Kinghorn, St. Lawrence, Rockport, Ontario

Posted on 28. Apr, 2009 by Greg Mossfeldt in Reports

I was somewhat early today upon my arrival at the Rockport Dive Centre so I had time to explore the area and take in all the historical ambiance. Very cool structures so I enjoyed this time to reflect on the history of the area.

I was also able to meet Jeff Pauze, the owner of Rockport Dive Centre. Jeff and I had some very good conversation regarding the area and then he offered a place to park and also donn my gear.

We communicated about the economics and also in regards to his origination to the dive store and how it came to be with his participation.

Jeff would also be joining us today as he was setting the mooring buoy for the wreck of the Kinghorn.

Steve and Chantelle arrived shortly thereafter and they brought their gear into the shop as well so we could plan the dive and talk about the wreck in the comfort of Jeff's shelter.

Steve had along back gas tanks for me, stage bottles and the all important Gavin Scooter. I was borrowing Francois Tremblays scooter today for the glide out to the Kinghorn and also his stage cylinder which by the way Francois was very kind of you. Merci!

Steve dropped a gear line from the edge of the dock and promptly began setting our tanks and scooters in the water so we would easily be able to donn them in their neutral state. We finished up putting on our back gas and then it was time to splash.

Steve, Chantelle and I were set up with our Gavin scooters which we were familiar with while Jeff was piloting the Dive Rite Arrow which he had purchased for around 500 songs.

I believe Jeff was well aware of the condition of his machinery and offered us a few warnings that intuitively we were aware of before running for the Kinghorn.

It was time to submerge and we completed our checks and then Steve gave us all the OK as a signal to a possible dive commencement.

My memory told me the signal meant OK but it was really an Ontario DIR secret command for the Gavin trigger wire to separate on my scooter. Not to be discouraged the plan was to manually operate the magnet wheel so we could carry on with our committed recreation.

Steve explained the nature of the dive and lines to me before submerging. Remembering the outlay of a verbally communicated direction was not a strong point for me but it all appeared exactly as explained and I was able to navigate the line system and topography with Steve's concise direction.

Steve and I were up front as he was monitoring the trigger situation on my pony. We stopped when that was under control and checked for Chantelle and Jeff drafting in our slipstream.

I often refer to some of these larger type scooters as Galaxy 500's but this Dive Right Arrow that Jeff was trenching with would have made a Winnebago appear easy to handle. Steve and I offered Jeff and Chantelle forward passage just in case the motor stuck "on" as Jeff warned us about post dive. Couldn't resist Jeff ...

Just thought I would mention, Jeff is a great character as many understand and does well with the ribbing, both giving and receiving. What I have communicated here is nothing we hadn't slapped our knee about previously apres dive :)

Manipulating the scooter wheel, light and stabilizing the camera was somewhat concerning at the start of the dive but soon fell into muscle memory and the rest of the journey was comfortable. Steve stopped once we were in the channel and the slight current took us right onto the bow of the Kinghorn. Steve found a hitching post for our scooters and we promptly secured them in order to swim and take pictures of the shipwreck.

The three of us swam the bow area as they directed me to some interesting points and then it was up to the superstructure to snap some shots of the bow and the windlass.

Steve and Chantelle posed for some shots around the windlass and then it was time to take in more of the structure. We moved along the deck and then we found an opening and dropped down into the protection of the hull.

There were some interesting displays inside the hull such as the dish pile and I snapped some pics as we moved toward the stern. Inside the darkness of the hull Steve offered me some light so I could change the settings on my camera but even outside the wreck it was so dark today that my focus light would have really aided in the imaging department. The visibility was great but oh my it was dark.

I have to mention Steve and Chantelle had to switch from their 80ft3 stage cylinder to back gas seemingly very early into the dive. I prided myself on being very conservative on my air consumption as I still had over 1500 psi left in the 80. I then found out after the dive they only had minimal gas in the 80's to start with which had me reassessing my consumption situation LOL.

It was out of the hull and back onto the superstructure at this point. Just as I made the transition while taking images I felt the familiar tug of breathing resistance as my realization of a gas switch was in order and soon. I switched to my back up reg just so I could finish the imaging and then it was time to set up with my long hose and stowing the reg on FT's stage cylinder. I don't believe Steve had his video camera on hand so it would be difficult to prove the procedure :) Nonetheless the show must go on.

Over the side and down to the sand at 90' had us swimming in the current to the pointy end of the wreck they call the bow. We went past the "men at work" to our scooters and I couldn't resist a few more shots.

Steve was also kind enough to loft me his scooter with an intact trigger handle and unselfishly took FT's scooter for the duration back in.

My camera was negative 2.5 lbs so there was some weight there. (buoyancy tubes are on the way) I had the camera snapped off but it was reaching out for the trench dug on the way out to the wreck. The strobe arms would dig into the soft silty bottom composition if I brought my attention to close to the detail and promptly added some navigational difficulties to Chantelle coming up behind us. Steve seemed to be enjoying the dive way to much so I handed the camera off to his helpful sole. I then noticed all the Crayfish in the area giving Steve and I a PFO so no sooner did he have the camera than I asked for it back so I could capture the small critters for those to enjoy back home.

We were very close to the dock at this point so we snapped our gear off to the line while volleying in the scrum and then it was up and out at the end of the dock.

A couple days diving out with the gang in this area was very rewarding for me and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting the divers whom some I knew only from Dive Forum interactions. It was great to meet these people in person and I am now looking forward to diving with in August even more.

Thanks to Steve and Chantelle Blanchard for setting all the diving up for me such as gas and scooters and I will hopefully see many of you again when back out here for the extravaganza in August.

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