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Thread: Tis the season...

  1. #1

    Thumbs up Tis the season...

    No, it is not Christmas season, it is high dive season. Temperatures out at Brockville/Rockport, Ontario are in the 75+ range for July/August. I have never been to the area but that is all changing this weekend. Monday is a holiday so I'm spending Saturday, Sunday and Monday diving out at Brockville.

    I am told that our first dive will be the Keystorm. Someone told me this was their favourite dive in the area. I am so pumped. I'm heading out with two HP119s filled with EAN28. Hope to be able to get them re-filled with EAN28 but I'll have to see.

    My shop booked a dive charter weeks ago. I emailed the dive charter last week to ask a few questions and finally got a response from them yesterday. They have been apparently very busy.

    I am going to be out diving with Thousand Islands Scuba Diving Tours Rockport Brockville Kingston. If anyone else is going to be diving with them, you might end up on my boat (there are only 5 of us).

    Diving two weekends in a row. Yeah!
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  2. #2
    Funeral Jorunna
    Join Date
    08/01/2007
    Location
    Lafayette, CO
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    What is the holiday I know Sunday is Jerry Garcia's birthday but I wouldn't think that would be it. LOL
    If you get confused listen to the music play.
    To much of everything is just enough.

  3. #3
    It is the 'we whined enough so we get an extra day off' holdiay. We have a few of them.
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  4. #4
    Megalodon
    Join Date
    11/12/2007
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    Wichita, KS
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    Any excuse to go diving is a good excuse! Have fun 888!

    I once saved a man in Wichita just to watch him dive...(inventor)

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by navyhmc View Post
    Any excuse to go diving is a good excuse! Have fun 888!
    Thanks, I will.

    And if anyone wants to join us, check out the website, call them and see if they have any room on the boat with Happy Divers Den.
    This signature left intentionally blank

  6. #6

    Thumbs up My trip to Brockville

    Had a great dive weekend. Drove out to Brockville Friday afternoon. Stopped off at Aqua Sub Scuba to pick up a Suunto Zoop dive computer and an HP119 cylinder. Drive from Richmond Hill to Brockville should have been 3.5 hours. Around 6 hours later I arrived at Brockville.

    First day of diving, Saturday, started at 9:30am. The place the boat was picking us up was only 5 minutes from the cabin. There was no point showing up early because we had to clear US Customs and they didn't open until 10:00am. Still, I woke up at 5:30am and pumped and ready to go diving.

    First dive was the Keystorm. We took the line down to the wreck and went around it. Some light penetration but nothing too technical. The second dive of the day was America. It was an okay dive but nothing to write home about. Not too difficult but not for a beginner diver. Ran out of things to look at before I ran out of Nitrox or hit my NDL. Was diving EAN28. Probably could have used air instead.

    Next day was diving wrecks on the Canadian side. Shared the boat with some guys from Aqua Sub. Because we didn't need to clear US Customs, we attempted to get started at 8:00am. We had 11 divers on board when we heard that the 12th diver was running late. He finally showed up and we got underway. I assumed he was with the guys from Aqua Sub. More about the last minute diver to come...

    First dive was the Henry C. Daryaw. Our Boat Master, Lawrence briefed us on the wreck with amazing detail. Turns out Lawrence had been sailing the area since before the Daryaw sank and was there when it sank.

    The Daryaw can be taken as a drift or using a line. The guys from Aqua Sub drifted onto the wreck and off the wreck. Since I had never been on this wreck before I asked if we could tie up to the buoy and take the line to the wreck and drift off of it.

    We got down on the wreck. It is upside down. If you go to the left there is a place at midship you can go under the wreck and up inside the thing. By the time I got there it was quite slitted up and I didn't have a reel so I opted to explore outside the wreck and wait for the rest of my group to come out. There were two lines running across the outside of the wreck. The last minute diver came up behind me. I figured if he was going to penetrate the wreck I should get out of his way and move to the higher line. So I left go of the lower line and prepared to drift to the other line. The other diver grabbed my fins and totally messed me up. I almost ended up drifting off the entire wreck.

    Turns out he finned his way down the line. He was swimming with his hands a LOT and in a bit of a panic. He first claimed to have been rescuing me because I let go of the line but later admitted he panicked and needed to hold on to someone. Holding onto me seemed to have help because he calmed down enough to decide to go back to the line and take the line back up. The current was VERY strong. He used up 2/3 of his cylinder coming down. Going up the line was going to be tough on 1000 PSI. I didn't know he was at a 1000 PSI but I could see he wanted out and had lost his buddy. So I followed him up the line in case he needed help part way up. Our most senior diver and OWSI, Steve, volunteered to be this guys buddy. In 5' viz it was easy to lose someone and that is what happened. Away from the wreck the viz was 15'. So once we were away from the wreck our OWSI found us and took over following him up the line. Swimming against the current I figured I burnt through too much air there was no point going back to the wreck. So my buddy and I called no-joy and went up the line with them as well.

    Really threw off the boat because Lawrence was expecting us to drift off the wreck. So he came back to the line, tied off and pulled us aboard. We then went and caught up with everyone else down river.

    Out OWSI talked with the last minute diver. He was not with the other group. He booked the charter by himself. He was a Rescue Diver with 22 dives, hadn't been diving for 5 years, never dove in low viz conditions (tropical water diver), was using new gear. Basically, a total recipe for disaster. He was too light for weights and actually pulled himself down the line. If he had of tried to drift off the line with a near empty cylinder he would have had an uncontrollable rapid ascent. So he was lucky he went back up the line. We threw some more weight on him but didn't do a weight check because the next dive was a drift dive.

    The drift dive was over the Lillie Parsons. It went okay. It was in the major shipping channels. If you didn't get down to 80' the current would pull you south and you'd end up on the other side of a chain of islands. If you went too deep the current would pull you down to 170'. If you are diving Nitrox (and we were) this could be fatal (oxtox).

    With someone to guide you, i.e. make sure you go deep enough, not too deep, keep a good heading (due East) it is an easy dive. You just have to remember to watch your compass and depth. With Steve guiding the last minute diver, he was fine. The dive went really well. As we went along Steve and the other diver started going shallow. We past the point where you need to stay below 80' but there was still a strong current trying to pull you south. You just had to swim North-East to keep an eastern heading.

    The reason they were going shallow was because the diver was running out of air. Steve was taking him shallow in hopes of conserving air. About 3/4 through the drift he started going up. Turned out he was still 5 lbs light. Once his cylinder got down to 700 PSI he couldn't get neutral and started going up. Steve pulled him down at 25 feet and they were okay at 25 feet. Steve deployed his SMB on a reel but needed both hands free. He had the other diver hold his cylinder. As they got to 15' to do a soft safety the other guy became too buoyant and started pulling Steve up. He won't let go and actually dragged Steve to the surface with no safety stop.

    I tried to get to them before they surfaced but I couldn't catch up to them before 15'. So I held at 15', did my 3 minute safety and followed them up. By this point the boat arrived and picked us up.

    All in all an adventurous day but not one I'd like to repeat. Steve had a chat with the dive charter the next day. He strongly suggested they check the logbooks for people and turn them away if they haven't been diving within a year. All the dives this charter goes to are advanced dives. This guy shouldn't have been out there with. If he had of tried this with a buddy of the same skill level I suspect they would have been injuried or possibly dead.

    Last day we started with a Canadian dive. So another 8:00am dive. The wreck was 5 minutes from Caiger's Resort (where the boat picked us up). So we quickly suited up and went down on the Kingshorn. Because there were 5 of us, we decided that Tom and Keith (who had been diving together for a while) would buddy and Dave (new DM), me and Steve (OWSI) would buddy. Turns out Tom had trouble equalizing going down and back up. So we 'talked' underwater and decided Dave, Tom and Keith would buddy in case Tom had more trouble.

    Steve and I had a nice, leisure tour around the wreck. We went all around it, checked out a few nooks and crankies, did it again. Steve look at me and shrugged. I look at him. We checked out air and NDL. We still had something like 15 minutes till NDL and plenty more air. But we were bored. So we called the dive and went back to the ship. Additionally, we'd be able to off gas more if we didn't stay down as long.

    Last dive of the trip was the A.E.Vickery. This was a dive in STRONG current. You'd follow a line down to the wreck and back up again. This was possibly my favourite dive of the weekend. We took it slow getting down. The line brought us to midship on the deck. I let Steve lead because he had been on the wreck before. We let the current take us over the deck (it was running from the bow to the stern) at around 80'. We dropped over the fantail to look at the rudder. It is wooden, around 6" wide and bigger than I am tall.

    There is a hole in the back of the wreck which I could easily go through. Once you are down behind the wreck, you are out of the current. Best place to be is inside the wreck. So we went into the hole in the back and swam the length of the ship. Went up on the deck. Steve went to the bow of the ship and did like what's his name in the movie Titanic. We went back down into the ship circled around a few more times checking out all the stuff inside the wreck. Then we came back out at the bow, drifted over to midship and headed back up.

    The anchor for the boat is a basket full of rocks at 18'. Last person to anchor there dumped the basket. So the boat captain asked if, during our safety stop, we could load rocks back into the basket. Most the rocks were one to two times the size of a human head. It is amazing how hard it is to move a rock 5 feet and into a basket with 3 foot walls in a strong current, underwater. Just getting one rock in the basket and one rock to the basket, but I couldn't get it up over the wall, I burnt through 14 cu. ft. of air. Took two guys to get the second rock in the basket.

    All in all, had a great weekend. The drive back to Toronto wasn't very fun but it wasn't as bad as the drive out.
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  7. #7
    Megalodon
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    Nice 888! Sounds like a great time! Great report too.

    I once saved a man in Wichita just to watch him dive...(inventor)

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