2021 Canada Day Dive

Virtually all of our dive friends dove elsewhere on Canada Day this year – charters are opening up and groups can get together a bit more freely in other spaces… Morrisburg’s waterfront park and beach were packed with sun-lovers but Larry and I had the river below all to ourselves! The current was very mild and visibility pretty good – sometimes 15 feet. Water temp 20C/68F.

The “road” (Canal Street of Old Morrisburg) sits at 11 feet. It has been this way for all of last season and looks to be much the same for this summer unless conditions change in the river that affect shipping. Remember that water levels here are directly related to control of this.

Pinpointing Your Arrival at the Locks with a Road Level of 11′

  • 1 Hydroelectric Plant: 22-23′
  • 2 Wall between HE Plant and Rapide Plat Lock: 27′
  • 3 Centre of Rapide Plat Lock: 29′
  • 4 Curved wall between RP Lock and Lock 23: 31′
  • 5 Centre of Lock 23: 33′
  • 6 Far Wall of Lock 23: 34’… but just keep swimming south until you hit the monster thing (you can do this at the beginning of your dive since it is a kilometre long)

Larry and I chose a dive route we haven’t done in a very, very, very long time – the first route we ever did, the one that filled me with fear in my early diving days but which now is so simple and carefree that I do nothing but let the river take me until it’s time to go home. I must mention that the combination of being a wimp plus being able to drift with hardly any body movement did leave me chilled by the end of 55 minutes.

On this route you entirely miss all of the pre-1905 sights (when we dove this the first time we didn’t even know they existed!). We swam directly south to the lock wall at the start (7 mins) and drifted alongside it until we floated over the upstream sill (20 minutes), then the downstream sill (24 mins), then sauntered over to and drifted alongside the wooden approach pier to its end (32 mins). We turned north and cruised over river bottom, with no landmarks of any sort, arriving at the Ferry Dock cribbing (39 mins), then swimming up its road to the “safety stop” stump which sits at a crazy 12 feet these days (42 mins), then north to the beach.

It will be interesting to see if this slow current continues. It certainly will if rainfall doesn’t increase enough to naturally raise water levels for shipping. Ya just never know!