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Sep 10, 2013

Episode 175: Diving the Shipwrecks of the 1000 Islands

Who knew that so many ships could sink to the bottom of one river?

After crossing the border into Canada, my dive buddy, Scott Della Peruta, steered the heavily laden SUV into the parking lot of the waterfront motel where we'd spend the next four nights. We had ten cylinders in the back, including some pure oxygen, two drysuits and a long list of dive equipment packed in milk crates and dry bags, but no mosquito repellent.
Caiger's Motel

Scottie assembling the Inspiration Rebreather
Scott spent a couple of hours preparing and testing his rebreather for the four shipwrecks we'd be diving the following day.
Passing out at 9:30pm, I was still severely jet lagged, having just returned from a European assignment (The Australian Youth Orchestra Project) - I was due for a holiday, and not a short one, but this 5 day trip would do for now...
Early next morning...
Members of the New York Sea Gypsies
This was a 'club trip' which meant that we knew almost all ten souls aboard the small aluminum dive boat The Osprey. It takes some getting used to, assembling your life support equipment on a crowded and often lurching boat, but you get it done because there's no choice.
Early morning starts for the next few days began with motel eggs, scuba equipment and searching for passports, as we would dive on both the Canadian and USA sides of the St Lawrence river, littered with well preserved shipwrecks that had gone down over the last century. Exciting stuff, a limited access museum which you enter 'weightless' .. almost. 
Author entering with Camera Rig

Four days of exploring the bottom of the river occasionally involved 'going with the flow', which for me meant at one point that I was heading down stream with my surface marker buoy, having a lovely time but watching the dive boat grow smaller as I headed further into Canada. Picked up by a friendly rubber dinghy, I was back on the boat in 5 minutes, having practiced Francaise on the nice couple who hoisted my gear out of the water for me. It was all part of the plan of course....
Decompressing after a long dive, camera hanging
There is a video to come from all the great footage collected, but thankfully I have clients to look after this week, so It'll burn a hole in my shelf for a few days...
Shooting Video on the wrecks of the St Lawrence River
Photos by Mike Rothschild and Pete Bucknell

I need help: documentary in process (More info here )

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