2012 Brockville Canadian Invasion!

21 08 2012

Thursday, August 16th, 2012 ~

Packed and ready to go! I started off toward Ivy Lea, making a stop at Dive Tech (thank you for the prizes!), then to the Capricorn Motel Royale, where I met Bill and Moira, who were most excellent hosts! Bill showed me around, gave me the instructions for the sat TV, showed me the kitchen, BBQs, and was ready to welcome our group with open arms. Great start!

Dev was the first one to arrive, and most others followed pretty quickly. I handed out goodie bags, assisted with the sat TV instructions (I got pretty good at it, by the end of the day), and we made our way to Smuggler’s Run. Chris Muffin Man Malinowski and Damian also came by to have dinner with us, which was a nice surprise. The food and service was very good, and the convenience factor of it being right across from the Capricorn was excellent!

The dock, near the hotel and restaurant…

Really cool little car, parked outside of the restaurant…

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Friday, August 17th, 2012 ~

Up and out early, for breakfast, at Caiger’s. Boats were loaded, and our departure was around 9:30am. For the Rec boat, we had The Arrow, which can house 22 divers. We had 19, plus one bubble watcher. The Arrow was headed for the Keystorm and America! The two Tech boats were River Diver and Run Time, and we were headed to the Jodrey. It was grey and a bit rainy, but that didn’t stop us.

The Arrow, almost ready to go…

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Loaded up, on River Diver…

 

 

…and on Run Time!

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Happy faces! Look! Jenni M is going diving!

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Our guest speaker was revealed, since Fred was joining us on the Jodrey!

 

 

Let’s go diving!

We went through customs, then made our way to the mooring tree. Moe’s boat was there, which meant… so were Raphael, Tyson, and Mark! After our gear checks, and we were ready to descend, we saw our three friends, who had left from the US side. “Good to see you, friends!” πŸ™‚

Run Time folks, ready to go!
(Vinny was hiding, but at least the sun came out)…

For this dive, we had two groups of three, but would all be staying together, to descend down the wall. Myself, Eric, Fred, Dev, Marc, and Frankie. We made our way down the wall, and the wreck eventually came into sight. The visibility was horrible, so we didn’t really see too much. Once on the wreck, our group of six split into two groups of three. We stayed around the bow, did a circle of the wheelhouse, and stayed close, since the vis was so bad. The current was down, too. There was hardly anything, and even the swimming folks went around the port side of the wheelhouse, where the current is usually famous for wanting to flip you over, and throw you up from 150′. Today, it was kind! So, due to the vis., we didn’t get to tour too much, but it was still good to get down there!

On deco, Eric, Fred, and I got to our 20′ stop, where Fred showed us some new deco tricks. We also played around, writing in wet notes. We learned that “Deco,” in Spanish, is “El Deco.” πŸ˜›

Bottom Time: 64 mins.
Max. Depth: 173′
Water Temp.: 75F
Vis.: 5′
Current: Very low

Clockwise, from the back: Dev C., Frankie F., Kevin A., Neil M., Marc H., Chris McM., Eric B., Fred D.

…and me, at the far left. πŸ™‚

Frankie… Rock on, dood!

Once we returned to shore, cleared customs, and unloaded, people dispersed for fills, and Steph had brought us a present, thanks to Brian Ross, of Banner’s Plus!

I headed back to the hotel, to hang up gear, charge scooters, and my light, and I think I actually got a 15 minute nap!

Dinner was planned for 6:30pm, at Caiger’s. The dinner was amazing, and the service equaled it. Thank you, Mary (and the rest of the staff, too)!

I gave away a few prizes, then Fred Devos began his presentation on the Mexico Cave Exploration Project, which was top-notch. Some really great information, as well as video from some very unique cave. Thank you so much, Fred! It was great to have you here! It was also great to have a few extra friends come by for dinner, as well as the presentation. Bob Sherwood, I didn’t get a picture of you! :O

After the presentation, a bunch of us headed upstairs for some karaoke fun. Steph showed us how it was done, and I sang a few, too!

Saturday, August 18th, 2012 ~

Early to Caiger’s, to hand out breakfast tickets, then loaded the boats! The Arrow headed to the Vickery, then for a drift dive, and River Diver and Run Time were back to the Jodrey!

Steve, loading up!

Steve was here for this dive, and he and Frankie were diving together. Marc and Dev paired up, and Eric and I. The six of us descended together, and Steve was going to lead the way, to show us a penetration. I have been diving this wreck for four years, and had yet to go inside it.Β  I was number 6, and I have to say, that I really did not see much. The visibility was already pretty crappy, and being #6… well… there was quite a bit of percolation, which got in the way (No, I am not blaming my dive buddies.. they were all great!). We got to the end of the line, and it was time to turn around. It was up to me to navigate the line out… which was not the easiest task, with all of the stray lines in there, but we got to our exit safely. πŸ™‚ I really enjoyed this dive, and would really like to go back there! Perhaps with just one or two buddies. πŸ™‚ Kevin A., Neil M., and Chris McMullen had also buddied up for the dive, and went for a tour around the wheelhouse.

Bottom Time: 69 mins.
Max. Depth: 203′
Water Temp.: 75F
Vis.: 8′
Current: Very low

After our dive, a few of us went up to Tek Div, to say hello to Stephane. It was the first time that I had been there, and it is a really nice set up! Thanks for helping us out, Stephane!

Back to the motel to charge, hang gear, sneak in a 20 minute nap, then back to Caiger’s, for our group photo, then dinner! We had some more friends join us for dinner, and laughs. Tonight was prize night! Thank you to all of our friends, who donated prizes: Liquid Productions, Whirling Girl, Dive Tech, Rockport Dive Centre, Hi Def Pictures, 2 Beez Training, In Depth Scuba Services, Exploration Promotions, and GUE Ontario!

We also had a few special prizes for the friends that have been to all 5 Invasions, and one for Jenni M, who has attended 2 as a bubble watcher, and this one as a diver.. finally!

Pic taken with Becki’s camera (not sure who took it)…

Thanks also, to Brian Ross/Banner’s Plus, for the awesome banner!

Sunday, August 19th, 2012 ~

Today, the Tech boats were picking up at Mallorytown Landing. We were going to go over to the Daryaw, and do a drift off of it. The surface current at the Daryaw mooring was crazy.. as always. We had a tag line set up, as well as a few gear lines, so that we could tie in, to get our gear on… and not drift away. Eric and I splashed in, got our gear on, and were joined by Marc and Dev. These are the times when I am extra thankful for my scooter. πŸ™‚ We descended down the line, on the trigger, and proceeded to the underside of the wreck, where we were mostly sheltered. We tied off our stage bottles and scooters, and ran a line, to go into the wreck. I ran the line, and as we were going in, Steve and Frankie were coming out… followed by quite a huge amount of silt. Apparently, as they went in, there were a ton of eels that retreated, and stirred everything up… I will give them the benefit of the doubt. πŸ˜› So.. we waited for them to pass, and I was trying to make a call on whether we kept on, or turn around.. wondering if the “dust” would settle. It didn’t. I signaled to turn around, and went to go another way, which was also silted out. There had also been a few boats on it before us, as we pulled up to the mooring.

Hanging onto the tag and gear lines, in the crazy surface current, about to descend (taken by Rick Lymer, with my camera)…

So.. back under the wreck, we went.. Picked up our gear, then ascended into one of the holds, where we surfaced and waved to each other, in the air pocket. There was quite a big pocket, which does grow throughout the summer, from all of the divers’ bubbles. We came back down, did a tour of the outside of the wreck, then went for a drift. We stayed on the North side of the wall, and there wasn’t a whole lot of current where we were, in most of the areas. I did see the biggest sturgeon that I had ever seen in my life.. 6 feet long! There were a few big carp, a lot of baby walleyes, and even more bass. It is nice to see that the fish are doing well! I even saw a couple of the fresh water jellies, which I didn’t see, last year!

There were some pretty cool rock formations along the wall, but then we got to an area where there was just a lot of dirt. We weren’t exactly sure if we were getting close to our target (the big white channel marker), so we drifted for a while longer, then Dev blew a bag, to let Rick know where we were, to pick us up. Due to a lack of current in the area that we were in, we weren’t that close to the marker…lol. Oh well.. still fun. πŸ™‚

Bottom Time: 75 mins.
Max. Depth: 88′
Water Temp.: 73F
Vis.: 20”
Current: Very low

Apparently, Frankie found a nice pink clip…

The sky got a bit dark as we made our way back, but we were still all smiles…

…and Neil passed out the Deco Cookies… Yumm… Maple Cookies….

Once we returned, we unloaded, said some goodbyes, then a few of us went back over to Caiger’s, to relax… and for me to pay up! πŸ™‚

James and Leslie came over, after James did a triathlon (along with a bunch of our other friends)…

I can’t get over what an amazing group of people that come to the Invasions. I have met so many wonderful friends and dive buddies, and cannot wait until next year!

Andy, Kate… Kate, Andy!

Our group shot (even though there were a few missing)…

Also, a small video that I put together of my weekend’s pics! Thanks again to everyone! See you next year! w00t! πŸ™‚





Kingston Invasion ~Β 2010

23 08 2010

Friday, August 20th, 2010 ~

Up and at ’em! I think I got up before the birds did, loaded the last little bits into the van, and started the trek to Kingston. Quite a few of the gang had arrived the night before, so I was going to meet them at the boat.

I arrived a little earlier than the gang, and got to hang out with Anne and Harold for a little bit.

Kingston Dive Charter docks…

Friends started to arrive, and the boat was loaded up. Since we only had one boat filled for the Friday, I sat out, in order for the others to have some Diving Goodness. The lake was flat too, which is about the only time I can go…lol. Oh well, I was still a very happy camper, and was very happy to see everyone.

Once everyone returned, went to hotel rooms, and freshened up, we headed over to The Pilot House for some dinner. From there, a bunch of us went to the Legion. It turns out that they happened to have karaoke that night, and we went to have some fun!

By the end of the night, I had been invited to sing at a benefit, to write songs with a Legion member, and was handed a business card, in case I wanted to do some recording. It really was a blast. I ended up singing a couple of duets with the guy running it, and we got alot of laughs with our renditions of Picture and Summer Nights. It really was a blast, and everyone there was fantastic. It was also one of the members’ Birthday, and she was happy to share her cake with all of us.

Such fun!!!

Saturday, August 21st, 2010 ~

We had two boat loads today, and since it was pretty windy, I opted to stay on shore. My tummy really does not agree with the lake, when it’s rocking and rolling out there. It didn’t look too bad in the bay, but with the wind, the prediction was definitely “Rock and Roll.”

I bid safe dives to everyone, went back to the hotel to do some work, then came back to hang out with the fellas at the shop.

I eventually wandered back over to the boats, greeted the peeps coming back from Diving Goodness, and they told me that it was definitely rock and roll out there, and that I would have been in the fetal position. Although, they still had a good time. *Phew*

I dropped all of the BBQ goodies off at Northern Tech Diver, and when Eric arrived (he wasn’t there for the Saturday charter), he, Steve, Frankie, and I went over to the quarry, to get me in the water! I was having serious Diving Goodness Envy!

We brought the scooters to mess around with, but the visibility was absolutely horrible, so wen decided to have some fun, ducking and dodging the walls of the quarry, while doing laps. Steve and I were in the lead, as a team of two, with Frankie and Eric behind us… er… well, they WERE behind us! That’s how bad the visibility was. Steve and I stopped to see if they would catch up, so we played around, while I attempted to take some pictures. The camera always makes the vis look better…

Steve took a couple of me too…

Since we couldn’t see anything anyway, I tied off the camera, and we went back to our laps, looking for Eric and Frankie. It is not a large quarry, so we figured we’d find them at some point.

Once we did a lap or two, we surfaced, to look for their bubbles.. There they were! Off we went again! Doh! They moved! We surfaced at the same time as they did, and we beelined it for them, on the surface, full of laughter. It was only the quarry, but it was still alot of fun.

Eric and Frankie…

Bottom Time ~ 33 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 25′
Water Temp. ~ 75
Visibility ~ 3′

Eric, trying to stay out of the rain…

We didn’t stay very long, as we had to get back to the shop for the BBQ!

When we arrived, the BBQ had begun! Chef Jennifer was well on the way, cooking all of the burgers. Thanks, Jen! I had already let the group know that I needed some Diving Goodness, so no one was left out to lunch… er.. dinner.

Chef Jen!

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010 ~

Today, I was going to attempt to get on a boat. It seemed that the lake wasn’t too bad, and there wasn’t much of a wind happening, so we figured I was safe! I even had my gear on the boat, when Anne called me, telling me that it was absolutely nasty out there, and that I would definitely not like it. *sigh* Suckage factor high, but I really did appreciate the call. So… down I went, to get my gear….

“Bye Bye, friends! Happy Diving!”

I returned to the shop, where I hung out with Mike and Scotty… darn it… couldn’t resist the deal that Mike found on some Air Jordans… All three of us got them. That, and we used the bunny to drain some tanks. See what happens when I can’t go diving? :O

When the second boat returned, I was waiting at the dock, so we could go get some early dinner!

You call that a knife? πŸ˜€

So.. apparently, everyone did have fun dives, and we did have alot of laughs on the surface. Next year… I’m on the boat.. I mean it!!!

Thanks for a wonderful weekend, everyone!!

Group shot…

Here is a short video of the weekend!





Brockville Invasion ~Β 2010

16 08 2010

Friday, August 13th, 2010 ~

w00 h00! A year’s worth of planning, and the Invasion was finally upon us. Time to see friends from last year, some of the “usual suspects,” and make some new friends.

I had loaded the DGTU on Thursday, so I was ready to roll on Friday morning. We were meeting at Jeff’s, to dive the Kinghorn.

Some of the gang had arrived on Thursday evening, and some were arriving today.

A good sized group were hitching a ride on Jeff’s boat, while some of us were going to scooter out to the wreck. Since it it not permitted to dive off the dock during boat season, we were given special permission for the day, and promised to stay away from the boat docks, picking up the line off of the customs dock, instead of the usual spot.

As we were getting our gear together, we got dive bombed by a military plane… about 5 times. I caught it once, as it had already passed…

Once we got sorted out and did our gear checks, Eric V., Ralph, myself, Chris Mal., Piotr, and Szymon headed out on our “turbos,” in search of the line. I had never picked up the line here, and hoped we would find it quickly. Alas, there it was. We got to it quite quickly and headed out.

Chris Mc., Mark N., Bob and Brian P., Erin A., Stephanie and Carmine B., and John Bailey went out on the Shaleka J, with Jeff at the helm, and we met them on the wreck.

Ralph, Eric, and I did a couple of tours around the outside of the wreck, then headed inside. I had my little Go Pro camera with me, and although it was a bit dark, I did get a little bit of footage with it.. that is, until it leaked a bit.

Erin got a little ride on Ralph’s scooter, which I know she enjoyed! We decided to get back on the line, and head back in. Once back at the docks, we found a good spot to leave our scooters, and tied them off. We were coming back for a second dive, so figured the best place for them was in the shallow water, tied to the dock.

Max. Depth ~ 91′
Bottom Time ~ 48 mins.
Water Temp. ~ 73
Vis. ~ 30’ish

Lunch time! We all walked over to the pub for some grub – drysuits and all. I had given them warning that there would be about 18 of us for lunch. They were very happy with the warning. We had alot of fun with the girl serving us. She was joking right alongside of us, and made our meal that much more enjoyable. They were ready for our sogginess, and had set up tables for us in the outdoor, covered area.

Then.. the bill came… Holy smokes… Yes, it is the real thing…

We then made our way back over to Jeff’s for Dive number two. We picked up our gear from the ledge, and once again made our way out to the Kinghorn.

Me gearing up, taken by Andy H…

Chris.. doing some gear maintenance.. with a saw???

I didn’t bring the camera out with me this time, so I didn’t get any shots, but we had a very similar dive. Scootered out, swam around, high-fived passers-by, played inside the wreck, played outside the wreck, then made our way back.

Max. Depth ~ 90′
Bottom Time ~ 41 mins.

Of course, there had to be Kool Aid shots!

After our dives, we headed over to Caiger’s, so the rest of us could check in and get sorted out before dinner.

Dinner was a choice between chicken and steak, and a myriad of other deliciousness. We had two tables, with over 30 people for dinner!

After dinner, some of us made our way upstairs, where we had some karaoke fun. I made a few friends…lol.

Saturday, August 14th, 2010 ~

Saturday, we boarded our charters, with a packed lunch, and headed out for some Diving Goodness!

One group of divers boarded with 1000 Island Pleasure Diving, for some Keystorm and America Goodness, and another two groups were bound for the Jodrey.

AΒ couple of Β pics from our Jodrey charter…

We met up with everyone at Boldt Castle (Customs). Of course, there were pictures…

Chris McMullen and I were buddied up for some Jodrey Goodness. We made our descent down the wall, played around the bow for a bit, then made our way back in. This was the first time Chris and I had dived as a team, and we were in pretty good sync. Thanks for the dive, Chris!

Total Run Time ~ 62 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 179′
Water Temp. ~ 73

Cap’n. Jeff…

This year’s Invasion was moved to keep from the interruptions of the Poker Run. Instead of that, we had Pirate Day. There were many boats out, with pirate flags on their boats, and zipping back and forth. Needless to say, that we had quite a few waves crashing over our heads in the little mooring bay. It was for this reason that I opted to hang out in the water, while waiting for the rest of the gang to surface. My tummy and boat rockin’ just don’t mix.

Once they were back, I took even more pictures..

After we were allowed entry back into Canada, we unloaded, and headed to the patio, for some pre-dinner chatter about the day’s dives!

We joined again in the Caiger’s Dining Room, and had another fantastic dinner. There were many laughs, and alot of discussion about corn. One of the servers got in on it as well, and even brought me a little cup, with a few kernels of corn.. Priceless.

After dinner, some of us gathered around a bon fire, and enjoyed the beautiful evening. Thanks to the family that joined us, and brought marshmallows!

Β 

Sunday, August 15th, 2010 ~

Sunday, one group was headed to the Vickery, and for a cool drift dive, near the Ash Island Barge, and the tech boats headed back to the Jodrey. Dan MacKay, Jen, and Jeremy joined us for today’s dive as well.

Jen and I teamed up together, with Chris Mc. and Dan as a team alongside of us. We played around the bow some more, and although the visibility wasn’t very stellar, it was still a fun dive.

Bottom Time ~ 64 minutes
Max. Depth ~ 177′
Water Temp. ~ 73

This year’s Invasion was a little different, in the respect that it was an all-inclusive weekend, apart from drinks. The charters, room, dinners, lunches, breakfasts, T Shirts, and prizes were all included in the cost of the trip. I think this way works out very well, and I will definitely arrange it this way for next year as well.

It was really amazing to see some of the people that we only see once a year, and also great to have some new faces along!

Until next year!





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. πŸ™‚

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!!!





Canadian Invasion ~ Brockville Edition

20 08 2009

Friday, August 7th, 2009 ~

I had packed the van the previous night, so that I was ready to roll in the morning. This was going to be the first weekend of the two Canadian Invasions, and we were meeting at the Bridge Island Resort, in Mallorytown.

When I arrived, there were already folks convening and getting gear ready!

Eric V. and Frankie…

Pickens…

Brent…

Bob P….

Randy…

Stephanie…

Piotr…

Andy…

Jamie and Rod…

Hmm.. it seems Chris was able to avoid the camera…

We organized the convoy, and went over to Rockport Dive Centre, to see Jeff. There were 13 of us to dive, which was a bit many for the Shaleka J, so 5 of us were going to scooter out to the wreck!

Chris M., getting ready to scooter (got him this time)…

Bob P., getting ready on the boat!

I had never navigated this dive from shore before, and was looking forward to the adventure! We dropped down, found the line, and headed out. Chris, Piotr, and I were in the lead, with Francois and Eric behind us. Frankie also brought his HD video camera. We got to the end of the line, and didn’t see anything. The visibility wasn’t that great, so we moved forward a little bit more, taking a bearing off of the line. That didn’t work. We went back to the line, and I looked to the right… Ohh.. look at that.. a big bow in the murk. I signaled to my team mates, and around the wreck we went. We saw the boat divers on the wreck as well, and I managed to give a couple of high fives to a bunch of people. We went inside for a bit, then came back out and headed back. What a fun dive!

Bottom Time ~ 54 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 92′
Water Temp. ~ 71
Vis. ~ Stinky

We broke for lunch, and went over to the Boathouse Restaurant. Notice Andy got in both pictures.. πŸ˜€

What would an Invasion be without stacking things??

After lunch, we headed back over to Jeff’s for a second run out to the Kinghorn. Chris was sitting this one out, so I took his scooter. Piotr and I teamed up, and Frankie and Eric were a team, once again.

We followed the line out again, but were able to get to the wreck in one this time…lol. We had a leisurely swim around the wreck, greeted some of the other divers, and went back in.

Bottom Time ~ 50 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 94′
Water Temp. ~ 71
Vis. ~ Still Stinky

We headed back to the Bridge Island to meet up with more arriving folk, then went over to the Boathouse again, for a party!

Everyone had arrived, once we got to the Boathouse, and there were so many of us, that we had to line up tables in two rows. We laughed and had a great time, even though Mr. Karaoke Man didn’t get there. Oh well… I can sing without music.

Saturday, August 8th, 2009 ~

We had four boats for the entire group: Two boats of Wayne’s and 1000 Islands Pleasure Diving, leaving out of Caiger’s, and two boats of Jeff’s, leaving from Rockport Dive Centre. We were all heading to the Keystorm, as the Poker Run was going on again, and we were limited to which wrecks we could do. It’s better to stay out of the channel with speeding boats nearby. Apparently, every dive boat in the water, was also headed for the Keystorm. It was going to be one busy day on that wreck.

Steve and I, playing around…

Cap’n. Jeff!

Steve and I were buddied up, and Chris, Piotr, and Jen were joining us as a group. Steve had the video camera, and he and I pointed the scooters down on the hull side, and down we went. We stopped at about the 85′ mark, and went underneath the wreck, to wait for the second gang. Steve filmed them coming down. It was kind of fun to have the scooters on this wreck, as we have always just swam this one. We did a tour down by the props, waved to our other friends, then played around in the cargo holds. We then followed the wall around for a bit, but didn’t see much of anything but wet rock. Coming back, we were right on the anchor. Alot of fun!

Bottom Time ~ 44 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 111′
Water Temp. ~ 71
Vis. ~ 20′ ish

In between dives, Steve and Mer went over to investigate the other group’s boats!

There are always the Kool Aid shots…

Steve, playing in the water…

The Poker Run was going on again, and since there were fewer boats than last year, it really wasn’t so bad. I caught a picture of one little boat in the air.

Oh.. what’s that? A police boat! I need a picture of them…

Um.. no, I didn’t mean for you to come over…

They were pretty friendly, and just checking up on us, to make sure that the speedy boats were cooperating.

Once we were all back on board, we headed back to shore, picked up a few goodies, and convened for some BBQ goodness! We had giant steaks and chicken (thanks to Jen for bringing the meat), potato salad, chips galore, a draw for some prizes (thanks to Rockport Dive Centre and Dive Tech for the donations), and plenty more laughs. Thanks to Pickens for his master cookery on the BBQ too!

Sunday, August 9th, 2009 ~

Today, we were on different runs. Wayne’s boats headed out to the Vickery, then to do a drift dive, and Jeff’s boats were headed off to the Jodrey.

Junior was overseeing the plans…

We tied up to the mooring tree, and prepared for our dive. Chris was a bit under the weather, so Piotr was going to join Jen and I.

We did our predive checks, then drifted to our descent spot. Once we got to the edge of the wall, down we went. It seemed that the current was an extra bit strong today, so on the way down, it felt like we were being carried over a bit. When we got down to 140′, we didn’t see the wreck. We descended a little more, then realized that we were definitely in the wrong spot. I could have sworn that the current had taken us farther past, so I figured we should go a bit west. We scootered along the wall, until we hit even stronger, screaming current, and I realized that we were on the wrong side of the wreck. The current gets even stronger, heading out near the channel, so we turned around, and got a bit more shallow. We scootered for a couple of minutes, then voila!! We were on the wreck! Judging by the distance that we travelled back and forth, we had to have been right at the hull, when we descended. Since it’s quite dark, and you don’t have any ambient light at the hull, neither of us knew that we actually were right beside the wreck. So… we didn’t actually get to spend much time on the wreck, and I have to take alot of that responsibility. I could actually blame it on Chris, on the boat, as just before the dive, he said to Piotr, “Just follow Chan. She knows where she’s going.”

Right.. famous last words! Lol.. well.. it was still an interesting experience, and we still did have alot of fun! Scootering in mid water at depth was actually a really cool experience. I guess the next case of Kool Aid is on me! Oh wait.. I did bring the Kool Aid… good call.

When we returned to shore, we packed up and headed back over to the Family Restaurant, to meet a bunch of the gang from Wayne’s boats, before everyone departed. Becki had the best napkins…rofl.

We shared our stories from the weekend’s dives, shared even more laughter, and enjoyed each other’s company.

It was really amazing to see alot of friends from last year, and we also made some new ones. Last year’s group was 18 people, and this year, we grew to 28, and two different weekends, in two different towns/cities. What an awesome group of people. I can’t wait until next year!