I have lived beside the St. Lawrence River and Lock 23 for over 30 years… but for much of that time I had no idea what lay under the water out there. Oh, we’d noticed unusual surface flow patterns now and then, how the depth moved substantially up or down without reason, waves that seemed to move upstream. Strange. As our kids got older and went out in boats with friends, they’d tell us about spots where they could actually stand!
When empty nest syndrome hit, Larry and I learned to dive, still unaware of the dive site at the end of our yard, still unaware of divers congregating nearby on the shore. It wasn’t until new dive friends took us to the site that we experienced it. During that first dive I saw little; I was too worried about buoyancy, air, staying with Larry, and never, ever, losing sight of our guide. I know we swam across an exhausting current, drifted along one wall, then another. Did I notice anything else? Nope. We swam a seemingly never ending, hand-over-hand crawl across the river bottom to get back to the safety of our 3-minute stop. By then I was completely out of energy and nearly out of air. We surfaced and Larry towed me in. Was I ready to try again? Not any time soon.
I’ve come a long way. I’ve explored this site a lot. I’ve gone to many spots, well known and newly discovered. Along the way I’ve learned a lot about diving, ultimately becoming an instructor and guide, and using this site for advanced teaching including rescue.
As we’ve become acquainted with all that’s Lock 23, we’ve become skilled at guiding novice divers safely in addition to giving experienced divers an exciting ride! The Lock 23 dive group was born a few years ago and we’ve never looked back. Here’s to another season!