The site is large and, since you’re always drifting, you get to see only a portion of it each time you dive. It’s nice to know which section you’ve arrived at when you reach the stone structures.
Here are the 4 most common spots to arrive:
The sill of Lock 23. You reach this because you swam straight south to the farthest canal wall at the start of your dive, then drifted with it on your right side. It becomes the south wall of the lock. The current here is moderate. You only really notice it when you stop at the sill and attempt to cross. Check out this post for details about this route.
The pile of rubble and the hill of sediment just before you reach the rounded end of the wall separating the old and the new lock (you can see the wall just ahead). Any time river flow is impeded by a structure, especially a large one, sediment drops and a berm is created. You arrived at this point because you drifted down the centre of the canal. You probably saw a few large boulders and bits of building debris here and there along the way. The current here is strong and it’s sometimes difficult to keep your position if you stop.
The photos below again show the great curved wall that looms in front of you. To reach Lock 23, you need to move to your right. To reach the Rapide Plat Lock, you need to move to your left. If moving left, just before you drift around the corner you’ll see these shaped stones. I don’t know why they’re here (yet); this is the only spot with stones placed in this manner. Check out this post for details about this route.
The curved section of the south wall of the Rapide Plat Lock. If you continued the drift as explained at #2 (above) and kept the wall to your right, you’ll arrive here. But this may also be the first structure you reach if your drift down the centre was not as far south as you thought. You’ll probably have seen the wall to your right first and noticed that the current has picked up dramatically. As soon as you go to your left around the curve, the current will rush you towards the lock gate.
Just in front of the gate itself, you’ll see a bunch of bottles… although there are bottles everywhere so they’re not particularly useful landmarks. Most of them are fairly recent – the river carries them along and drops them wherever there’s a roadblock. I made note of the tire in front of the gate but it doesn’t seem to be there anymore (summer 2019).
Check out this post for details about this route. Note: #2 and #3 are part of the same route.
The sluice gates to the headwater pond of the Hydro-Electric Plant. You reached this spot by drifting along the sloping north embankment of the canal (when you entered the water, you did not try to cross the canal, but drifted as soon as you reached the bottom of the embankment, a depth of about 20 feet). The current here is quite mild until it picks up right at the gates where they create an obstruction. 2019 note: the upper boards were all blown off the gates by the mega current of 2017. You only see the posts now.
The first landmark noted on this inner route is the stepped end of the wall leading to the sluice gates. It looks like a staircase to your left on the embankment (and you’ll miss it unless you drifted at about 16-18 feet) but it is simply the support blocks at the end of the wall.
You may also have reached the sluice gates by drifting back towards shore from your drift in the centre. You may have started out at 30 feet but the current tends to pull you towards shore if you are not vigilant at keeping your depth. Check out this post for details about this innermost route.