8- Nohoch On Our Belts

20 02 2018

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 ~

w00t! Off to Nohoch today, with Mike and Nadine! Steve told me that the main line had changed since we were last there, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Our plan was to go to the Parker Line, and see some prettiness.

Partial map…

Taking pics of the pretty entrance…

Diver entry…

Mike led this dive, with Nadine in second, and me, in the back. We did find the main line pretty quickly, and when we got to an arrow, that read, “PL,” I wondered if we were actually on the Parker Line… yeah, no. That was the jump to the Parker Line.

Ah, well… we carried on the main line for a bit, then took another jump to the left. The line eventually came to a gap, and Mike ran a spool across (may have been a continuous line, in the past). We ended up tying into the Parker Line, anyway. I recognized some of the “awesomeness,” that is Parker (sorry, Mike… had to use that word). 😋

We were definitely the “slow team,” as we absorbed the beauty of this cave. It has also been a while, since I’ve been to this cave, too. This line is definitely in my top 7.

Eventually, we turned the dive (imagine that), and I guess I swam too fast (insert inside joke, here), and we returned a little quicker than we had entered (yes, you are supposed to). 😉

Ahh… part of me wishes I had a camera with me.

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes (was at turn pressure, when returned to the reel 🤣)

Max. Depth: 19′

Water Temp.: 77F

Avg. Depth: 13′

Another fun day with my friends from Germany! Thanks for letting me tag along, again!





2015 Brockville Canadian Invasion

18 08 2015

Thursday, August 13th, 2015 ~

Woo Hoo! The time had finally arrived, for the 8th Annual Brockville Canadian Invasion! Steve and I had arrived at Caiger’s Resort, late Wednesday night. It was nice, not having to rush, to be there for the Thursday shore dives!

We loaded up the coolers of sandwiches, drinks, and various treats, and made our way to Centeen Park.

Invasion Goodness! Those benches sure are handy!

Various dives were done, between buddy teams; some went to the Gaskin, some to see the water park statues, and some did scooter dives!

Darth Nash, about to get in, with the Raph of Kahn...and a Phinney photobomb!

Going for a dive, at Centeen Park!Surface interval.

Our team was made up of myself, Steve, Mattias, and Frankie. The plan was to scooter upstream, for an hour, drop into the channel, and drift for about an hour (depending on the current). That is exactly what we did!

Bottom Time: 3 hours, 3 mins.
Max. Depth: 114′
Water Temp.: 71F
Vis.: Better in the channel, than in the shallows.

Gear, to go in!

This was an awesome discussion. :)

When we got back to Caiger’s, we had time to set up the next day’s gear and charge scooters, before dinner. Sleep came pretty easy.
Friday, August 14th, 2015 ~

Breakfast was around 7:00am. This is the first year that we didn’t have a buffet, so a few of us missed the serving. We were still treated to a nice, big breakfast!

There was a Rec charter (going to the Muskie and Lillie), a Tech charter (going to the Jodrey), and more shore diving, at Centeen.

Mattias – all the way from Sweden, hopping on a charter, to the Jodrey…

Mattias, getting ready for a dive on the Jodrey!

Rec charter, heading to the Muskie/Lillie…

Loading the boats! Osprey

Piotr and Ania…

Anna and Piotr

Mark and Steve, getting ready for their dive…

 

Today, I was diving with Eric B. and Eric V. The Erics. 🙂

Our plan was to scooter 40 minutes upstream, drop into the channel, and drift. We would then come back up to the Gaskin, and take a shot, for Project Baseline. As we dropped into the channel, we saw a bunch of different fish, which was really nice to see. We saw sheepshead carp, sturgeon, pike, bass, and walleye. Very nice to see them, after not seeing very many, in the last year. We have seen more sturgeon, than pike, and they were baby sturgeon, to boot!

As we drifted along, in the channel, we came to a structure, that we had never seen before. It was approximately 12′ high, by about 8′ wide, on four sides. Half was rounded, half was square, and it was hollow. There was a fish having a wee snooze, that didn’t seem phased by my camera. I did take a photo, but the ambient light was pretty low, at 100′.

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We came back up, after our planned drift time. There were spots where the current was absolutely ripping, and we couldn’t swim against it, if we tried. There were also places where we had to swim and scooter a bit, because the current was non-existent.

At the Gaskin, I took a pic of the bow, we played around for a bit, then made our way back to the shallows.

The bow of the Gaskin. It was tough to get a decent shot, thanks to the visibility.

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As part of our plan, we tied off our scooters, did our required deco, then Eric V. practiced his bottle rotations, for his upcoming T2 course. Of course… We had to load him with all of the bottles… and I just happened to bring my camera!

Scooters, tied off, and doing deco…

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Yes, we just had to load Eric V. up, with bottles…

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Bottom Time: 2 hours, 37 mins.
Max. depth: 115′
Water Temp.: 71F
Vis.: Same as yesterday

More happy divers…

Going for a dive, at Centeen Park!

We headed back to Caiger’s, prepped gear for the next day, and… Dinner!

Again, sleep was not difficult. 🙂
Saturday, August 15th, 2015 ~

Happy Birthday, Oren! Good to have you back at the Invasion! What better way to celebrate, than go for a nice Jodrey dive? w00t!11892062_10205106629642310_5153704937251023776_n

Boat departures were at 8am. Yes… 8am. That required us to actually be at breakfast for 7am, load the boats, and get out of dodge. Life is hard. 😛

The boats met at customs, which wasn’t too surprising, since they opened a bit early, for us.

I don’t recall going to the back side, before.

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Two Tech boats (to the Jodrey), and a Rec boat (to the Keystorm and America)! I’m sure everyone can hear me saying, “Don’t forget your passports!” How ironic would it have been, if I had forgotten mine? Good thing that I didn’t. *Phew*

Eric and I had a plan for 30 minutes, with a max depth of 200′, and our deco was based on a 200′ average, even though we planned on a 170′ average. We were extra conservative.

We had a nice, easy descent, and putzed around the bow, for a bit. We went to the spot that Steve and Frankie had gone inside, had a look, and continued on. After switching to back gas, we swam and scootered a bit, and were in a different spot than we normally would start our ascent. We were a little ahead of schedule, but since we had to come up a bit anyway, we started our ascent. We did see a pretty cool beach area, at 140′! As we came up, we found a pretty neat spot to do our deco, since we hit a back eddy, and were able to do a nice, easy drift back. At 20′, we came to another relaxing spot, where we were hardly moving, and being sheltered by a large piece of wall. Excellence. Just before we had finished our 20′ stop, we scootered back around to the bowl, under the boat, hung about, and did our 6-up. A very fun adventure!

Total Dive Time: 1 hour, 22 mins. (a bit shorter than originally planned, but not far off)
Max. Depth: 185′
Vis.: Not as good as we were told that it had been the day before!

 

We boarded the boat, waited for those RB80 fellas to get back, and we headed back to Canada!

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Mattias and Dan, after their dive…

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Eric and I… It appears that I have something in my teeth. D’oh!

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A nice little boat passed us, as we were still tied up to the mooring tree. You can’t help but wish it to sink… without any catastrophic loss of life, of course. 🙂

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We made it back to Canada (thank goodness), and as usual, we had “Picture Time!” We always have a nice photo, followed by absolute silliness.

Here we are, appearing to be functioning members of various societies…

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…and then… the truth comes out. Apparently, Pierli can fly…

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We had a delicious supper, followed by a whole bunch of prizes! Thanks to Dive Right In Scuba, 1000 Islands Pleasure Diving, Caiger’s, Exploration Diving Services, Exploration Promotions, Undirworld Diving, DUI, GUE Ontario, Ursuit (and Mattias)

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Christian was happy with his pink t-shirt!

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11889422_10205114910009314_9196532781372250775_n.jpgMattias got a schematic of the Jodrey, to bring home – Look where I went diving!

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Thanks for everything, Wayne and the 1000 Islands Pleasure Diving crew!!

11887928_10205114911009339_3710205819313609019_n.jpgPierli was the lucky winner of the grand prize! A new Ursuit undergarment, donated by Mattias and Ursuit!

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11873517_10205114911729357_4760179462575310061_n.jpgWe didn’t have as many grand prizes this year, due to the fact that everyone received an Invasion 50L dry bag!

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We then got ready for Daniel’s presentation on the Mars! Notice Chris’ display of head dress!

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The littlest Invasion-goers!

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Sunday, August 16th, 2015 ~

Last day of Invasion Goodness!

The Rec boat was headed to the Vickery and Kinghorn, and the Tech boats were headed to the Jodrey. Imagine that!

 

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Photobomb!

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We had another fabulous, yet less-than-stellar-visibility dive. As Eric and I went over the ledge, and descended, we ended up right beside the wreck. We waved at some of out other diving friends, as we passed them, on the bow. Our plan was for 30 minutes at 200′, and we ended up having a 180′ average, by the end of our 30 minutes. w00t!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 26 mins.
Max. Depth: 194′
Water Temp.: 71F
Visibility: Less than stellar

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Loading up gear, after our dives…

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I swear, it wasn’t me…

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Raph of Khan, and Darth Nash…

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11902274_10205114782046115_8910635310366797131_n.jpgThey do match nicely, don’t they? 😛

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I must thank Jen and Mike, at Undirworld, for the millions of cubic feet of gas, that they must have used, and for the delivery guys! 😛

Thanks to Steve, for filling all of my cubic footage, and for hauling it (yes, I did help to load – I think I loaded about 14 sets of doubles).

I did unload all of these sets of 130s, the day after!

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It was an absolutely fantabulous 4-day weekend of friends, fun, laughter, and a ton of Diving Goodness!! I can’t even begin to share how amazing this group of friends are, and I look forward to seeing everyone, August 2016! w00t w00t!





2014 Brockville Canadian Invasion

18 08 2014

August 13th, 2014 ~

I made my way down to Brockville, a little early, so that I could get things organized, and ready for everyone’s arrival. This year’s Invasion has 37 friends attending (with a few extras, joining in for the odd parts), plus some amazing speakers! I had not planned on diving today, but dropped by Centeen Park, where Steve, John, Casey, John, and Mark were diving. I didn’t see any action, even though they were there, but how could I? RB80s don’t make many bubbles, so I would be hard pressed to see, even if they were close. 🙂

I went and ran an errand, then came back. David J. was there, waiting for his buddy, who was not able to make it. I could not leave him high and dry, so we went for a dive! We did our gear checks, then dropped into the shallows, where David showed me the skills that he had been working on. Great stuff, David! I then saw a light, coming. Yep… that had to be Steve et al, so I shone my light towards them. Steve came over, and was surprised to see me in the water. *Giggle* See ya soon!

David and I went over to see the underwater statues, then for a bit of a tour around the wall, saw a bike that didn’t seem to have been there very long, some pylons, rocks, gobies, and we had a nice, relaxing dive. I had found a BB rifle gun, that I had carried back into the shallows. I showed Steve, when we surfaced, but he chucked it. Pfftt… 😛

Bottom Time: 54 mins.
Max. Depth: 34′
Water Temp.: 69F

John R., Steve B., Casey M., John K., and Mark R., after their scooter dive…

Steve and John…

After our dive, we chatted with Steve and the gang for a bit, then I headed over to Caiger’s! There were a few early arrivals, so we sat on the patio, for more chatting! The evening also brought some footage-viewing, on the TV.

How many divers does it take, to get the TV working?

August 14th, 2014 ~

The Invasion officially kicks off! Today, we were having shore dives, from Centeen Park. Some were swimming, some were scootering, a handful were on a charter, and all were having fun! At least, that was the word at the water cooler. 🙂

Island Diver, taking a bunch out to the Jodrey!

We had a few groups leaving, from Centeen Park: Darth Nash, Raph of Kahn; Frankie, Eric V., Karim, Heather; Becki, Dan; myself, Eric B., Andy, Chris P., Johannes; Daniel, Jeff, Stephen.

Our team went upstream, then dropped into the channel. There were bottles everywhere! We saw an odd little fish, with a pointed nose – Chris P. was going to try to look it up (*waiting to hear if he was successful, in identifying it*). The little guy almost swam right into my hand.

We drifted for about 25 minutes, then started to make our way back up. One of our team had a bit of a slowing scooter, so Eric donated his scooter, and I towed Eric back in. When we surfaced, Steve, John, John, Casey, and Mark were there, waiting for us, and even helped us carry our gear up. I kind of liked this royal treatment!

Bottom Time: 2 hours
Max. Depth: 106′
Water Temp.: 68F

The last team were a little bit overdue, so we waited for them. When we finally saw them, Casey grabbed the life saver, and was ready to rescue!

*NOTE* They didn’t really need rescuing. 😉

L to R, back to front: Heather, Eric V., Frankie, Karim…

Back to Caiger’s, where we found more friends arriving, and dinner! We watched Casey’s GoPro footage, from the boys’ Jodrey dive, which was much fun. Charged scooters, then sleep!

Friday, August 15th, 2014 ~ 

Breakfast buffet, got gear ready, made sure all of the sandwiches were ready for the boats and shore dives, then back to Centeen. The Rec boat went to the Muskie and Lillie, and the Tech boat went to the Jodrey.

We set up our canopy, and Casey brought a whole bunch of Suex scooters, for our Suex Demo Day!

Casey, going through the Suex line of scooters!

After the demo, everyone that wanted to, took the scooters for a test drive! A lot of fun was had!

Eric B., Chris P., and I went for a channel dive. As we moved toward the channel, it took us a while to get past the 40′ mark (as usual, in that spot), but we did finally get down there. There were some absolutely ripping currents for us to play in, too… at least, for a while. The current went from ripping, to non-existent for a while, then picked up, again. Due to the current, we figured that we had gone past our entry point, so when we came back up, we actually went the wrong way, but only for about a minute, when we recognized our surroundings. We came back to the shallows, hung around for a few minutes, then out.

Bottom Time: 2 hours, 41 mins.
Max. Depth: 109′
Water Temp.: 69F

We put our gear away, packed up, then back to Caiger’s, for dinner. We had some amazing presentations, after dinner, too!

Casey McKinlay: Scooters and the WKPP

John Kendall: Diving the wrecks of Malta
Since John’s picture was too dark, here is a nice photo of John…

Saturday, August 16th, 2014 ~

Today, everyone was on a boat! The Rec boat was going to the Keystorm and America, and Tech boats were going to the Jodrey.

Jazz Hands, for Diving Goodness! Johannes, Becki, Andy, Jenni M.

Getting ready for take-off!

One of the Tech boats. Damian, Heather, Daniel, Joanna, Karim…

Another Tech boat. Heison, Kneel, Johannes, Kevin, Daniel, Hong, Eric V.

Kneel, Kev, Raph of Kahn, and Darth Nash have their passports!!
Pic by Heison Chak…

Yet another Tech boat! Casey and John K. …

Steve and John R. …

Eric B., Frankie, Johannes…

Fabulousness…

Today, I was diving with Eric B. and Frankie. Frankie led today’s dive, and we hung out around the bow section. There were a few people on the wreck, so as we went towards the door and stairway, there was another team in there. Frankie poked his head in, and Eric and I waited behind the first stairway (yes, we were always in sight of each other, and only about 10′ away). We made our way around the bow section, and when we started our ascent, our average depth was more shallow than we had planned on, so our deco was very conservative. The current was pretty strong on the way back, so we were quite thankful for our scooters. 😀 This was the first time that I had taken the XK1 on a Jodrey dive. I wondered if it was going to be too big, for what we needed, but it was just perfect. 🙂

Casey, splashing in…

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 29 mins.
Max. Depth: 201′
Water Temp.: 68F

My dive buddy, Eric B. …

Back on board, then to the dock, where we didn’t have to wait long, to be cleared from customs. We got the next day’s gear ready, relaxed for a bit, then…  a most amazing dinner, and PRIZES!

Our presentations for this evening were:

Heather Hamza – Ghost Fishing (Thanks to Karim, for translating, to the French folks)

Pic was dark, so here is a pic of Heather, getting bunny ears, from Andy…

Karim…

Blake also gave us a presentation on the exploration in Chip’s Hole! Blake completely eluded the camera, so here is a nice picture of John Rose…

Wayne Green also came in, and presented me with a book, “Shipwrecks of the 1000 Islands,” which was signed by everybody. This was such an awesome gift, and I completely LOVE it! Thank you, everyone!!! xoxo
Pic by Heison Chak…

Karim also showed some secret footage of things that I am not permitted to speak of… So… you will have to wait until next year, for his official presentation!

Watching footage. Daniel, Jeff, Johannes, Darth Nash…

Sunday, August 17th, 2014 ~

Today was the last day of this year’s Invasion. To say that I was pooped, would be an understatement, and I wasn’t even sure if I felt like diving (whaaaa????). I decided to suck it up, buttercup, and decided to load the boat. Instead of doing a T2 dive, I decided to do a T1 dive, instead. So, Frankie, Joanna, and I teamed up.

Waiting for the boats…

Dany, Naomi, Stacey, Dan, Becki, Forest…

Stacey and Becki. Pic taken by Heison Chak…

Today, the Rec boat was heading to the Vickery and Kinghorn, while the Tech boat went to…. the Jodrey!

As we got to Boldt Castle (customs), we had a really great customs officer. He caught John K. out, a little, and had a great sense of humour.

Officer, to John: When were you last in the US?
John, to officer: A few weeks ago (referring to Florida)
Me, whispering to John: Psstt… John… You were here, yesterday!
John: Oops… Um… yesterday!

Officer to Damian: Did you go to the bathroom, today?
Everyone: Giggles

As we parked at the Jodrey, we ran into Bob, who had a few students, that were just finishing up their Tech 1. w00t! Way to go, folks!

Steve and John plopped in, first. Then, Heather and Karim, and myself, Frankie, and Joanna!

We had a nice, relaxing dive, and I was happy that I decided to dive. We swam around the bow, checked out the pilot house, and made the rounds a couple of times, before heading back up. We did most of our 20′ deco at the “deco stool,” then hit the triggers around to the bowl, to finish up. As we did our 6 minutes up, from 20′, the current really picked up. It wasn’t as strong as the previous day, but the surface current was especially strong. We had a fun time, handing up our scooters, but we did manage.

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 13 mins.
Max. Depth: 180′
Water Temp.: 68F

We had such a blast on the boat, that I cannot even put into words. I think that Damian had the quote of the Invasion, though. 😀

Yes, the picture is blurry, because I was laughing way too much…

Frankie and Scott…

A Heather photobomb, with Steve, Heather, and John K.!

Casey, receiving his Empress of Ireland coin, and Invasion jacket.
Pic by Heison Chak

Heather and Karim, receiving their goodies. I wonder if that is the stare-down, to see who gets the coin?
Pic by Heison Chak…

Blakey Blake, getting his goodies. Pic by Heison Chak…

Empress coins…

I would like to thank all of our prize donors, for sending us some really awesome prizes!!

Jo-Ann Wilkins Photography – Two prints
Healthy Seas/Ghost Fishing – Ghost Fishing socks for goodie bags
DUI – Goodie Bag caps + Suit inflation system
Dive Right In Scuba – Regulator bags
SANTI – MTM 400 gram undergarments
GUE Ontario – various goodies
Exploration Promotions – lanyards, carabiners, tote bags, speaker gifts (coins/jackets)
Save Ontario Shipwrecks – wreck maps
GUE – various goodies
Thousand Islands Pleasure Diving – T-Shirts, stickers
Kevin Abe – LED backup light inserts
(I hope I got everyone!) 🙂
*Note to self* Be careful of ceiling fans, when throwing blindly, into crowd… 😛

Thanks to Mike and Jen, for filling tanks, and making sure that everyone was ready for morning diving!

Thanks to Chris Phinney, for delivery tanks, in the mornings, from Jen and Mike’s! Pic by Heison Chak…

Thanks to Dive Tech, for also filling tanks!

Thanks to 1000 Islands Pleasure Diving, for taking care of us!

Thanks to River Diver Charters, for also taking care of us!

Thanks to Caiger’s, for everything!

Thanks to Heison, for taking some great photos! Heison and Heather…

Thank you, to Casey, and the other WKPP members that made the long drive up, and for giving to our community. We all really appreciated you being here, and even helping to carry our gear!

I have already started the planning for next year’s Invasion, and there are quite a number of people that have signed up! This year’s event was one of the most fun and enjoyable to be at (for me, anyway – I hope it was for everyone else, too), and I am not sure how we are going to top it, next year. Thanks to all of the wonderful people that come every year, and for coming back! You are the reason that I organize it, and you are all fabulous, covered in awesome sauce. I love that we have people attend, from all over the world!

Rachel and James…

Thank you, Forest, for taking the drone footage, helping out with the Brockville Tourism footage, and for doing a write-up on the GUE web site!

To read Forest’s very thoughtful write-up, click here, please…

>>CLICK HERE<<

Thank you, Steve, for your endless days and nights of pre-filling tanks, for the event! You. Are. The. Bee’s. Knees!

If I have forgotten anyone, please do not hesitate to contact me, and also give me a ribbing, and I will add on!

This year’s group shot, taken by Heison Chak. Jazz Handz!

See y’all, next year!!!
As Cas says, “A Chantellfie!”





6th Annual Brockville/Rockport Canadian Invasion!

21 08 2013

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013 ~

The van was loaded, and I made my way down to Caiger’s, after work. I had a few things to do, before the dives would start on Thursday, so I wanted to be ready, Freddy!

I arrived, and found Dev on the “Upper Deck,” so we sat around for a little while (of course, while I was up and down the stairs, taking care of stuff), until the mozzies were on full attack. We moved inside, and were joined by Mark, Raph, Fern, and Daniel.  w00t!

Thursday, August 15th, 2013 ~

Today, we were going to Centeen, for a shore dive! Centeen is a good place to go, when you have divers of all levels. There is something for everyone to see, the entry is easy, and… it’s fun!

Some of the divers, getting ready to go on their dives. Eric and I stayed behind, in case there were any stragglers, that needed to know where they were going.

Darth Nash and Raph of Kahn, getting ready…

Hong and Dev…

Once it seemed that there were no more stragglers, Eric and I geared up for a dive.

We headed upstream for a bit, dropped into the channel, and appeared to be in a spot that we hadn’t been to before. There was debris everywhere, once we had drifted about 30 minutes. We wanted to drift longer, but we had made our plan, and followed it. I think we need to go back there, if we can find it!

We made our way back in, and had overshot the Gaskin, so just  came back to the shallows, where we hung out for a little bit, then in. Very fun!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 37 mins.
Max. Depth: 104′
Water Temp.: 71F

Andy was stylin’, as he was trying out an E.Motion drysuit!

Daniel, Raph, Mark…

The one and only… Frankie Boy!

Steve…

Becki, Andy, and I… followed by Dan’s fancy cap…

Eric B even had his toes painted, for the event!

From there, we went back to Caiger’s, where we got ready for dinner!

Friday, August 16th, 2013 ~

Charter time! We had four boats going out, with both Rec and Tech divers. We had Rec divers aboard the “Arrow,” and Tech divers aboard “River Diver,” “Run Time,” and “Island Diver!” The Tech folks went out to the Jodrey, and the Rec folks went to the Keystorm and America!

Neil wanted to make sure that Oren knew that he had his passport…

Steve, Eric, and I were aboard River Diver, with Daniel, Dev, Joanna, and Stretch, and were heading to the Jodrey.

We had a great dive, going through swim-throughs, and seeing some of the wreck that I hadn’t seen before (rooms on the third deck). We noticed that someone took the radio out of one of the rooms, which was incredibly sad. Besides that, it was a most excellent dive! Thanks for the tour, Steve! There was also some Go Pro video, in which I am hoping that Steve will edit, soon. 🙂

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 12 minutes
Max. Depth: 186′
Water Temp.: 71F

When we returned back to Caiger’s, we unloaded, chilled for a bit, then had a yummy Fajita dinner, and some prizes!

Thank you very much, to our Prize Donors! Also, thanks to Dave Pickens, who also donated a few boxes worth of goodies! Thanks Pickeeeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnnnnsssssssssss!!!

Prize Tables:

 

Table: Team Wet Rocks!

Table: Team Retrieving!

Table: Team #1 Phan!

Table: Team Exploration!

Thanks very much to Chris Phinney, for stepping up, when our speaker could not make it! Chris gave us a presentation on Ship Construction, that is part of the NAS-1 course. THANK YOU, CHRIS!!!

Saturday, August 17th, 2013 ~

Day 3 of Invasion Diving Goodness! Back to the Jodrey, for the Tech boats! The Arrow was taking the Rec folks out to the Vickery, and for a drift dive!

Stretch, Eric, and Steve…

Dev, fixing some gear…

Daniel…

Joanna…

…and Captain Rick!

We met up with the Arrow, at customs!

Then, Samer demonstrates that it is very important to hydrate, so that you can hook up, while diving…

For today’s dive, Steve, Eric, Dev, and I were heading to the stern. I hadn’t been to the stern in a very long time, and I was looking forward to getting there, again. We followed the rail of the wreck down, then back up, and in no time, we were there (it helps that we had current on our side). We did a tour of the outside, through the walkways, and peeked in, a little. I absolutely LOVED this dive!

With some years more experience on the wreck than when I last did the stern, we had a really good time of everything. Doing this dive is scooter dependent, when doing it from the bow. I’m not sure if there is still a stern line on the wreck, or not. Just a fantastic dive!!!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 16 mins.
Max. Depth: 200′
Water Temp.: 71F

Stretch, after rescuing Le Princessi from the evil cave line…

Tonight’s dinner was a most excellent Prime Rib (with a couple of vegetarian options, too), and…. GRAND PRIZES!!!

Of course, the group shot had to come, first! Such a wonderful group of friends!!!

We had two Grand Prizes, thanks to Light Monkey and Santi Canada! w00t!

Congratulations to Dev Clifford, for winning the 45# Light Monkey WIng!

Congratulations to Chris Phinney, for winning the BZ400x undergarment, from Santi Canada!

After dinner, a gaggle of us decided to go to Centeen, for a night scooter dive to the Gaskin! There were 11 of us, so we spread out the teams a little, putting teams that knew the area in the front, middle, and back of the pack!

As we got to the Gaskin, we swam inside, and I have never seen so many eels, in my life! I knew that they were around, but really had no clue that there were this many on the Gaskin. They were burrowing down, left and right, leaving little silt clouds as they dug themselves back into the silt! While I felt like I was on an episode of Fear Factor, I did find myself wildly fascinated, at the same time. 🙂

We spent a little time on the wreck, then headed back in. There were many laughs, and we had a blast!

Bottom Time: 47 mins.
Max. Depth: 65′
Water Temp.: 71F

As we packed up, and were getting ready to leave, it seemed that there was a bit of a key incident. I won’t mention any names, but… we were pretty late getting back to Caiger’s, and I’m sure that the CAA fellow would rather not have had 12 of us surrounding him, as he was trying to do his job! *Giggle* Ah, well… all ended happily, and since there was Diving Goodness involved, it was just another adventure to tell!

Sunday, August 18th, 2013 ~

The last day of our Invasion FUN!

A few folks decided to get on the road early, another bunch went out for a charter to the Kinghorn, and another bunch of us went back to Centeen, for a scooter run!

Ok, so it took us a little longer to get to Centeen, due to the Brockville Triathlon, but… we eventually made it there… convoy, and all!

Thank you! Thank you! No applause needed (Andy)…

Becki and Dan…

Joanna, Eric P., and Stretch…

There were some people swimming out to the Gaskin, and we were taking the scooter folks out to see the old Truck!

Becki’s going DIVING!!!

We did make it to the Truck, and there were a few Happy Dances, as we arrived. There were a few video cameras going, but I haven’t seen any footage, yet!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 55 mins.
Max. Depth: 103′
Water Temp.: 71F

You must be “this” tall, to ride this ride… But, at least there is Kool-Aid – Thanks to Dan Humble, for the Kool-Aid packs!

Stretch and Daniel, photobombing Joanna and I! Love it!

Steve, Dan, Daniel, Becki…

Eric B., Frankie, Eric V.!

Thank you to everyone, for making this year such a blast! I can’t wait to see you all, next year!!!

w00000000000000000000000000000t!

 

 

 





Twenty-Twelve….. What A Year!

31 12 2012

Well, what can I say? 2012 has been a year of adventure, and even took us to far away lands, that we never thought we would see!

Of course, we always start the year off in the confines of the icy cold quarry water.

Of course, it stays like this until the beginning of April…

In February, we had another AGGAST adventure! Laurynn, Kathryn, Karen, and Sonya came to the Great White North, for some of this Ice Diving stuff! Of course, we had a bunch of other friends join us, too!

There were even really neat cupcakes!

Our group shot!

Le Princessi was out to play, as well.

We did have a blast, and we even ended up being DUI Dogs!

http://www.dui-online.com/testimonals/2012/team_aggast.html

Here is a video of our weekend!

In March, the free divers came back! They are such a great group of people, and the fact that they free dive under the ice, just blows me away!

Steve and I then went down to Mexico, and did the DPV Cave Workshop, with Danny. What an amazing week!

We had a couple of days off in between, and went diving with Laurynn and Kathryn. Kathryn took some wicked shots of us, in Minotauro!

Lowering scooters down at Nohoch, was pretty crazy, too…

On our last day, Fred took us to a spot along the ocean that had some flow coming out of it. It was a most awesome day, in the ocean!

Pic taken by Fred Devos…

We had many fun dives in the St. Lawrence River, with new friends and already made friends.

Then, the trip of a lifetime… We were invited onto Elena’s boat, and took a trip around the world (40 hours of travel), to Truk Lagoon. I don’t think I have enough words to describe how incredible this trip was. We met some great friends, were treated like royalty, and did some absolutely amazing dives.

I saw my first sea turtle, got dive-bombed by some big fish (which made me shriek), played with “Nemos,” and saw some of the most amazing wrecks, that I could ever imagine!

Below pics taken by Kevin Davidson…

Pic taken by Leigh Cunningham…

Once we returned, and got back into the River, our 5 year search finally resulted in the finding of that darn truck. Many others have seen it before us, but we just couldn’t seem to find it… until July, 2012. I guess we had to go to Truk, before finding the Truck? Wah wah wah…

Pic taken by Eric’s camera, on a timer…

Steve taught some Fundamentals and DPV 1 courses, as well as did some Rec to Tech upgrades.

Ken and Debbie came for a visit, too!
Mike, Ken, Debbie, Me…

We made it to Kingston, for a long weekend BBQ, just like old times!

Eric and I joined in on a charter with Bottom Time Diving, to help with the SOS Eastcliffe Hall mooring buoy. Luc, Frank, and Sandy had most of it covered, so Eric and I tidied up some of the line. Some crazy surface currents, there!

Then it was time for the 5th Annual Brockville Canadian Invasion! People came from far and wide, and a good time was had by all (I hope)! 🙂 Fred Devos joined us, and gave us a presentation on the Mexico Cave Exploration Project (MCEP), with updates from Ox Bel Ha.

Jenni M was certified this year, and we went to the SOS BBQ, and a dive on the Connie! What a fun day!

The visibility has not been great in the River, this year. I wonder if it has something to do with how warm it got, so quickly. There is also a shortage of zebra mussles, these past couple of years. They are invasive, and cover absolutely everything, but they also give us better vis.

We did quite a few longer scooter dives, this year… and did some investigating in parts that we hadn’t been to before.

Our good friends at DUI made a trip to Alexandria Bay, and since it wasn’t too far, we went to visit! We also did a couple of dives (of course)!

Eric V., Susan L., Me, Steve, Frankie Boy!

Blake, Steve…

Andy, doin’ it Gangnam Style…

I even tried an RB80 on, for size…

We finally scootered out to the Eastcliffe Hall from shore, which was a lot of fun… Even though I came close to thumbing the dive, due to the 2″ visibility, which eventually turned into really nice vis.

…and even more dives, in different parts of the River!

Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Eric, Raluca, John, Corey, James, Steve…

Eric, CoRal, Steve…

We also had more friends come to visit, from the US! Eric P. and Tim F. spent their US Thanksgiving weekend with us. We spent a couple of days at the quarry, and a day at the River! We did have other friends join us, too!

Kevin L., Tim F., Me, Eric P. …

Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Eric P., Bob S., Tim F., John B., Oren L., Steve…

We then had a small army travel down to Mexico, for some cavezzzzzzz! There were over 30 in our group, and there were even more that we joined in with! Our group had different tasks, to help out with the Mexican Cave Exploration Project (MCEP), retrieving sensors from different systems, as well as helping out at Yax Chen/Ox Bel Ha. Thanks so much to Fred, Chris, Danny, Angelica, Jorge, and Eduardo for handling such a giant group, and helping everything to run so smoothly!

We visited many different systems, and were once again mesmerized by the Mexico CAVEZZZZZZ!

Me, coming out of Mayan Blue: B Tunnel. Pic taken by Ali Fikree!

Messing around in the basin of Mayan Blue. Pic taken by Ali Fikree!

Heleen also took some video of us, in Dos Pisos. What a stunning cave!

…and Xtabay/Chac Mool…

There are a few missing from the group shot, but most of us are here!

With such an event-filled year, it is hard to believe that we could beat this one!

*Cheers* to 2013!