1. Entry and Drift to the Locks

01 old morrisburg from the air showing entry point - from slp
photo from stlawrencepiks.com, with entry added

For all Lock 23 sites, you enter from the same place on shore and swim out to the submerged Rapide Plat Canal to begin your drift.

01-entry-site-1-web

You start here… at Morrisburg’s public boat launch. This photo was taken in the fall when boaters were few and far between but this isn’t the case in summer dive season! For your own safety, take every precaution to keep clear of boats entering or exiting the ramp, and watch for boats all about you in the water. Sea-doos are very common.  Boaters often do not notice divers – it’s up to you to keep clear of them.

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This is the same place but a little closer up.  The water level is unnaturally low – normally it’s as high as the markings you see on the dock planking.


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Here is the spot where you enter the water. It’s strewn with boulders and descends to about 10 feet. Though a bit cumbersome initially, it’s not particularly difficult to get into the clear water.

As soon as you drop below the surface, keep low and move quickly to at least 8 feet, as the boat and sea-doo traffic can be right above your head. Use your compass to proceed south since at this point you won’t feel much of a current. Weed growth is low at the start of the season but quite thick and high by August.

Sometimes the visibility is good.05 through-weeds-web

Sometimes not so good.06-through-weeds-poor-viz-web

On your way to the canal, you’ll cross a paved sidewalk followed by “Canal Street” of old Morrisburg.

07 sidewalk web
the sidewalk
08 crossing Canal Street web
Canal Street
09 south edge of Canal Street web
the edge of the canal
11 side of canal web
the canal wall

You’ll almost immediately come upon the limestone-lined wall of the canal (remember that Canal Street ran right alongside the canal in old Morrisburg).

Swim downward over the edge and feel the current catch you! Keep track of your buddy – it’s on this part of the dive that most buddy separations occur.

Enjoy the 15 minute drift to the Locks!

You’ll find details about arrival landmarks in this post as well as those discussing the specific routes you can take through the locks themselves.

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