St. Lawrence River Diving
August 16, 17 & 18, 2019
Cost: US $329 includes 15% Canadian taxes
Cash or Check – add 3% for credit card
Pre-Registration no later than August 5, 2019
The Saint Lawrence River was formed 10,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age. When the ice receded, it carved out the river creating a network of 1000s of islands over a fifty mile area, now known as the region of the 1000 Islands. Geographical, the entire river length is 1300 miles from the mouth in Eastern Lake Ontario (The 1000 Island Region) flowing eastward to the Atlantic Ocean.
In terms of the diving, spectacular wall drifts and a wide variety of numerous shipwrecks throughout lie along the bottom and walls of the Saint Lawrence River. The great visibility is due to the proliferation of the Zebra Mussels. The warm water temperature (72 degrees) in the summer months extends down to 100 feet plus because the surface water in all the Great Lakes is sheared off the top and moves into the St Lawrence River.
Sample of Dives…
The Lillie Parsons is two dives in one. The Lillie Parsons a 131 foot long, two masted schooner, sank in 1877 and now lies upside down on the bottom at 50 - 60 feet. Upside down is not an issue, since that gives one the fun of going around and around the Lillie Pasons. Usually twice around and or over the bottom which is the very top of the wreck, and then spin off for a fast current dive along the wall. Just stay close to the wall and start your exit when you spot the marker line.
The Keystorm by far is one of Ontario's best wrecks, built in England, this 256 ft., 2,300 ton steel freighter sank in 1912 after hitting a shoal. The coal cargo was recovered seven years later. A visit to the Keystorm reveals why she is such a favorite. She stretches from her bow at 25 ft. depth to 115 ft. depth at the props. It is an inviting superstructure with easy access through her wheelhouse area. About midship it is suggested that you back away 50 to 60 feet to view the entire panorama. Don't miss the air pocket trapped in the anchor nest and the fatal gash on the underside near her bow!
The Kingshorn a barge carrying a cargo of wheat to Montreal, sank on April 27, 1897 during a storm on the St. Lawrence River. While 120 years have passed since the sinking it remains an accessible dive site. It is resting in 90 feet of water in front of the Rockport, Ontario dock. The wreck is 400 feet from shore. The Kinghorn, along with six other barges, were being towed by a tug named the Hiram Walker.
While it is accessible, there are safety concerns that must be met. Divers are urged not to surface swim to the ship’s location because of busy boat traffic, particularly in the summer months. At the same time divers are not recommended to swim underwater to the location if they are carrying just a single tank because of gas requirements for the dive.
The ship’s wheel remains but its anchor was stolen in 1997. A plaque has been placed on the site by Save Our Shipwrecks Ontario. The Kinghorn had been resting on 16 small concrete blocks near the stern but is now on a large block near the bow.