Lock 23 Conditions: June 4

The water is slowly warming up: 12.5C/54.5F, comfortable for only the most hardy wet-suiters. Most divers (of the few that are out there now) are still wearing drysuits.

Current is quick – the dam in Cornwall is wide open to continue reducing levels in Lake Ontario. Water levels are low but not ridiculously so – the gates in Iroquois are partly lowered to raise water locally.

These conditions will likely remain all summer. Current seems even quicker in the spring because there is little weed growth to slow things down, especially in the shallows. Entries and exits can be demanding, especially the exit since you’re further from shore when you start your cross-current trek.

We wishfully look for clear spring water. After all, it looks so fabulous from the dock – you can see everything down there! But when you’re drifting, you share the space with of a lot of dead winter plant material so visibility is often not the best.

And then there’s COVID…

Morrisburg is “open” for diving. More to the point, no one is stopping diving from happening. But I strongly urge common sense. Keep your groups small. Distance yourself from the non-divers all around you at the entry and exit points. Move your vehicles to the beach exit where parking is slightly more spacious and you can deal with your gear easily.

Be very, very clear on the capabilities of the divers you are with and how you’ll work together using self-distancing. How would you manage problems given COVID restrictions? What would you expect of others?

Most, if not all, residents are quite comfortable with divers. I’m sure they’ll continue to be so as long as everyone follows the COVID norms of the day. The county follows provincial guidelines fairly carefully so it is a day-to-day decision about what is open and what activities are allowed. Diving doesn’t seem to fit easily into any common category.

Be safe. Be thoughtful. Be mindful of others.

Good diving!