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Return Scuba Diving Trip to Fathom Five October 1, 2008

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log.
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The only time I went diving in 1984 was in August, a few days before the maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle Discovery, when I took another trip with the dive shop to Tobermory. By this time I was the proud owner of a Volvo 240 Turbo 4-door sedan, and three of us drove up from London the evening before the dives. I’m pretty sure we camped out again in Cypress Lake.

One of the two passengers was Grant Cudmore, who was later to die on an ice-diving course at the quarry in Innerkip. Both my passengers were smokers, and having a relatively new car I wouldn’t let them smoke in the car, so we stopped a couple of times so they could have a smoke outside. The Volvo had a feature made for ski transport where the middle part of the back of the rear seat would fold down providing access to the trunk. This was perfect for beer, so that it can be kept in the trunk except for the one you’re actually drinking at the time.

Once we got to Tobermory the owner of the dive shop was incredulous that I wouldn’t let them smoke in my car but I allowed them to drink. I should point out that while it is legal for passengers to drink in the car in some US states, it is quite illegal in Ontario.

The itinerary wasn’t that much different to the year before. My buddy Jim Byrne and I dived the James C. King again, and this time I actually went through the narrow opening under the hull, the presence of which the park authorities no longer acknowledge. The water was righteously cold at 7 degrees Celsius (44F) and chilly in our wet suits. We didn’t spend a lot of time below the second thermocline. The weather was fine both days with temperatures ranging from 19 to 26 degrees Celsius.

We got our air fills from G+S Watersports, which is still in operation. The owner at the time was an old woman, who I haven’t seen in recent years. They still have curious items lying around the shop. One of them, no longer around, was a homemade Oxygen Rebreather belonging I think to the woman’s son. Some people apparently still make their own rebreathers. I still go there for air fills and I must ask them about their history next time I go.

W.L.Wetmore at Fathom Five National Marine Park

Author with W.L.Wetmore Anchor. Photo by Roger Morrison

Our other dives were the shallow wreck W.L.Wetmore, a Flowerpot Island “Cliff Dive”, the harbour wrecks Sweepstakes and “City of Grand Rapids”, and finally the Grotto once again.  The Wetmore is a nice shallow dive with a maximum depth of about 20 feet. There is a nice anchor which you can see in the picture (taken in 2007) and a large boiler to see among the scattered timbers. The warm water at the end of season is well appreciated when in a wet suit, and a bit of a break even in a dry suit.

So other than the Wetmore, it was pretty much a repeat of our previous trip.

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