The South West Came North

27 05 2018

Saturday, May 26th, 2018 ~ 

It has been a couple of months, since I’ve been in the water, thanks to a knock on the noggin’, but I am back in action! Steve and I were heading to Brockville, for Diving Goodness! Jason Wright was not too far away, and was joining us for a couple of days of diving, too. Of course, Mike P. was in on the action, too!

We met at Centeen, for around 10, got Jason set up with some gear, and were eager to get in the water. It was a bit busy, with courses.

Getting gear ready, and analyzing tanks…

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A big shout out to SOS 1000 Islands, for the work they have done, putting in the second set of steps, to the water. The hooks, for stages and scooters is extra helpful! *GO SOS!*

As I was gearing up, I ripped my glove. I was attempting to wear my 5mm wet gloves, and… rrrrrrrip, right at the seam. I was already committed, so I toughed it out.

We got in the water, did gear checks, and away we went. Mike was on the outside left, then Steve, Jason, and myself, taking up the right side. We scootered upstream, for just over 33 minutes, then dropped into the channel. The sun must have been hiding, because it was pretty much a night dive. We saw a few neat bottles, and Jason even found a bit of a plate, but it wasn’t carry-worthy. Mike did find a pretty neat one, too. We drifted along for a bit, and  hit a back eddy, that pushed us a little more shallow, so we hit the trigger back to our planned depth (100′).

When we reached our max drift time, we headed back up to 65′, where we visited the Gaskin. Of course, we did… that’s our returning reference! Also, it was neat to show it to Jason, who is used to tiny little boats, at the bottom of the lake he dives. It’s amazing, that the line we ran, years ago, is still in decent shape!

We headed back in, and did our little bit o’ deco, where I managed to get a couple of photos. The vis was terrible, so I didn’t get much.

Mike, Steve, and Jason…

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…and again, with a photobomber…

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Of course, a Chantelle-fie!

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We definitely had a lot of fun!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 47 minutes
Max. Depth: 106′
Water Temp.: 51F

We went for after-dive food, at Boston Pizza, then back to Mike’s, for a gather-round-the-fire-pit session. Chris P. was also in town, and came over to join us!

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I can’t tell you what we chatted about… you know, because what happens at the fire pit, stays at the fire pit! Ok, ok… we roasted giant marshmallows! Tomorrow’s dive, to follow! 😀





Gidd-Ee-Yup!

21 10 2017

Saturday, October 21st, 2017 ~ 

It feels like forever, since I’ve posted about Diving Goodness, so here it goes! Steve and I were packed and ready to go DIVING! We met Geneviève and Stéphane at Centeen Park, to do some skills, which went absolutely fabulous. We didn’t think the park would be too busy, since it is nearing the end of October, but we were wrong, wrong, wrong. We had to park quite a bit further than usual, but all was worth it.

As we were gearing up, an older fella walked into the park, and started playing the bag pipes. Ahhhhh… I loved it! Excellent gear-up music.

We got in, and went through a bunch of skills! *Enter GUE skills, here* 😛 Geneviève and Stéphane have worked so hard, and are ready for Cave 1! Way to go, friends!!!

Bottom Time: 56 mins.
Max. Depth: 28′
Water Temp.: 60F

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Since we hadn’t been in the channel for a while, Steve and I brought our scooters out, and went for a second dive. w00t w00t! I was already a little chilly, thanks to a leak in my drysuit boot, but I wasn’t cold enough to turn the dive. Off we went!

Of course, I didn’t have my camera with me today, and… we found the carriage with the horse bones! We have only seen it once before, and this time, the skull was missing. There were still other large bones, and some of the teeth. By the looks of it, it was an older horsey. WHY COULDN’T I HAVE BROUGHT THE CAMERA??? I guess we’ll have to go on a mission, to find it, again! We continued on, through the channel, and had a fun drift, before we came back up. We overshot the exit, but only by a very small margin. What a fun day of DIVING GOODNESS!

Bottom Time: 44 mins.
Max. Depth: 105′
Water Temp.: 60F

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A Barrel Of Laughs

20 02 2017

Sunday, July 17th, 2016 ~

Today’s dive is brought to you by a whole bunch of fun! Our meeting time was for 1pm, at Centeen Park. We didn’t have much of a plan, until we got there (yes, we did discuss our dive plan). There were seven of us, and since we figured that the visibility was going to be “pants,” in the shallows, we were a team of two, a team of three, and another team of two (Gareth L. – That term was for you). We would still stay together, but we opted to make smaller buddy teams, in case we got separated in the muck. Good plan…

Steve and I were together, followed by Andy and Chris, then Mike, Jen, and Fred. We did our gear and bubble checks, then away we went.

We traveled upstream in the shallows, which had about 5′ of milky visibility. Steve and I were in the lead, so we stopped a couple of times, to see if we were all still together. We managed to stick together for the first bit, but the vis proved to be tougher, today. Jen, Mike, and Fred had changed depth a bit, to see if the vis would improve. Chris and Andy were right behind us. There were a couple of giant sheepshead carp, that didn’t expect to see us, in their spot.

We carried on for a bit, then dropped into the channel, where we could actually see where we were going. As we scootered across, I started singing a made-up song, in my reg. It was absolutely ridiculous, and all it took was one giggle to myself, to realize how silly it was, which made me break out in hysterics. Steve looked over at me, like… wtf??? There was no way I could explain myself, while on the trigger, so I just kept on laughing. I had tears coming down my face, and water was sneaking into the bottom of my mask, but I just couldn’t stop. That is, until we reached the channel. It was DRIFTING TIME! w00t w00t! We went a bit further south, this time, to see if we could find anything different.

We found a broken, green teapot, some neat bottles, and then… as soon as I started my gas switch, we happened upon a giant freakin’ anchor. Of course, there was mad current there, so I tried to kick against it, while doing my switch, so that everyone could see the anchor. Mission accomplished.

Shortly after the anchor, Chris and Andy had reached their drifting dive plan limit, and headed back toward the entry.

Steve and I carried on for another while, where we saw some neat rock piles, more bottles, periwinkle shells, rocks, bottles, periwinkle shells – you get the picture. Ohh.. We did also find the outer rim of what could have been a basin of some sort, a trail of coal, and a whole bunch of golf balls.

After an hour of drifting, we started our ascent to 64′, where we arrived at the Gaskin. We did a quick tour, then made our way back. As we followed the line back, there were some people (I think – we couldn’t see anything) creating huge billows of silt, to the point where it wasn’t safe for us to scooter, anymore. Luckily, we didn’t need the line to get back, otherwise we’d be in absolute blindness. We found the pipe, different line on the pipe, then to 20′, where we did our deco… and met up with Jen, Mike, and Fred. They had also just arrived, and witnessed the billowing.

There were a lot of laughs, and it was really nice to have such fun, with friends!

Bottom Time: 2 Hours, 25 mins.
Max. Depth: 108′
Water Temp.: 71F
Visibility: 0′ to 40′ (depending on where we were)

We packed up, and there was a bit of chit-chat, too…

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Cheese, Jen and Mike!

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I managed to get a sneak photo, of Steve!

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Of course, there was an after-dive meal – still, no shortage of shenaniganry!

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Sauntering Through Moulinette

23 05 2016

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016 ~

So… Today’s dive started out with a bang, or a flush, or a swift, cold current… inside my drysuit. Totally my fault.

After bringing our gear down to the water, Steve, Eric, Jen, and I got into our drysuits, and put the gear IN the water. Jen was with me, when I was bringing my camera down, and as we were chatting, and at our scooters, I asked if she would mind clipping my camera to my stage. I didn’t have my dry gloves on, and I didn’t want to let water into my wrist seals. As I am handing it to her, I swear, I felt like I had hit some kind of frigid electric shock system.

Yes… I had forgotten to completely zip my drysuit zipper. After 10 years of diving dry, I finally did it. I mindlessly walked in, and let the flows of the St. Lawrence River completely soak me. *SRLSY*  I may have actually breached the water, as it dripped down, into my feet. Thank goodness, we were only in water up to our waists… er… up to the bottom of our drysuit zippers. *Dork*

Ok… I hung my head in open zipper shame, as Jen was telling an interested passer-by about my “damp” misfortune. I guess the silver lining is that I didn’t pee myself.

I fixed myself up (closed my zipper), and since the water was 50F’ish, I decided to soldier on. There would be no ridiculing in the locker room, for this girl.

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Ok… tanks on, in the water, went over our plan, gear checks, before we made a compass bearing. Our objective was to find the old Grist Mill, that was covered over, as part of the flooding of the St. Lawrence River. There is significant current in most of this area, so it is either a scooter-dependent dive, or a boat dive (we have no idea what the coordinates are, since we are trying to find it). 🙂

We found some foundations, Old Hwy. 2, a lot of tree stumps, and some remnants of what used to be the town of Moulinette. Always a fascinating place to dive, and to wonder how many people once lived here (311, according to the Historical Society), and lived in a thriving small town.

Remnants of the old town of Moulinette…

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We didn’t end up finding the Grist Mill on this dive, but we sure had a lot of fun looking for it!

As we scootered back, in the shallower water, the sun was shining down, and we could see our reflections in the top of the water. I tried to stop and take a photo, but due to the shallowy’ness (new word), I couldn’t get the shot, after we had stopped. I still tried (unsuccessfully)…

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Bottom Time: 1 Hour, 10 Mins.
Max. Depth: 56′
Water Temp.: 51F (53F, in some places)
Visibility: 25′, and milky

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Once we got out, and I dumped the water out of my drysuit (from my earlier self-inflicted zipper misfortune, ending up with chilly feet) and packed up, we went over to Ault Park, where the Lost Villages Museum sits. It wasn’t open, but we did manage to take some photos of some of the buildings that were moved, before the river flooding. I absolutely love this place, and look forward to going back, once it’s open for the season!

Just a couple of photos…

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Here is a link to the Historical Society web site:

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We finished up the evening, with dinner at the Pizzeria/Restaurant, just west of the park. Their fries and gravy were really delicious. Oh yeah, and the Jello. That was pretty yummy, too. I think it was my first time, having blue jello! 😛 Blue, for what my toes must have been, at the end of the dive. Thank goodness, the water temp wasn’t too bad!

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Feeling Like A Spring Turtle

15 05 2016

Saturday, May 14th, 2016 ~

Ahhhh… Back in the water! The water was a balmy 50F, so I went with the thin liners, today. The dry gloves are still on, but what goes under them are just a little bit thinner!

Steve and I met Jen at the camp grounds, and it was opening weekend. For the season, divers must pay $16.99 + tax/day, to dive there.

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Today, was “Visit The Turtles Day!” This seems to be a breeding ground for them, so we are very careful not to disturb them. We just like to document them, and take photos of them. We saw at least two different species, and will be taking notes of our findings.

As we entered the water, we had some rocks to stand on, but we had to be a little careful, since the crayfish were sunbathing on them (in the water, of course). After gear checks, and going over our plan, we dropped down, where the current was already really moving. We went upstream for a bit, then drifted down, visiting our wonderful hard-shelled friends. There were big ones, little ones, and I took some photos of them.

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This guy came right up, to say hello…

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We even saw a massive muskie, that followed us, for a bit. I passed my camera to Steve, and he got a couple of photos of him. I wish that we had some kind of measuring tool with us, ‘cos he was freakin’ massive! Close to the same length as I am!

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The turtles are always amazing to see, and I love that some of them seem to pose for us!

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Bottom Time: 49 mins.
Max. Depth: 56′
Water Temp.: 50F
Visibility: 45′

We took a few photos of a few other turtles, after our dive (us, that is)…

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It was also the maiden voyage, for my new, custom Halcyon wing!

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Another day of fabulous River Turtle Diving Goodness!!

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