Adventure Journal

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Niagara Gorge - May 29 - 2007

Tuesday, May 29 - 2007
12:15 - 15:45
Start: 12:30
Roads: Dry / clear
Visibility: 24km
Temp: +19C
Area: Niagara Gorge, Niagara Falls Canada
Vehicle: Suburban
Weather: Sunny / Clear
Trail Conditions: Dry rock
Hikers: Tori, Wolf, Lupis, Merlin, Morgana
Plan: Use the metal stairs and hike barefoot in the gorge

12:15 We arrived at the top of the gorge but now there is some Indian totem thing in the field. I wondered to the ticket wicket to ask and was told by the asian man in the wicket that you can still get to the steel metal stairs.

12:30 We headed out onto the trails and down the steel steps. The scenery here is always beautiful. Giant rocks, huge towering trees, and ferns. We made our way down to the waters edge of the magnificent Niagara river.

12:45 We arrived at the edge of the river and spent some time on a large rock and got some great photographs

13:41 We headed back to the trails and cool canopy of the forest floor to begin our hike. It is very relaxing here. We followed along the river trail which I saw up top was listed as partially closed.

14:18 We found a small natural spring which has been here for many moons. There was a lot of fallen rock that had come from the cliffs above. We met a couple – man in sandals, beige shorts and grey shirt, woman in white running shoes, white shorts and top with medium length blond hair. They were enamored by the dogs and took photos of Merlin and Morgana. They also found it amasing we hike barefoot.

14:40 We came out of the closed trail onto the regular blue trail pathway and stopped to fill out the logbook. We have already used small tripod Brian bought me for my birthday quite a few times. It's a very useful tool.

15:02 We headed up to where the blue trail joins the green trail and started to head back towards the truck. We stopped to give the dogs water and passed a couple from Texas or the deep south by their accent. They said they lost their black lab a few months ago. He had trouble with his back-end and they had to have him killed. I wore my camouflage pants, an ex-officio brown shirt with Jeep patch, black hat and our new Camelbak Viper hydration packs. Tori wore her black cargo pants, light blue and purple wavey-patterned shirt and beige adventure hat with camelbak viper hydration pack. We had a great hike which was quite relaxing even with the dogs. By the end of the hike, Tori's ankle was troubling her and she had to take one of her pain pills.

15:38 We got back to the truck and headed home after filling out the hike journal.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Birthday Dive! Celebrating 100 Logged dives!!

Monday, May 21 – 2007
13:00 – 14:30
Start: 13:00
Roads: Dry / Clear
Surface Visibility: 24km
Visibility at depth: 30m
Temp (air): +23C
Temp (at depth): +10C
Location: East Main Street Bridge, Welland
Vehicle: Suburban
Weather: Bright and Sunny
Water Conditions: Calm
Divers: Tori & Wolf
Plan: Birthday Dive for Wolf – Dive #100!

We packed up and headed out to the East Main Street Bridge in Welland, Ontario to do my 100th logged dive which also happens to fall on my 31st birthday. 100 Logged dives is a milestone in your diving career as it is supposed to be when everything comes together and makes you a more firm diver. I passed 100 dives many moons ago but now it is official. Unfortunately during my teen years I dived with people who used to laugh when I kept records and as a result dove for many years without a logbook.

More importantly we arrived around 12:0hrs and parked on King street and struggled into our dive gear and headed to the edge of the water which has a nice steel wharf to finish getting our gear on. As I always to do protect her damaged ankle I assembled all of her gear then took it to the waters edge. I then helped Tori kit up then she swam out to the bridge pylon to wait for me. We descended to 8m and swam northbound along the bank at a depth of 12m. We saw quite a few shopping carts, bicycles, parts of equipment and other rubbish. Tori had no real problems on this dive which is her 58th logged dive. There were lots of gobies all over the bottom. As I only had ½ tank of air we couldn't dive very long. I used the large steel 180cu and my Ag mask. It was a great dive on a great and beautiful day. Albeit a little strange diving in the middle of a city.

After the dive we spent some time on the east riverbank and relaxed and filled out our dive logs. Christine came with us and brought Lupis so he could spend the day out and get some fresh air.

Saturday, 19 May 2007

First Dive of the year!

Saturday, May 19 – 2007
12:30 – 14:00
Start: 12:30
Roads: Dry / Clear
Surface Visibility: 24km
Visibility at depth: 10m
Temp (air): +22C
Temp (at depth): +5C
Location: Ryerson park, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Vehicle: Suburban
Weather: Bright and Sunny
Water Conditions: Light Chop
Divers: Tori & Wolf
Plan: Do a test dive for sorting out any equipment issues.

This is logged dive number 99 (actual dive 400+), First dive of 2007. Last dive was August of 2006.We arrived at Ryerson Park around 12:00 and got all kitted up with our wet suits, hoods, gloves, boots, BCD's Tank, Mask, Fins, etc. With Tori having a damaged ankle, I carried all her equipment down to the waters edge on some rocks, then when she arrived I got her all ready for the dive, then got myself ready. To help prevent any issues with Tori's mask improperly sealing – we put some vasoline on the rim so it would seal to her face a little better.

We went in to about chest-deep water and we went under and sat down for a while to get used to the conditions. Our masks sealed perfectly. The lack of weight on Tori's body made it good for her ankle. After about 10 mins of sitting in the frigid water, no real faults were found with our gear and we decided we should head Westbound along the sandbar and at least get a dive in. We found lots of rocks – visibility was good at 10m We broke a few beer bottles and found a couple of small dead minnows.

Eventually after about 70 mins we found that the water was just too cold to continue and we headed back towards shore from our maximum depth of 3 metres. We got back to land to find the park had filled up with people. We struggled to get us and our gear back to the truck then sat and relaxed for a bit. It was a boring dive, but important that we found the vasoline helped Tori's mask. We will have to get the proper silicone sealer for her mask so it doesn't damage it. Boring – but any dive is a great dive.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia Hike - May 08 - 2007

Tuesday, May 08 - 2007
14:00 - 16:00
Start: 14:00
Roads: Dry / clear
Visibility: 24km
Temp: +18C
Area: Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia Canada
Vehicle: 2005 Freightliner Straight Truck
Weather: Sunny / Clear
Trail Conditions: Some mud spots
Hikers: Tori, Wolf, Lupis
Plan: Hike up the North Mountain Range, Annapolis Valley

We embarked en-route to Nova Scotia around noon on May 10th, 2007 for an amasing journey. Tori and i have never really been out east together. The scenery is so amasing. We managed to get ahead of schedule and take a couple of hours off.

We arrived in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia and took some great photographs. We headed through town on Highway 1 then came across old Chute Road. We stopped the truck and got our gear and headed down Chute Road which was a dirt road which seemed to go on forever. Shortly after embarking up the road we ran into a very friendly lady with two dogs who said that the truck would safely make it down the road right to the end so we could get to the base of the mountain and make our ascent. We promptly hopped back into the truck and slowly drove up the road to not throw any stones and damage the vehicle.

As we were told, we ended up at the end of the dirt-road section of Chute road and before us lay a very long, beat-up goat-path looking road which hopefully will lead to the top of the mountain and Tellier lake. Tori and I own 20 acres of land encompassing almost all of Tellier lake.

Parking the truck we started the ascent up Old Chute Road towards the summit. The scenery was amasing. This place is so breathtakingly beautiful. Our ascent must have taken us over 500m up the mountain, through beautifully rugged and battered terrain. We came upon a sign that said "You're half way to mountain-top-time!" which was encouraging.

We spent over an hour ascending the pathway and stopped for some phenomenal photographs and a couple of rocks for Christine and myself to remember this great hike. I even ran into a beautiful small waterfall which ran near the pathway.

Sadly we ran out of time at 2hrs and had to return to the truck and get back to work. This place left a mark in my mind of how beautiful Canada really is outside of Southern Ontario where I currently reside. It is so peaceful here, the people so friendly. I am very saddened by not having the time to fully find Tellier Lake, but determined to revisit this great place in the near future.