Brockville Diving Sidebars

All about the Diving in and around Brockville, Ontario.
Sidebars written for Huffington Post Blog
August 2016. By Stephen Weir


Popular Shore Dives in and around Brockville, Ontario

 
Shore divers head to the Rothesay
Rothesay – Wooden Sidewheel Passenger Steamer. Sank in 1889. 300 ft from shore. Augusta Township(west of Brockville) has built change rooms and a park off Highway 2 for divers.

The Wee Hawk - work barge sunk in the 50s.  70 ft long, 20 ft down. Near the town of Cardinal west of Brockville on Highway 2. Wreck accessed from shore at the unused Galop Lock two.  Nearby is the Conestoga Wreck and both can be dove on a single tank of air.

Conestoga Wreck. 252 ‘ long steamer. Upright, parts of the ship are out of water. She is 10’ feet from shore.  Maximum depth 28.  She was built in 1878, sank in 1922.
 
ABUC's EMILY C Dive Boat - photo Helen Cooper
Brockville area shipwrecks – boat dives

Sir Robert Peel. Sidewheel steamer. Depth 135ft. Sunk 1838. Near 1000 Island Bridge

The Robert Gaskin
Built: 1863
Sunk: September 18th. 1889
Depth: 65' - 70'

The Muscallonge
Built: April 23, 1896
Sunk: August 15, 1936
Depth: 100'
.
Henry C. Daryaw 
Built: 1919
Sunk: November 21 1941
Depth: 90 feet

The Lillie Parsons
Built: 1868
Sunk: August 5th. 1877
Depth: 70' - 80' 

Keystorm 
Built: 1908
Sunk: October 121912
Depth: 20' TO 110'

America
Sunk: July 29 1932
Depth: 70 feet
She is upside down at 70'

J.B. King
Sunk: June 26, 1930
Depth: to 155 feet
Ability: Technical
The "King" was a 140 Ft. wooden drill barge

Kinghorn
Built: 1890's
Sunk: April 27, 1897
Depth: 92'

Roy A. Jodrey
Sunk: November 1974
Depth:  140 - 250 ft
Freighter wreck for experienced tech divers. In American waters – dive boats from Cdn side visit the wreck – passports needed.






Photography in the River

Roy Letts is a  57-year old Brockville underwater photographer. He has been diving for 25 years and taking pictures for the past decade in Brockville’s waters.
“I moved to Brockville Ontario because of the diving in the area,” Mr Letts told Diver Magazine. “ The city has so much to give with the St Lawrence River flowing right by us. We have 4 wrecks within a few minutes run by boat. There are dives for everyone from novice to tech, numerous shore and drift dives in the area.”
Mr Letts likes the fact that there is no thermal clime, when diving inBrockville and most years the water temps hits 73 in the summer. “What more can you ask for?”

Roy Letts best Brockville photo tips

·     Early summer or late fall is prime time for underwater photography – “this is when we have the best visibility to take pictures. There is less plankton in the water.”
·     Avoid attempting photographs “after a rain fall because the viz drops right off because of the run off from shore into the river.”
·     when shooting  river wrecks with strobe lights, proper angle is important  because of the particulates on the “dusty” decks can light up “like a snow storm”
·     “if you want good pictures stay away from large group charter boats, or busy wreck sites -- they just silt right out”


A view from stern of moored  ABUC's dive boat - Helen Cooper photograph

Big Boats Make For Noisy Underwater Photo Shoots

·     Brockville diving means being underwater adjacent to the Main Shipping Lane of the St Lawrence River.  Above water they tower over your dive boat.  Underwater you can hear and FEEL the power of the ship’s screw.
·     “Older freighters are awesome to hear,” said Mr. Letts. “ under water they are very loud and at times you can feel the vibrations of the cylinders firing.”
·     “I was diving the America, (it is the shipping channel). I was taking photos and the viz was really good that day, I heard the freighter coming and when she passed overhead the viz under the wreck went to almost zero, i just folded the camera system up and ended the dive.”

·     “ I have had a few freighters actually past directly over me and could see the silhouette of their hulls above me. Cool experience but you definitely don't want to pop up in front of one!

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