Wednesday, July 16 – 2008
13:45 – 15:00
Dive Number 133
Roads: Dry / clear
Water Temp: +18C
Area: Wainfleet Quarry
Vehicle: Black Sunfire
Weather: Partial Clouds
Divers: Wolf & Chuck
Maximum Depth: 5m
DISCLAIMERAlthough this journal will seem humorous – it was written that way. It is intended to show the lighter side of scuba diving. All parties involved are highly skilled and trained divers with hundreds of dives under their belt, most of them unlogged. These journals are just like fun stunts you see on television, done after much practice. This is a journal of two adventurers who go out to have fun on a sunny day. If you read anything other than that into this blog, you are sadly mistaken. Read, Laugh, Enjoy, and please comment!
We arrived at the dive site around 13:30, parking on the street just beyond the “no parking” sign and started to kit up. There were many other people here, mostly young girls in bikinis enjoying the quarry. We met up with an elderly man who introduced himself as a good Christian man and a diver from many years ago who used to deal with a local dive shop in St. Catharines until he lost his certification card, and the dive shop would not assist him to get a duplicate copy. He offered to help us with our gear, but we politely declined.
Entering the quarry it seemed rather clear today, and we have been waiting for the area to clear up as the first time I dove here was Sunday, September 08 – 2002. The water was murky and cloudy and we really couldn’t see much at that time. I had about 200 bar in my large 14L steel tank.
We did our gear check and slipped into the water – Chuck used a crowd-pleasing giant stride, and I did a graceful belly-flop entry into the water (an advanced technique!) and checked our gear one last time before slipping beneath the surface of the water into the unknown world below.
The water was beautifully clear here, until we hit the 3m thermocline and the visibility went to pea-soup. We ascended a little bit to keep over some of the thermocline and ended up swimming through massive forests of freshwater kelp and weeds which blanketed the floor of the quarry.
With visibility so poor, Chuck held onto my tank with one hand, and the dive float with the other which ended up with him collecting large amounts of weeds, (affectionately known as “salad” by divers) caught in his arms. I wondered why I was kicking and kicking and not making any headway in the water, but quickly realised it was Chucks might hand-grip on my tank, coupled with massive amounts of drag created by our new underwater swamp-thing attire. Chuck also was practising his “Pirate Diver” technique as one side of his masked had fogged up and he could see out of one eye only.
As we trudged our way along the bottom we found all the usual discarded refuse of civilisation including lots of old pop tins, beer bottles, and other rubbish. We did find an arrow which was kind of an unusual find. We also found an upside down bicycle which was only days old. We could still operate the pedals and make the read tyre spin! (However this kicked up much silt and did not assist the already poor visibility in any way)
I noticed at one point Chuck was floundering slightly in the water, and upon closer inspection, he had managed to get his weight belt up under his arms. What a spectacle to see! After a few moments of floundering and shaking about under the water, he managed to right the position of the belt to be able to safely continue the dive.
Moving along through the underwater forest, collecting many specimens on our tanks, faces, and equipment, we eventually came along to a great discovery – a sunken automobile! A very old blue automobile which was very large, and had two big tail fins on the back to show its age. All the doors, boot, and bonnet were open, it was providing shelter for some of the many bass, carp, and rock bass in the quarry.
A few more metres along we came to another pile of sunken, discarded automobiles. We identified one as a 1980’s era Mustang hatchback with a broken windscreen. The rear windscreen was intact and Chuck wanted to see how stable it was after all these years. He removed his dive knife and with all his might, stabbed the rear windscreen. Although this was intended to be a powerful force from his point of view, from mine it was a grimaced, slow motion swing with a gentle “tick” sound when the knife touched the glass. Needless to say the rear windscreen remained intact after several attempts to check it’s aged stability with the tip of a dive knife.
We continued on along to the west side of the quarry wall when I realised my Suunto dive computer was advising me that I had less than 50 bar in my tank, it was time to ascend and head back to our entry point in the quarry.
As we fought through the heavy kelp beds which reached the surface of the quarry, we slowly reached the entry point which was filled with on-lookers.
Reaching the entry point, now with both of us looking like the swamp thing, covered in all the weeds we had collected on our equipment, towing a large yellow inflatable buoy with the words “DIVER BELOW – KEEP AWAY” an onlooker called out to us. He asked “Hey, were you guys just scuba diving?”
I started to grin wildly, and Chuck turned away so the bloke couldn’t see him. Both of us trying our hardest not to laugh out loud at an honest, serious question. The onlooker must have seen our reaction and said “Oh, I guess you are” in a lowered voice. Getting asked that question never gets old. It always makes us laugh. We always wonder how two grown men, covered in weeds, with large metal tanks on our back, towing a buoy that states in big letters “Diver Below” could be asked such an odd question.
All in all it was an excellent dive at this location. If the visibility were greater this would be a superb dive spot! It is well worth the trip, even though it was poor visibility.