We have been busy over the last few months with project planning and finalizing reports for past licenses. Our Southern Trail interior survey is almost complete and will be up on the web once it has been filed with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
This year we plan to add some geophysical survey work to our schedule and if luck is with us, locate a new wreck to survey and for everyone to enjoy. We have several firm leads on wrecks in the western end of Lake Ontario. With all the shipping and long history of settlement at this end of the lake, there is bound to be some more wrecks worth visiting. The bathymetric studies at this end of the lake are also favourable with over 8km of open water in recreational diving range!
Some video from a Nautical Archaeology Society; Intro and Part 1 to Underwater and Foreshore Archaeology Class. Presented by Save Ontario Shipwrecks in Brockville, Ontario -2009. Bryan Thomas and Chris Phinney were the instructors. This was our first class with all GUE trained doubles divers.
After trying to get John’s old boat fixed and finding it difficult to source parts, etc. John and Chris decided to pull the trigger on a brand new boat. The new boat is made by the “Rubber Duck Inflatables” company and is both longer and wider than the old boat.
NAS Sr. Tutor Chris Phinney giving some survey tips
With the loss of our primary boat at the beginning of the season, things have been pretty slow on the project front. We have been mostly diving just for fun and doing research.
It has been a busy season none the less, with several Liquid members becomming Nautical Archaeology Society instructors for Save Ontario Shipwrecks. Project Co ordinator, Chris Phinney has become the Sr. Tutor (tutor is an instructor) and Bryan Thomas is also a tutor. Putting our hard won experience to good use teaching others how to survey wrecks is very rewarding. Chris has spent the last few months adapting the UK course content to local diving conditions and laws.
The first SOS NAS course was a roaring success and the new course content was launched in July. Feedback from the students was awesome. There is a write up on the SOScentral.ca site.
Unfortunatly durring a training operation last weekend, the boat that the team primarily dives from, belonging to John Millar, was damaged beyond repair.
Running out to deep water for a Trimix training dive, paralell to the seas, a rogue wave came out of no where and swamped the boat (or so we thought). It turned out that the wave hit with such force that the wood floor cracked and punctured the hypalon floor which rammed water into the tear and blew out the floor to pontoon seam.
So there we sat with the floor falling out from under us. Luckily for us, the pontoons were intact allowing us to be towed back to shore where we offloaded the gear and recovered the boat.
This will set us back this season as we need a boat to get out to complete our scheduled projects. In the mean time we will be very busy with training and research.
As a diver and someone who loves the natural landscape, I find it gut wrenching to see the footprint we leave behind on the planet. With all the time I spend on and in the water, it especially hits home when diving. Wanton disregard for the environment has got to stop, lest we leave no future for future generations.
When it comes to diving here in Canada, I am amazed by the beauty and preservation of our wrecks and appalled by the senseless pollution of our lakes and rivers at the same time. Lakes and oceans are not bottomless and rivers not endless, what is put in there will come back to bite us in the ass.