Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin Dive Pics available..

Tom Rutledge, who takes some of the best underwater pics in Kingston, got some great images of the divers at the Marine Museum's Pumpkin Dive this morning. Visit his Flickr page to see them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Help the Marine Museum's Pumpkin Dive to succeed!

The Marine Museum is hosting a Pumpkin Carving event this coming weekend. Members and other divers are encouraged to get out and support it. Details in the flyer here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

NAS Video from September..

Ever wondered what a NAS course consists of..? This link will take you to a little video that runs you through the various parts and shows what the students got up to this September (2011)..

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Help Wanted..

Ben Holthof, Curator at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston is looking for contemporary videos and still photos of the Annie Falconer and the Aloha wrecks to support an exhibit planned for the next few months. He is perfectly happy to give credit for any material loaned to the Museum. Please contact him directly to make any offers or to discuss the requirements. E-Mail Ben at the Marine Museum.

'Students' Wanted - for Nautical Archaeology Training

Preserve Our Wrecks will offer another in their series of Nautical Archaeology Courses this September, between the 16th and 18th. Drawing on the support of the trainers from Save Ontario Shipwrecks, the course will cover everything needed to equip a diver to assist with underwater survey work. Further details can be obtained from Mike Hill You can download an application form for the course by clicking here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Moorings Up and Running..

No, not all of them, but a handful of the most popular ones are already in place - and it's just the first week of May. Examples of moorings already in place, the Munson, Comet and Cornwall. Keep an eye on our website and the Mooring Status report to get the latest information.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It was winter and the ice divers had just came out of the hole and their line tender was really happy. Happy because the air bubbles trapped under the ice stopped finding their way to the hole where they burst a spray of water onto him - these now have a technical term "ice farts"; it was funny for those of us not splattered in icy water. It was the dead of winter and yet it was time to start thinking about raising the moorings. It seemed early, but not given the huge amount of planning and investment in time and money needed.

Raising the moorings is by far the most important project of the year for POW. The moorings save the wrecks from errant anchors damaging them, save fuel and time and allow safer dives so that we can enjoy the wooden treasures. Until I got involved with POW I never thought about the bouys. They were just there and all I had to do is follow the line to the wreck. Until I had to do a free descent and assent from a live boat I had no idea what a life-line the moorings were. Until I tried to estimate the cost of replacing worn out chain, old line/rope and buoys I had no idea how expensive that simple line was. Until I went to the gas dock with a charter boat I had no idea how much fuel cost.

The relatively simple act of raising a existing mooring involves a series of tasks that many divers seldom perform and in situations normally avoided. To start with the conditions are very cold (the ice diving reminded me of how cold), remember it will be early spring and before the diving season starts. The waves might be high and the decks covered lines, chains, buoys, tools, as well as dive gear. The dive boat finds the wreck by GPS and sonar. The divers have to be ready to dive in on the captain's signal; the divers have to do a free descent, find the wreck and find the end of the mooring line. Then they make sure the mooring line is still attached and not tangled before attaching a lift bag. Sending a lift-bag up is tricky, there needs to be enough air in the bag to lift 100 feet of line and chain to the surface; needless to say the divers need to stay on the bottom and keep free of the lift-bag and the mooring line. If all goes well then the divers can inspect the line as they ascend. If they did not find the mooring line then they have to do a free assent and move on to the next wreck.

Have you ever wondered where the mooring blocks come from? Apparently there are very few boat owners are willing to tie onto a 2 tonne block of concrete held up by a couple of big balloons. The boat could have a problem if the balloons leak or pop while being towed in 200 feet of water and the tow line is only 150 feet long. I’ll have to get details on how this is actually done.

The dive boats and expertise supplied by the charter companies are invaluable. Few boats have the sonar to accurately spot the wrecks and even fewer owners a willing to subject the boats to the wear and tear of chains, mooring balls, tools and dragging line over the gunwales . Without them the work could not be done. Keep in mind that the work start with repairing damaged buoys, fittings and lines in the winter and early spring. This is four months since their last charter and three months before their next charter. It is pretty tough on their cash flow. These dedicated business tend to go out when time and conditions permit. Usually this means during the week days and with very short notice. Multiple frequent trips are easier to set up so there will not be any attempt to set up a “mooring day”.

There are 22 wrecks out there that are moored. That is a lot to maintain. So if anyone happens to be on a wreck and has the skills to safely raise a mooring please mark it with a jug and let POW know. The jug will be replaced with a marking buoy as soon as possible.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Maritime Museum Resource List..

A colleague from Save Ontario Shipwrecks recently shared this link to a list of Canadian Maritime Museums. Anyone who is travelling and has an interest in visiting them might like to bookmark the site.

AGM passes quietly... with cake !

The AGM held recently in Kingston passed quietly. The anticipated talk on Australian Nautical Archaeology, by Ben Holthof, curator of the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston, was excellent. Using a wide variety of images, Ben transported those attending to a warmer, quite different maritime environment. He outlined educational arrangements in Australia and discussed some of the challenges and rewards of undertaking research and survey work there.

On a formal note, the Board of POW remains unchanged. The evening also provided the occasion to announce the recipient of the Thibault Award for 2011 - Rick Neilson. Rick is amongst the longest serving members of our Organisation and a renowned researcher, author and campaigner for maritime heritage. In honour of our 30th anniversary of incorporation, a specially decorated cake was produced and enjoyed by everyone present.

Look out for future event information on this site - and on our webpage.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Annual General Meeting drawing near...

Please make every effort to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Organisation, which takes place this Saturday at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston. There will be an illustrated talk on nautical archaeology in Australia and light refreshments for those attending.

Nominations for the Board and the submission of agenda items are now closed.