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Brockville 2009, Lillie Parsons to John B. King September 30, 2009

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log, Shipwrecks, Technical Diving.
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As usual, the 4 technical divers on the boat sat out the dive on the Daryaw. September 7th 2009, Labour Day Monday, was a fine sunny day, and buoy leading down to the Daryaw was crowded with dive boats. Captain Lawrence deftly swung his craft around between two of these to back himself on the buoy much to  the delight of all who were watching. We checked our equipment and waited for the divers the return. One pair returned rather quickly due to a leaky mouthpiece which was quickly fixed so they could salvage some of their dive.

Once everyone was back on board we took our time getting down to the Lillie Parsons, and once in position the four of us, Brad, 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 spotted Rich’s deco reg hanging loose and went over to help him put it back under its bungee, but he waved me off and just clipped the second stage to something near the neck of the deco tank, and on we went.

The descent was fairly rapid, taking 2 1/2 minutes to go from 50′ to 175′. Once my eyes were adjusted to the light, the visibility was pretty good, and I made a point of looking far and wide to take in the full landscape, rather than letting the narcosis narrow my field of vision. I felt great (naturally) and really enjoyed looking around for things on the bottom, although I didn’t find much.

The four of us stayed together, with Brad leading, Chris very close to him, Rich behind him and me behind Rich. We had been concerned with Chris’ air consumption as his SAC check the day before showed an alarming rate of consumption, but we thought that might have been due to the current. So we planned the dive for 20 minutes bottom time, which we thought wouldn’t be enough time to make it all the way to the John B. King. Sure enough, when 20 minutes were almost up, Brad signalled Rich and I to ask if we wanted to continue to 25 minutes, and as I had 2000 psi remaining I was happy to comply.

Along the way, there’s a large anchor leaning up against the wall, which I always hold on to for a second or to, then letting go. I had been told about a second anchor which I’d not seen in the 3 previous dives, but not long afterward there it was. It was about 1/2 the size of the first one and away from the wall out in the river a bit. I then picked up some large china object which I hoped to examine a bit later. It was large enough that I had to a fair bit of air to my BC. I was also holding on to a metal ring about 3″ in diameter that I’d found, but it was so encrusted I couldn’t identify it.

Right on the 25 minute mark, we reached the King. By that time, we’d lost sight of Chris and Brad. I’d been looking for him, and caught a flash from his light briefly, but that was it. At least I knew we weren’t far behind. The bottom had become shallower by that time – around 155 to 160′, requiring me to dump a little air. Rich and I made our way up to 130 feet at which point there was a bit a traverse to do while exposed to the current. I could see Rich was having trouble holding on, which was probably because of the extra drag from his dry suit, and had to pull him onto a good handhold at one point. By this time I’d dropped the China object and the metal ring to concentrate on the dive.

To be continued…

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