Today was my second trip with ABUSC Scuba Charters. On Lake Ontario.
Located out of Waupoose Ontario is where the newest vessel to the ABUSC Scuba Charters resides. 1 of 5 boats the company operates, it is currently the only dive boat on the eastern End of Lake Ontario that actually Opperates within the open waters of the Lake. Their other boats are located within the St Lawrence seaway and the cover areas from Kingston Ontario to Brockville Ontario.
I have taken on a part time gig to Captain this vessel out of Waupoose as a relief Captain to help out the Owner get a little down time on occasion throughout the summer.
Today we went to 2 dive locations. The Olive Branch, and the Katie Eccles
Now I’m new to this but I was very impressed by one of our Divers (first name Mark) as he was a blind diver. This was so interesting as he had 2 other divers to help him feel his way around the wreck here is a picture of Mark after getting into the water.
So yesterday on the 13 of July I started a new part time job. Of course I am still working as a Mate (or 1st Officer) full time (ish) on the Glenora ferry however, yesterday I started as a P/T relief Captain for a dive boat out of Waupoose marina.
For the first day I found it a very interesting job indeed. For our first dive, the clients had requested a site that had not been dove this season, and probably not for years by the looks of things. The owner of the boat and Captain let her clients know that there was no tag line or Mooring at the site and that one of the divers would have to go down find the sunken mooring line and send it to the surface with a inflatable bag.
The passengers seemed happy with this plan and we set off for the Manola dive site.
Once there and set up, the most experienced driver was sent down to find the site. It did take some time of course, but eventually a bag was sent to the surface and the rest of the divers were able to dive the site.
During the dive the winds picked up significantly and we still had no Mooring line to tie to, so I was forced to try and keep the boat as steady as possible while the divers finished out their dive.
Once everyone was back aboard safely and a head count was done, we set off for a second site.
So the second site was the Annie Falconer, a much easier site to dive as there was a Mooring line already attached to this site, and it was in much more sheltered waters, so less wavy lol. So all I had to do was approach the Mooring slowly as the owner and fist Mate tied off to it and then the divers did their thing lol.
Once the divers were back aboard it was time to head back to the marina, approx a 40 minute steam and I was able to dock the boat safely and the owner officially welcomed me to the team as her new relief Captain.
I’m not gonna lie, it was nice to sit in the Captains seat once again, it has been a couple years now since my boat took a fatal attack and I could call myself captain, and let me tell you, it feels goooooooood lol. Cheers all.
So I apologize for the lack of story telling about the Salty dog this season, but my reality with her has been a struggle to say the least.
I know through experience that when buying an old boat, to expect some issues with her, but this one has been one thing after the other lol. It’s going to be ok soon I can feel it and there will be a light at the end of this tunnel however it will take just a bit more blood sweat and tears to get there lol.
After the Inaugural voyage back on May the 19th, if you recall I had struggled to get this old Salty Dog started and running to be able to get her in the water and able to get her over to the marina where she has sat ever since. I have been struggling to get the boat running properly.
Now July the 11, and after just about 2 months of tinkering with the Salty Dog I have come to the decision that unfortunately the motor she had come with is unsalvageable and I am no longer going to spend any more money on this existing engine.
First just to give a brief history on what is going on is this. During the Inaugural voyage it was clear to me that there was some sort of mechanical issues happening with the boat. She was way underpowered at the time it took a long time for us to get her up on plane. She seemed to cruise at low speed ok, however, when I needed the pick up and go she sputtered and just didn’t seem to have enough power to get up on plane.
So once I got her to the marina, approx 25 miles, I seeked out a mobile mechanic to come do some testing. Well once we started into the testing of the engine things seemed to just snowball out of control.
It seemed at every turn there was a new problem. At first I thought this mechanic was just trying to upsale me and make some extra money but I sat there and watched him and it just seemed that everything he was telling me just made sense
It started as soon as he opened up the engine room hatch lol I mean it looked like a disaster to be honest, a mess of wires ran in every direction and in every color of the rainbow. It took so much time just trying to figure out what wire was for what. So of course the wires all had to be changed , this was just the tip of the avalanche, so to date, I have had the following fixed in order to try and attempt getting this old girl to run smoothly.
– All the wires to every electrical item onboard has been replaced with their proper respected gauge wire and fuses, – new master power switch, – new bilge pump with auto float and wired correctly, – batteries wired correctly (if you saw them prior you would understand lol, -new engine ground wire – carb clean, – new starting coil, – new (to me) electronic distributer,- new distributer cables. – new distributer cap – properly adjust the timing of the engine, -new spark plugs, – all new wiring has been properly and neatly installed and stowed, – modified the alternators mounting bracket so we could properly tighten the belt. – and fixed the small water leak we had from day 1.
I have had the marine mechanic here on 7 separate occasions trying everything ha can to make this motor run properly and with no avail, so my decision now is, to scrap the engine.
This was a very hard decision to make after I had just spent the time effort and money to find out that the compression is shot in 2 of my 8 cylinders. I mean it should have been one of the first things I checked when I made the decision to buy this boat in the first place. So because of bad decission making on my part and not having the boat checked over I have decided that the Old Salty Dog and I are going to get through this together and we will be sure to make some great memmories in the future (together.)
I have purchased another motor to take its place, and on July the 21st 2019 The Salty Dog will no longer have the 255 Volvo Penta and will actually be getting a new(to her) Merc cruiser 350 inboard and should soon be ready for the water.
I look forward to being able to start writing about our adventures to come. I have high Hope’s for our 2nd inaugural voyage this time with my wife on board at the end of July, we are planning a 4 day excursion along the St Lawrence, so fingers crossed the Old Salty Dog will be ready to go by then.
Hi folks, do you live in southern Ontario in close vicinity to Lake Ontario and or the Saint Lawrence River? If so then you have probably been effected by the rising water levels of our water ways in one form or another.
If you follow my blog or any of my social media platforms then you are probably aware that I basically live on the water lol, (at least that is what my wife tells people). If I’m not working on a boat I am spending time on our personal boat our out fishing with friends and or family. Most of my water activities are spent on the eastern end of Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence River system.
Back in 2017 Lake Ontario, and the St Lawrence, saw some of the highest water levels it has ever witnessed on record. The levels reached a staggering 83cm above the average water level for this time of year.
Now just 2 years later and we are currently sitting at 76cm above the average for this time of year, (or for those of you that know what I’m talking about lol, 1.632 Meters above Chart Datum as of 16:00hrs this afternoon), and it is still rising. We are not expecting the levels to stabilize over the coming weeks and in other articles I’ve read, predictions are that we will see at least another 10cm to 12cm before levels begin to level off and start to receed.
It is expected that once again we will see record breaking water levels due to the excessive water flow comming over Niagara Falls from Lake Erie. Along with some very rainy weather we’ve had this spring. Niagara Falls let’s in %83 to %85 of the inflow to lake Ontario the remainder is from the tributaries leading to the lake.
In 2017 the levels across lake Ontario and the St Lawrence river decimated some waterfront properties and washed away shorelines right across the southern part of the province.
Fish habitat was disturbed, fish were found in water treatment facilities and in some cases were found swimming along flooded streets and public parks that had been submerged. The water levels this year are going to get even higher.
People have been stating to me that they don’t understand why the province won’t open the dams along the St Lawrence so that Lake Ontario will settle down a bit? Well the best answer that I have seen is as follows
– The great lakes basin, the Ottawa river, and the St Lawrence River, all merge in Montreal Harbor. The levels in Montreal have already exceeded the record water levels, set in 2017. For every 1 inch that the Iroquois, and Massena Dams allow lake Ontario to drain, it will increase the water levels in Montreal, (and further down the St Lawrence river) by 11 inches. Montreal and further down river are already in some major flooding problems of their own so we simply cannot allow any more flow out of the lake than what we are already letting loose.
I know around my home territory, in the Quinte region, businesses and properties are in desperate need for the levels to drop. However, I fear the increase in levels will be getting quite a bit worse before it gets better
I know at work, the levels are taking its toll on the locals, as even the slightest east wind now can affect the Glenora Ferry service. People in the area depend on this service to get them to and from work, taking them from the island to the mainland and back again. Businesses in the area depend on the ferry to allow their clients to be able to get to their locations, especially this time of year. if the ferry has to shut Down for any length of time, it can be devastating.
Businesses close to the water in the area are getting flooded out. The Picton Harbour Inn, (in Picton), have seen their docks starting to go under water, as well as their parking lot area has just started to get its first sign of flooding. The INN has placed water barrels along the docks in an attempt to hold the docks down and not RIP them out of place. So far this tactic has worked but if the water raises much more I’m afraid it may not be enough.
All the marinas and Yaught clubs in the Picton area are fighting to keep their docks afloat and their boaters from leaving.
Boaters are not putting their boats in the water yet due to the levels, potentially costing tens of thousands of dollars worth of expected income to these marinas for this time of year, not to mention possibly costing tens of thousands in repairs to equipment and the docks themselves. This is most likely indicative of all the areas that line the shores of Lake Ontario and the St Lawrence river throughout the province.
Last week I did put my boat in the water and it was quite the adventure to say the least (link to blog https://oldsaltydog.blog/2019/05/20/the-inaugural-voyage-part-2/ ) however what I noticed was all the debris in the lake, from trees, and garbage to lumber and even an overturned row boat that someone probably had on shore ready to use this summer floating down stream. I mean sure there is usually some branches/ tree stumps, and things like that during the spring time, but there has been an unusual amount of other debris this year as well.
I hope for everyone affected by the water levels this year that it all turns out ok in the end, if you are putting a boat in the water soon, please take extra care and look out for that debris that can really put a damper in your day.
Also let me know in the comment section what you think of my blog.
Back in 2015 I spent a season in Mabou Harbor Cape Breton, working on a lobster fishing vessel. After the season ended a friend of mine flew out and we ended up driving the famous loop before making our way back to Ontario.
It was an amazing experience and one I can’t wait to do again in the future.
I’ll post the link to my story I wrote about working the lobster season below.