Brail Diving

14 09 2015

Saturday, September 12th, 2015~ 

We had a bit of a late start to the day, but we still wanted to get in the water. It was chilly and raining, but… DIVING!

Frankie had his heart set on going to the Paper Factory Basement, so that’s where we headed – at least, that is the destination that we attempted to travel to. There were a few cars there, and one boat in the water (we saw the trailer), so we knew to look out for a boat. 🙂 The water was extraordinarily low. Probably the lowest that we have seen, here.

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We put our gear in the water, and as we were getting in, Eric came by to pick up his gear, for the next day’s Diving Goodness. It felt really weird to see him on the dock, instead of in the water.

Once we did our gear checks, we surface scootered out to a spot that we would be able to see a bubble check, and descended.

Ay carumba… Talk about no visibility! We saw the ends of our scooters, but that’s about it. The water was full of particulate, and… just… MILK. All I could think of were Leigh’s words: “I do not dive in milk.” Too bad that I was wearing black wet gloves, because I wanted to pull Leigh’s big, blue thumb. We carried on.

I saw a couple of pike, which was nice. I hadn’t seen any, this year. Also, a couple of sheepshead carp, and some bass.

We dipped into the first bit of channel, then the second, and drifted for a bit. The currents were all over the place – non-existent in some areas, and absolutely ripping in others. There was one spot, where our scooters were not even moving, at half-pitch. If we hit the “turbo,” on the trigger, we did make ground.

It got to the point where there really was no point in continuing. We think we actually were on top of the Power House, but we couldn’t see anything, to really confirm it.

We turned around, and headed back to the entry. Frankie saw a couple of nice carp, on the way back. 😀

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 14 minutes
Max. Depth: 68′
Water Temp.: 71F
Vis.: 5′ of milky, particulatey crap – maybe the worst that we’ve seen, here

Oh, well… We went diving, and were able to practice our no-vis, scootering drills!

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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!





Back To The Sisters

10 08 2015

Sunday, August 9th, 2015 ~

Well, I wasn’t so diligent with writing down the details of this dive, but I do know that Steve, Jen, and I went for a scooter run, to the 3 Sister Islands. Two stages, and Suexy Goodness!

We did meet Andy in the parking lot of Timmies, for a quick hello!

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At least I know that we had a fun dive. We are always smiling, after Diving Goodness!

I do remember the scooter ride back, and the feeling of “impending doom,” as we neared the darkness created by this thing…

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Bottom Time: 2 hours, 36 mins.
Max. Depth: 115′
Water Temp.: 71F
Vis.: Well… I don’t remember, but it has not been stellar, for a while!

How’s that, for a quick entry? I shall not be so tardy in my Bloggy Thing posting, in the future!

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Near The Sisters

2 08 2015

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015 ~ 

Since today was such an amazing, sunshiny, summer day, we decided to go diving. Imagine that – Shocking, I know.

Getting gear together…Getting ready for Diving Goodness!

 

Once we finally made it down to the park, there were only a couple of available spaces, to park. This is pretty usual, but since they were having a festival at another nearby park, there were cars absolutely everywhere. We did manage to find a spot, and although not the closest spot, we were parked. We then eyed someone about to leave, a few spots closer, and Steve got the van, while I stood guard. No one was going to run me over… right? 🙂

We brought our gear down to the entry point, geared up, and got our butts into the water. The water felt absolutely wonderful. It had warmed up so much, in the last two weeks!

Gear, going into the water.

 

Our plan was to go downstream, towards the Three Sister Islands, and have a look around. We were going to spend an hour at 100′, and make our way back, doing our deco, on the trigger.

 

That is exactly what we did. 🙂 We scootered down to just shy of 100′, where I saw a white sturgeon baby. I have never seen a white one before, and this is the second young sturgeon that we have seen recently (providing the other one was the same one, that we kept seeing, in the same spot). This one was quite a bit more shy than the regular one (Atlantic sturgeon, I’m guessing) that we see.

We drifted along the periwinkle shells, where we saw bits of wreckage – nothing significant, but neat to see, anyway. There was a path of coal, lining the way, and the visibility was actually better than it has been, over the last month. It wasn’t fantastic, but we were happy with it. We kept drifting, and I saw another baby sturgeon! This one was white, with a dark splotch on him. This is entirely good news, to see that they are around. We usually go quite a long time, without seeing these fish.

There were spots where the current was moving at a good pace, and then it seemed to get really slow. This is unusual, between the islands, as the currents are usually a little rock ‘n’ roll, in between them. We figured that we were in between the second and third islands, from the current’s behaviour. We kept along, and we happened upon a piling, in the middle of the channel.

We then started our “journey,” back in. When we got up to 20′, we switched to our 02, and hit the trigger, again. We seemed to have timed it absolutely perfectly, and had completed our deco, before even getting back to the entry point. *High Five,* team!

It was a really fun dive, and there were things to look at, at every single point of the dive. w00t w00t!

Bottom Time: 2 hours, 30 mins.
Max. Depth: 114′
Water Temp.: 72F (YEAHHHH!!!)
Visibility: 20′

Of course, it had been a year since we had been to the Fudgery, so…. the rest is self-explanatory. 😀

 

Diving Goodness was had! w00t!

 





Sturgeon Island

31 05 2015

Sunday, May 31st, 2015 ~

w00t! There shall be diving, today!

We had an Oren sneak into our house, late Saturday night, so we figured that we would take him for a scooter run, in the River. There have been occasional Oren sightings, over the last year, and this time, we took him for a nice swim. 😛

Our plan was to go to a little underwater island, that we had found last year. It is entirely possible that it may have been found  before, but it was pretty new to us. Last year, Steve had seen a giant sturgeon there, on more than one occasion.

As we dropped into the channel, we came upon remnants of a wreck, that we had also found recently. The current was absolutely ripping here, so it was hard to get any good shots. I did get a few, but they were a little blurry… thanks to the blustery current!

dsc_1885Another current blurry shot…

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Other bits, laying near the wreckage…

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We stayed at the wreck for a few minutes, then back towards the middle of the channel. As we got to about 94′, we saw a baby sturgeon. This was so nice to see! I had never seen a little one, and that means that there is something good going on, in the water. He was just over 1′ long, and didn’t seem too afraid of us. I did have my camera, but it was clipped off, behind my leg, and I just wasn’t quick enough.

We arrived at the island, and since we have seen sturgeon here, every single time, we decided to call it, “Sturgeon Island.” It may have another name, if it’s been found before, but to us… Sturgeon Island. We drifted along, and enjoyed looking at the different levels of rock, and the different formations, which were really amazing. 🙂

As we made our way back up, we passed through the Gaskin, and then into the shallows, for a little bit of deco.

Steve and Oren, as we swam up to our 20′ spot…

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Oren…

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Me, with a nice green slime, in front of my face!

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All three’s a charm!

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Nice bottle!

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Steve’s new-found snorkel…

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Bottom Time: 1 hour, 25 mins.
Max. Depth: 109′
Water Temp.: 55F
Vis.: 20′ to 50′

Steve and Oren dumped their tanks, while I guarded the gear, in the water, so the choppy waves wouldn’t whisk it away. Then, it was my turn… so… I just had to take a picture…

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We had yet another grand day of Diving Goodness, in the St. Lawrence River!