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Bottom Time on the Niagara II August 26, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log, Shipwrecks, Technical Diving.
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The Niagara II is my #3 favourite wreck in Tobermory, after the Forest City and the Arabia. Having done my #1 and #2 the day before, as well as the Tugs, the final trip of the weekend on Sunday August 16th was to dive this wreck twice. At least that was the plan for the recreational divers. We initiates into the realm of technical diving decided to do just one long dive.

To make the most of it, we all filled up our doubles with EAN36 at G+S Watersports overnight. My previous maximum on the wreck had been 95 feet, just 3 feet under the maximum depth allowable to stay within 1.4 partial atmospheric pressure of Oxygen. However, the rich mixture would allow us to stay for quite a while with minimal decompression time.

There were lots of boats heading to this particular wreck on this particular morning, so we were glad to get a jump on the rest and be the first down. We used the line at the bow which I’d never done before, then headed along the starboard side, where some interesting equipment is to be seen along with some switches and levers to control it. The switches and levers still operate, with no effect of course.

We cruised around the wreck at deck level and then along the  bottom, where we realized that the depth was quite a bit more at the bow than at the stern, and exceeded our MOD slightly at 102′.  I noted that my Shearwater Pursuit did not give me an alarm so I surmise that it triggers at a higher PPO2 than 1.4. No problem, we were there for only a few seconds before ascending a bit.

We explored a hold and room full of machinery. By that time lots of other divers were around and crowds were forming. We moved on. We ascended to the wheelhouse level and went inside for a bit. The water was nice and warm there, being around 70 feet deep at that point.

We had plenty of gas left but I don’t think by that time any of us wanted to go back below the thermocline so after 55 minutes we called it a dive and made our ascent. Because we had dived the Nitrox and were on a multilevel dive we had no more than a minute of deco.

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