gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for the ‘Diving’

Statues in the river

April 26, 2016 @ 12:47 By: gordon Category: Diving, In the news

A story on CBC caught my eye this morning. Basically, the Thousand Islands chapter of Save Ontario Shipwrecks is lowering concrete statues into the St. Lawrence River near Brockville to give divers something to hold onto other than the shipwrecks when they’re diving. Wooden shipwrecks are much more fragile than they look, so any contact with them contributes to the overall deterioration of the wreck. Shipwrecks near Brockville are popular dive destinations, particularly for new divers who may have not yet mastered buoyancy control, especially in a current.

When I was actively diving, I was a member of Save Ontario Shipwrecks and served on their board of directors for a few years. The group is dedicated to the preservation of underwater cultural heritage, which includes shipwrecks, submerged villages and structures like the old canals in the St. Lawrence River, and things like old aboriginal fishing weirs. Their activities included training divers on how to properly record shipwrecks and the like, outreach activities to encourage people not to remove things from shipwrecks (that’s illegal in Ontario), and special mooring buoys so that boaters don’t have to drop an anchor near (often on) a shipwrecks. Installing these statues is a creative solution to the problem of divers touching the wrecks. Well done, guys!

Re-visiting the Conestoga

September 11, 2006 @ 08:17 By: gordon Category: Diving

My friend Ken and I went diving yesterday afternoon. It was Ken’s first time in about four years, so we returned to the Conestoga, a wreck I’ve gone diving on twice this year. For a variety of reasons, we didn’t get onsite until quite late in the afternoon. Once onsite, we got our gear on and headed into the water. The water temp was around 68F and the viz was ok. We drifted downstream on the surface and mustered at the boiler that pokes out of the water. From there we descended and swam to the bow, dropped over the side of the wreck and drifted to the stern, popped up over the stern into the wreck and went back to the bow. From there, we basically made our way back to shore and exited the river after a 3-minute safety stop, which is probably redundant as the whole dive is one long safety stop because it’s so shallow (max depth was 21′) and also because we were diving 32% nitrox, rather than straight air. (The 32% nitrox has more oxygen in it than normal air, which is 21% oxygen, meaning you take on less nitrogen loading, reducing the likelihood of getting the bends.)

So, all in all, it was a good weekend. 🙂

First dive of the season

August 04, 2006 @ 18:42 By: gordon Category: Diving

I know we’re about halfway through the diving season here this year, but I just got out for my first dive of the season this afternoon. I headed down to Cardinal, Ontario with my dive buddy and we dove on the wreck of the Conestoga. Our bottom time was about 50 minutes. The water was a balmy 76F and the viz wasn’t bad at all. I was quite surprised in the lack of significant zebra mussels on the wreck. My dive buddy and I were wondering whether the zebra mussel population is being reduced by being eaten by the gobies and/or the zebra mussels having been a little too efficient in their filtering of the water meaning they’re basically dying off for lack of food.

When I have a moment, I’ll see if I can post a picture of the dive profile from my dive computer.

Shipwrecks 2006

March 26, 2006 @ 21:52 By: gordon Category: Diving

I took Friday off work and drove to Welland so that I could go to Shipwrecks 2006, which started at 0900 Saturday morning. The event was basically a series of presentations on various shipwrecks in the Great Lakes (primarily) and their histories. There were also a couple of presentations on recording techniques and expeditions to discover other new wrecks. Several dive clubs and similar organizations, including Save Ontario Shipwrecks, had information booths set up outside the auditorium.

This is the first time I’ve gone to Shipwrecks and I have to say I was extremely impressed. The speakers were experts in their field and many of them had well-produced videos as part of their presentations.

After the show on Saturday, I hopped in my Tracker and returned to Ottawa, making a round trip of 1230 km in 36 hours.

Friday’s dive

October 10, 2004 @ 11:47 By: gordon Category: Diving

I took Friday off and went diving with my friend Bruce. He’s got a boat just downstream of Gananoque. We headed to Georgina Island, one of the islands in Thousand Islands National Park. It’s located underneath the Ivy Lea Bridge.
We tied up at the dock on the south side of the island and set up our gear. The entry was right off the dock — no scuba hiking this time. The first dive, we swam upstream towards the bridge and then drifted back in the current for a bit. I found a pair of pliars in good condition and took some pictures with my new underwater camera. (It’s a neat piece of kit — the housing is reusable while the camera inside is a disposable camera.)

The second dive we headed downstream and across the channel. Saw lots of fish on this dive, including a walleye. Also saw the usual assortment of bottles people dropped their boats, a chair (not too unusual) and a shopping cart (haven’t figured that one out yet).

Both dives were about 30 minutes. Max depth was about 60′ on the first and 50′ on the second. The water was about 60F, which is nice to dive in.

Snagged my wetsuit on something on the first dive so I’m going to have to get it fixed. Grr.

Me diving at Georgina Island

Great weekend

October 05, 2004 @ 00:33 By: gordon Category: Diving, General, Geocaching

I had a great weekend!

Saturday, I headed off with a dive buddy to go diving in the St. Lawrence near Prescott. The conditions were less than ideal (2′ waves and whitecaps) so I dragged her off to do some geocaching. We did three caches and I also did cache maintenance on a cache that was tranferred to me. We agreed to try again on Sunday.

Saturday evening, I saw Collateral at AMC with Ken the Banker. Great movie! Quite a bit better than I expected. Definitely worth seeing if you haven’t seen it.

Sunday, I picked up my dive buddy and we met up with another diver at the Rothesay, a wreck in the St. Lawrence near Prescott. We suited up and headed out to the wreck. About halfway through the dive, I realized I was missing a weight pouch, so we retraced our steps and eventually found it snagged in a loop of rope. Grr!

But, even though we didn’t completely circle the wreck, the dive was still a success and very enjoyable.