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Brockville 2009, Lillie Parsons Drift Dive September 25, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log, Shipwrecks, Technical Diving.
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Drifting in the current underwater is one of the most fun and exciting things to do in the St. Lawrence (assuming you are wearing functioning Scuba gear, of course). The most common form that this dive takes is a quick trip round to a small bay on Sparrow Island, against which the Lille lies upside-down in about 50 feet of water. The customary procedure is to let go of the wreck, making your depth about 40′ and stay close to the wall where soon you will drift on to a rope, which on that day reached down to 54′, as measured by one of our party. I tried this one a little over 2 years ago, and it was a fun dive.

That same weekend, as the culmination of my technical diving course, we dropped over the wall on which the Lillie lies to a depth of 165′, where we drifted almost all the way to the wreck of the John B. King. I’ve done the same dive 3 times since, and made it all the way to the King on those occasions.

This time, we tried the middle route, drifting at around 100′ until the terrain rose under us, finally climbing with help from the current onto the downstream side of Stovin Island. The current was quick, the water warm, and equipped with our doubles partially emptied of their Nitrox 32 from the previous dive (mine were at 1800 PSI) we had plenty of gas on hand.

Unlike every other time I’ve been on the Lillie, we dropped off the back of the boat just upstream of the wreck negatively buoyant, and mustered on the shelf right next to end of the mast. On all previous occasions, we drifted on the surface to the island, then submerged to swim upstream then over a ledge to the wreck. This method was a lot faster, although we saw even less of the wreck than we usually do.

The  only hitch was that we didn’t realise we were on the downstream side of the island, and we even moved to the south side into a small cove so we could wait in a sheltered spot for our boat, which was looking for us on the North side of the island. At one point we were discussing why the boat was taking so long, trying to estimate the time it would take to pick up the non-technical divers who had only gone as far as the rope. I head a boat that sounded just like ours, and someone remarked it was on the wrong side of the island. It was then I noticed that the late afternoon Sun was over the island, which meant we were facing upriver to the west.

Quickly we moved out of our little cove and into the inter-island channel, where we were soon spotted. As soon as I saw acknowledgment from the boat I stopped waving and gave a big OK sign, which they returned, and we were soon picked up and on our way for the Sunday Night pot luck dinner.

Total dive time was 24 minutes. Here’s the computer log. Lillie Drift 20090906

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1. Brockville 2009, Lillie Parsons to John B. King « Chronicle of an older diver - September 30, 2009

[…] his Tec Deep Student Chris, Rich and I strode off the stern in a near simultaneous negative entry like the day before, quickly heading down to the shelf at 45′ or so for a fast bubble check. Before continuing, I […]

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