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Ice Floe Race

Hey all.

Hope the Winter has been kind to you. Grant kindly did a summary of his experience of the Ice Flow Race from a few weeks back.

Enjoy and thanks for the contribution Grant.

The Cansac Ice Pirates put on an impressive display of ice pushing on March 6, 2011.  Despite drawing the dreaded last start position they managed to stay in contention and placed 5th in the OUC 48th annual ice floe race, held on the Trent canal north of Peterborough.

The starter estimated the weight of the Ice Pirate’s floe at 35,000 lbs (17.5 tons) as it was 2 1/2 feet thick.  The pole position floe was less than a foot thick and had an estimated weight of about 11,500 lbs.  The times in the 2011 race were longer than in previous years as the cooler weather lessened the spring run-off which meant there was little current to assist the “pushers of ice”. 

Our Pirates could not have been happier with their result given they only had 9 pushers versus the 16 pusher maximum.  They did however take the prize for consuming the most burgers, cookies, hot chocolate and chicken soup after the race.

Thanks to our racers and volunteers:   Tyler, Jake, Don, Rob, Dave, Alex, Sean, Glenn, Daniel, Grant, Gail, Katy, and the families and friends who shuffled cars, and cheered us on.

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Dive Season is Upon Us

With dive season (for conventional divers unlike myself who decided to try ice diving this past winter) almost here i figure it would be a good time to remind everybody of pre season checks on your equipment.

“The winter is finally over and the new season is coming up fast.  If you were sensible the winter period was the perfect time to have your kit serviced by a professional but if you didn’t now is an opportune time to dust off your kit and give it a good going over to pick up any problems early, leaving enough time to get them sorted out.”

To read the rest (which includes a breakdown of checks for each individual piece of equipment) just follow the link:

“The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish.” – Jacques Cousteau

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The other uses of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

This is not really a diving related article but i found it interesting nonetheless. It looks at the other uses of hyperbaric chambers outside of diving and specifically discusses a man who got his vision back thanks to this treatment. It is a good read:

Before Fred Paulos came to Olympia Medical Center, he was blind in one eye. After less than three weeks of treatment at Olympia’s center for wound management, his sight was restored.

“After about three days, I could see the walls,” Paulos said. “Now I feel great, I can read the eye chart and I just keep getting better every day.”

Paulos and his doctors attribute his healing to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which allows patients to inhale and expose wounds to100 percent oxygen inside a pressurized chamber. The treatment is used for diabetic wounds of the lower extremities, or ulcers; compromised skin grafts; soft tissue radiation complication and other wound-related conditions.

(To read the rest just follow the link)

“From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau

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First Time Dive Stories

Thanks to Kevin and Tyler for sending me their memories from their first dive. I will repost them below:

Tyler Caughill: 

“My first diver ever …

… was in Cuba and was a whopping few months after completing my OWD training with CANSAC … BUT … not before I actually did any checkout dives.

I had booked a vacation in Cuba and found out after I arrived that a single tank dive was included with my resort package. I slipped the dive master $5 … yes, that was FIVE DOLLARS and asked if I could dive even though I did not have my C-Card yet. He agreed, and offered a second dive for an additional $20, so OF COURSE I paid him.

We took a bus for nearly 3 hours to the Bay of Pigs and on the way I was approached and asked if I wanted to do the shallow reef or the deeper reef. I answered calmly that I would dive with the group at the deeper reef – after all I was recently trained in a classroom …

On the first dive, I attempted to put the loaner shorty on backwards – Mistake #2. Once we began the dive, we headed though a few large swim throughs and out over a wall. There were three divers and the dive master. I looked down and could see down for what seemed to be miles, then I looked at my guages and saw that I was at 34 feet, er … wait … these guages are metric I was at 34 meters … Mistake #3.

Only the way back, the dive master signalled an are check … which I proceeded to mix my hand signals up and showed him a half tank rather than on reserve – which I should have told him. Mistake #4.

By the time we were at 70 feet, I was down to 350 PSI and I was having a hard time breathing off my Cuban ill-maintained regulator. I signaled that I was low on air and needed to share, and had to make an ascent right there and swim back to the shore – a LONG ways – on the surface …

I proceeded to do my second dive – without incident I might add, and immediately upon returning to Canada I purchased my own regs and did my check out dives for 8 weeks later.

Good thing I learned to buddy breath so well!”

Kevin Bull:

“Like most Cansac grads that was my first dive as well.  My buddy was Lisa Sherin, and what I remember most was the thermocline.”

Thanks to both of you for commenting. Anybody else who would like to share stories i encourage you to.

Also, if there is a topic anyone would like researched or explored feel free to email and I will see what i can dig up.

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Lost and found: USS Flier

Hey Divers,

Sorry about the ridiculously long delay between posts but i have been really busy with work and school. Anyway, won’t happen again.

I found this interesting article about an American War Submarine on the CDNN (cyber divers news network) website. If you have any interest in wreck history or World War wrecks then i recommend you read this.

BALABAC STRAIT, Philippines — The dive team of Mike and Warren Fletcher has discovered another wreck that many thought was lost to history.This one — an American submarine that served in the Second World War — was located in 100 metres of water in the Balabac Strait of the Philippines.The Flier was a Gato-class submarine. On Aug. 13, 1944, it struck a mine and quickly sank. Fourteen of 86 crew members escaped, but only eight survived the long swim to shore. The U.S. Navy confirmed the discovery in a press release last week.

(to read the rest just follow the link)

SCUBA diving is sensual. To breathe underwater is one of the most fascinating and peculiar sensations imaginable. Breathing becomes a rhythmic melody of inhalations and exhalations. The cracks and pops of fish and crustaceans harmonize with the rhythmic chiming of the bubbles as you exhale. Soon, lungs act as bellows, controlling your buoyancy as you achieve weightlessness. And, as in your dreams, you are flying. Combine these otherworldly stimuli and you surrender completely to the sanctuary of the underwater world.” – Tec Clark

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Diver V-Card

Okay, for the next little while i have decided to make the Waterlog a little more interactive for the few readers that there actually are. So i will be posting random diver related things that come to my mind and i ask that you guys comment with your own personal stories on the topic. So here goes…

For the first time this winter it snowed here in Ottawa, like actually snowed. This may seem random but it got me thinking, snow signifies the beginning of winter and for most of us  the harsh reality that diving season is over finally hits us. Some club members will be lucky enough to be travelling to far off exotic lands to dive this winter but for the rest of us we are stuck with our memories to last us until we dive again. So, as i said, this got me thinking about all the dives i have done since i started diving which led me all the way back to my very first dive. My diver “v-card” if you will (excuse the adolescent reference please).

My first actual dive was the open water dive at the lodge the club used to use. Of course i had been in the pool with the equipment before as well as done the weighting exercises and stuff at the lodge but i don’t consider my first actual dive until the Sunday afternoon on what we call “the wall”. It was a pretty chilly and cloudy afternoon. The wall is just a rock wall that goes hundreds of feet underwater but as new students we were only allowed to go to about 60 feet. My dive buddy was Claude Delliac (RIP) and i remember having a little bit of trouble clearing my ear at first but after i got past about 30 feet i had no trouble. There really wasn’t much to see until right at the 60 feet mark. All the wreck was was a small bowrider with a medium outboard motor on the back of it. It was so exciting, seeing my very first wreck. In hindsight it is not all that exciting considering the other great wrecks i have had the pleasure of diving but for my first time it was great. All in all my first dive went very smoothly and i remember it as if it were yesterday.

So now readers (all 3…maybe 4 of you), I ask that you post your own response to this. Do you remember your first dive? Who was your first dive buddy? Where was it and what was there worth diving? Do you remember the weather? Any intricate details you remember. Or do you look at your first dive as if it were any other dive and as such have let it kind of just fade into the back of your mind?

- Riley

“Scuba diving is itself a hazardous sport. To do it without any training is tantamount to playing Russian roulette with a loaded revolver.” – ROBERT F. BURGESS, The Cave Divers

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New Editor

Hey all,

I have graciously been “volun-told” to take over the Waterlog from our new President, Tyler. I will try and contribute biweekly but at the least once a month.

For those of you who do not know me my name is Riley Boustred and I am a student currently living in Ottawa. I have been a club member since the Fall of 2005 and have earned my Advanced and Rescue Diver certifications. I cannot dive as much as I would like to because I go to school in Ottawa so I am hoping to find dives in Ottawa for the club. My favourite wrecks are the Niagara II in Tobermory and the Keystorm in Brockville.

WordPress (program that the waterlog is run through) is very new to me so it will take a bit of time to get used to it but don’t worry I will have it figured out shortly. And as always any contribution to the Waterlog is not only welcomed but encouraged so if you would like something posted please email me at and i will be sure to post it.


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Congradulations New Divers!

On May 30 and 31 CanSAC welcomed a new batch of Open Water Divers into the fold …

It was a cold … and even a snowy weekend at one point, but a good time was had by some.

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200 Year Old Dagger-Board Schooner

Rochester, New York – A rare dagger-board schooner has been discovered in very deep water off the southern shore of Lake Ontario near Oak Orchard, New York.  Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville, shipwreck enthusiasts, located the schooner using deep towed side scan sonar equipment.  Sailing vessels of this type were in use on the lakes for only a short period of time beginning in the very early 1800’s.  This ship is the only dagger-board schooner known to have been found in the Great Lakes. 

The Dagger-Board Schooner

The dagger-board schooner was typically a shallow draft ship having one or more wood panels that could be extended through the keel to increase its effectiveness while under way in the open water.  The sole purpose of dagger-boards was to prevent the schooner from being pushed sideways when sailing windward or with the wind coming from one side (abeam) of the vessel.  A single dagger-board was a panel of wood perhaps 1 to 2 inches in thickness with a width of 4 to 5 feet surrounded by a narrow watertight enclosure.  The dagger-board would be pushed squarely down though the bottom of the vessel to increase her draught while sailing and hauled up by separate tackles at either end.  The ability to raise the dagger-boards when entering a shallow harbor was a great advantage.  The boat could load and unload personnel and cargo in all sorts of locations that would not otherwise be accessible with a larger sailing craft.  The term “dagger-board” was also referred to as drop-keel, slip-keel, sliding-keel, barn-door, or center-plate.

Development of the Dagger-Board Sailing Vessel

The invention of the dagger-board or drop keel is generally credited to British Captain John Schank in 1774, however, the early use of the dagger-board in sailing craft prior to the 1800’s can actually be traced back to China and possibly South America.  Captain Schank proposed and then adapted the dagger-board concept for use in the cutter Trial built in Portsmouth England for the British Admiralty in 1790.  This ship turned out to be a great success as the Trial was able to out sail most of the smaller cutters even though she was a much larger vessel.  In the next few years, the British followed up by building a ship-sloop, two classes of gun-brigs, and 16 brigs utilizing the dagger-board concept.  Depending on the ship design, multiple dagger-boards were utilized to compensate for the shifting of the vessel’s center of gravity as the sails moved fore-and-aft.  Ten years after the British Admiralty built the Trial further interest in ships with dagger-boards was put on hold due to the problem of making the enclosure for the dagger-boards water tight.  

Dagger-Board Sailing Vessels on the Great Lakes

As recounted by Captain James Van Cleve in his memoirs, the first vessel on the Great Lakes to utilize dagger-boards was a skiff brought to Oswego from Niagara around 1806.  In September 1813, Major-General James Wilkinson wrote in a letter to the US Secretary of War “….Before I left Sackett’s Harbor, I ordered a dozen slip keeled boats to carry 50 men and row 30 oars to be armed with a light cannon in their bow.”  References can also be found in the 1813 transport dispatches of Buffalo army officers of the use of slip-keel (dagger-board) sailing vessels.  From 1817 to 1820 sailing vessels on Lake Erie greatly increased in numbers, though not in size.  These ships varied from 18 to 65 tons burden, and most of them utilized dagger-boards.  Each creek, river and port along the coast from Buffalo to the Vermillion River had its representative vessel.  It is thought that by 1819, one or more ship builders in York (Toronto) were producing ships that utilized dagger-boards.  The pivoted center-board was patented in 1811 and during the next several years larger ships would employ this method of extending the functionality of the keel.  By 1820 the dagger-board design gave way to that of the pivoted centerboard.  It is reasonable to assume that many of the early dagger-board schooners, initially military vessels, were later used for the commercial transport of people and goods on both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

Discovery of the Shipwreck

The dagger-board schooner was unexpectedly discovered in the fall of 2008 while Kennard and Scoville were conducting a deep water survey in Lake Ontario off Oak Orchard, New York.  On the very last survey run of the season, the faint image of something protruding from the bottom showed up at the very edge of the display screen.  Another run was made to obtain a better image and position of the object.  Two weeks later, when the lake was calm and the winds were light, they returned and deployed a remote operated vehicle (designed and built by Scoville) with lights and multiple cameras to explore the shipwreck. 

Exploring the Shipwrecked Schooner

The shipwreck was found upright and in remarkable condition considering that it had plunged over 500 feet to its final resting place on the bottom.  The remote …. (read more)


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