Saturday, May 24, 2008

Re-Visiting the HMS St Lawrence..

Divers who have seen the remains of the HMS St Lawrence (largest warship ever to sail the Great Lakes - by displacement) might appreciate the opportunity currently to see a model of this splendid warship in the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston. Constructed from scratch in various woods, from original Admiralty plans, in the 1970s, it features cutaway sections allowing internal detail to be examined. This is the way that ship's models of the vessel's period were made.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Salvage Diving - Deep, Dark and Dangerous...

Our attention was recently drawn to a new book on the work of that hardy breed - the salvage diver - in the challenging waters of the American North West. Although, 'Deep, Dark and Dangerous' doesn't discuss the Great Lakes, there's enough that seems to reflect our conditions to make this an interesting and worthwhile book for anyone who enjoys a good dive tale.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Four More Moorings Raised...

Following up on a great day's work on Saturday, Harold Vandenberg and Seadeucer raised four more moorings today. These are the City of Sheboygan, Cornwall, Glendora and Katie Eccles. Once again, excellent underwater photography was obtained by Tom Rutledge. Check out his shots on Ontario Diving. For a full list of the moorings now accessible to charter operators and divers, see our Mooring Status Update on the website.

A big thank you once again to everyone who is contributing to the mooring work. We couldn't do it without you - and you all know who you are...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Four More Moorings Available...

Thanks to Harold, our Mooring Director, and the able team who dove with him today, four more moorings are now up and available to divers and the charter operators who transport them. The four wrecks concerned are: The Maple Glen, Queen Mary, Frontenac and George A. Marsh. If you want to keep up to date with mooring status, don't forget to check out our website, where a Mooring Status Report will be constantly available throughout the season.

Mooring Work Continues...

The mooring work goes on this weekend, with our Mooring Director, Harold Vandenberg taking a group out on Seadeucer. The aim is to tackle some of the closer wrecks in the 'Graveyard' - then head for the City of Sheboygan. A report on the actual moorings raised will follow later today.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

SOS Launches Marine Heritage Database..

Word has been received from Save Ontario Shipwrecks that the main portion of their Marine Heritage Database, created in the mid 1990s, is now on line. It consists of about 28,000 records from 25 sources. You can access it through the SOS home page, 3rd button on the left named DATABASE. Originally, this DB was designed to run as a stand-alone resource on a PC as part of a museum exhibit. Photos where ported to the SOS website a few years ago and are under the PHOTO GALLERY.

It has been asked that you note that the database is for cross reference only and intended to provide rapid access to the 25 sources. Any research credit should be referenced to the original source.

A direct link to the database is available here.

Calm Seas make Cool Moorings...

The opportunity was seized today, early on, to get out on the Lake and raise the moorings on three more wrecks. Pat Coyne (Pat's Charters) provided the platform for the work and participated in the diving too. Buoys were placed on the Aloha, George T. Davie and the Comet by mid-day.

Conditions were nearly perfect. Intermittent sunshine beamed down on a very light chop and visibility on all three wrecks was in the order of 80'. The water temperature could be warmer - at 41°F (5°C) it's not designed for long duration diving.

With 6 moorings up already, and the prospect of Harold and Seadeucer raising some more this coming weekend, we are doing particularly well for this early in the season. Many thanks are due to everyone who has participated so far.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

First Mooring Work Completed...

The first stab at raising the moorings for the 2008 dive season occurred today. Many thanks are due to Frank Bird and Mike Morrison, owner / operators of Proteus and Pat Coyne of Pat's Charters who made their boats available and volunteered their own time to support POW. Thanks too to the divers, some of whom had traveled from as far afield as Ottawa, who made themselves available to assist.

Conditions were less than ideal, but despite heavy seas and strong winds three of the most popular wrecks were buoyed; the Munson, KPH and the Wolfe Islander 2. The coming days, and calmer weather, should see the number of wrecks readily accessible to divers quickly increase. Do keep an eye on our Mooring Update Statement, reached through our homepage.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Mooring Matters...

Despite the weather's temporary turn for the worse, preparations to raise the various moorings we maintain are under way. Some of our local operators have already launched their boats and are in the process of proving their readiness for the dive season ahead. If all goes to plan, and the winds, waves and weather don't conspire against us, the first mooring work should be undertaken this coming Sunday, May 4th. Look out for information on our progress and check out our mooring update on the website. Feedback on that would be really appreciated, especially as the months pass and the status of moorings, buoys and lines changes.