Jellies! We didn’t see any last year, so it was neat to see them still around, even though I only saw two of them. What a fun dive!

Bottom Time: 58 mins.
Max Depth: 48′
Water Temp: 75F

We had a fun time on Andy’s boat, and enjoyed some fun dives, with some cool new friends!

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