Dive Report - The Keystorm and the America, St.
Lawrence River and Seaway, June 18, 2000

The day broke cool and clear on Sunday morning, and by
7 am we were on the road from Montreal, PQ to
Mallorytown, ON for a day of diving.  My primary dive
buddy, Elana, was hosting a bridal shower in our home,
and I left her at home to entertain the ladies.  Boy,
was she jealous!

The trip usually takes about 2.5 hours, but the Quebec
provincial police are taking labour action and not
ticketing speeders... so my friend Etienne managed to
cut our drive time by about 20 minutes.

We spent the day aboard the Lil' Diver, a very large
and comfortable dive boat run by Ron MacDonald out of
Cornwall, ON.  Ron is a very knowledgeable and
experienced skipper and diver, and he sets a calm,
cool, and competent environment for diving.  By the
way, Wayne and Rita - I gave Ron your regards, and he
sends his in return.  He was very pleased to hear
from you (indirectly).  I was wearing my new Dive
Centre Manly t-shirt, and had many questions about
Australia and sea-dragons.

The first dive of the day was on the Keystorm, a 2300
ton steamer that went down in 1912.  She lies
diagonally on a shoal, with her stern at about 35 feet
and her bow at 110 feet.  She makes for a very
interesting dive, with her superstructure still mostly
intact.  We jumped into the water and I immediately
blessed my friend Rob Lord for lending me a new 7 mm,
two piece, titanium wetsuit.  Surface temp was 57 F.
As often happens when I don't bring my own buddy, I
was paired with a relatively new diver, and we quickly
descended the line to about 50 feet.  My buddy was
having some trouble with his ears, but he managed to
clear them, and we dropped to 110.  Bottom temp: 54 F.
 Unfortunately, my buddy's air consumption was a bit
heavy, and he also got a rather stiff narc, so we only
spent a couple of minutes at 110.  We ascended to
about 55 feet, but my buddy was down to about 600 PSI,
so we went up.  I had my camera with me, but my
attention was required for other things, and I didn't
get any good shots.  We ascended very slowly, for a
nice long safety stop at 15 feet.

No fish to speak of, but then again, I spent most of
my time watching my buddy.  I was out of the water
with about 1500 PSI in my tank.
Total bottom time: 19 minutes.
Max depth: 110 feet.

Surface interval - rain, wind, and cold.

Second dive - the America. A dredging barge, struck by
lightning in 1932, lying upside down on a shoal, with
port side at about 77 feet.  Dove with a different
buddy this time,  air consumption slightly better, so
we had a longer dive.  Some nice little fishies - bass
and perch, mainly.  No camera on this dive, but there
would have been some nice opportunities for photos.
The America is very near the Seaway channel, and a big
laker passed overhead while we were in the water -
loud, body shaking, low frequency vibrations!  After
several circuits of the wreck, inspecting winches and
props, having a look at the deck from below, my
buddy's air supply necessitated our surfacing.  I
wasn't complaining too much this time - I was cold!!

All in all a most enjoyable dive.
Bottom temperature: 57 F.  Bottom time: 30 minutes.

Another great day of diving.  The water is
unseasonably cold this year, due to our delayed
summer.  I hope that it will warm up soon so that I
can get Elana out with me for a few weekends.  She was
a little less jeaous of my dive day when I told her
about the water temp.

Best regards from the cold and clear St. Lawrence,


PS - I really could have used some Tim Tams and coffee!!!

Brian Gelfand<BR>Montreal, Canada

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