Monday, 6 July 2015

Equipment Checkup!

The first trip out in late spring, early summer to Marmora usually signals to divers that the season is indeed open.  All of the excitement and anticipation of being able to dive comes with but a few challenges. 

  • Have you had a yearly checkup and are in good health to dive? 
  •  Did you remember to have the tanks inspected? 
  •  Did you check your wetsuit to ensure it fits…still?   

Whatever the reason is to get out and dive that first weekend, don’t wait to get your gear, inspected, repaired and in working order; by the time that weekend arrives, Dive shops will be overrun with requests, orders and repairs.
This makes the situation most stressful when waiting for equipment to be repaired the week before the dive trip.  Hoping and praying that your equipment will be ready and that you won’t have to rent unfamiliar gear.

First Checks
All equipment is different and requires annual/semi-annual safety inspections, replacement parts and preventive maintenance. If unsure check with the manufacturer.  Some certifying agencies also put out a ‘suggested’ preventative maintenance schedule. My Regs are in the shop once a year at the end of September for their annual checkup. I only trust the professionals with my regs.  They can test, adjust and replace.  I can always rest easy knowing I'm diving with full functional equipment.

‘Personally’ speaking, I like to start with my lights, and work my way around the things that I can check myself.
Lights: At the end of every season, I take out my rechargeable batteries and put them into an air-tight bag for the next dive. As we take them out in the spring, I fully charge and test the batteries; I like to leave my light on for 1h to ensure that the batteries are still fully functional.
Exposure Suit:  If you’ve already washed and pretreated your wetsuit from last season, then the only thing to do is to re-lube and test the zippers, do an inspection of the zippers and Velcro, check all the seams for small tears – use chalk to mark area’s that need repair prior to taking it into the shop.

               *Small tip?  Most tailors can repair/replace zippers – which might be a less costly option.
Knives and Dive Tools:  Clean and sharpen – If you don’t know how, seek out professional help.  A sporting goods store was able to sharpen a serrated blade for me, and also provided a silicone spray to help protect my dive knives/tools from rusting.

Fins:  Pull on the strap, adjust it, and inspect it for cracks.  Clean and treat the silicone, and moving parts.  If you’ve had to use your ‘spare’ strap during previous dives, then perhaps it’s time to order new straps.  Spring straps will also benefit from silicon lube spray.
If you have camera gear – clean, or replace o-rings and re-silicone in a clean environment.  A new o-ring for your camera might cost $5.00, but could save that $1000 camera from a leak.(the same goes for the o-rings on dive lights/torches)
Dive computers – Check and replace battery if needed.  Ensure the date and time is correct.
Patricia Sideris, ASC Communications

Some expert Tips From our Equipment Manager Joe;

We are well into the New Dive Season! Have you checked your dive gear YET?????
The following is a good start:
Mask, fins and snorkel:
·        Examine all straps for cracking or faulty latches.
·        How is the fit of your mask? Does it seal properly? Look for any cracking around the skirt.
·        Inspect your snorkel for cracked or ripped mouth piece. Look for tears or cracking on the webbing that holds the snorkel to the mask.
Regulator set:
Have they been maintained based on the manufacturer’s requirements? If so, the following additional checks should be made:
·        Check the mouth piece for cracking or tears. Replace if necessary.
·        Inspect hoses for defects on the exterior. Pull back hose protectors and look for cracking, bubbling or tears.
·        Verify that your compass and gauges are in good working order. (Make sure that the compass is properly seated in boot or gauge set! More than one has popped out at the wrong time!!!!)
·        If your gauge set is equipped with a computer, now would be a great time to replace the battery if it’s getting questionable! Many a dive has been lost due to a failed computer….
·        Verify the exterior is in good condition with no tears etc.
·        Manually inflate your BC. Will it hold the pressure for 20 minutes?
·        Check the waist straps and latches for proper operation.
·        Up to date Hydro and Visual inspection (Remember, Hydro is good for 5 years and the visual inspection is required every year.)
·        If equipped, check under the plastic tank boot for debris and / or corrosion.
·        Check for damage to the tank o ring. Replace if necessary.

Last but not least, check your exposure protection for proper fit! MANY have been known to shrink over the winter for unknown reasons. (Suit manufactures are still trying to fix this problem!!)
Have a safe and enjoyable dive season all!
Joe Pascoe, Equipment Manager

More information about Diving, upgrading your current skills, or to try out diving in a pool during one of our Discover Dives simply contact us using the information below, it’s that easy!

Also, if you learn to Scuba Dive with us, your membership is included for your first year of diving.
We also welcome Divers certified by any recognized SCUBA training agency.

Just contact us: or call (905) 619-2159 and leave a message.

Check us out:

Monday, 9 March 2015

Dive profiles and personal information updates

Hello Team,
With the spring warm up this week, I am sure all of you are day dreaming of diving– just as all of us,  on the ASC Executive team are anxious to get our fins wet!!!
With that in mind I have a small request from our Executive team;
It has come to our attention that contact information, emergency contact numbers and email addresses may need updating.
Our DM’s are requesting that everyone take a moment to update their personal information and dive profile on our website.

If you are a new member, or a returning one, we are simply requesting that double check to ensure all information is correct.
***If you have not renewed your membership, why not complete online now, and bring your completed paperwork with you to our Spring General Meeting
·         Ajax Scuba Club Guidelines
·         Ajax Scuba Club Waiver
·         Ajax Scuba Club Membership Form
Our Spring General Meeting will be held at the Ajax Community Center, in the Commodore's room on Sunday, April 12th from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.

Posted on behalf of The Ajax Scuba Club

Patricia Sideris, ASC Communications

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

ASC Executives wish you a Very Happy 2015

Happy New Year Everyone! 
We wish to touch base with our Members and wish you all a very Happy New Year.
The First order of business is to share with you our new Executive lineup, and their contact information.
There have been a few updates, so please help us give a warm welcome our new Executives

Presenting your new executive members;
Robert Theberge             president@

Vice-president                 Vacant 
Jinna Findlay                     treasurer@

Pat Doherty                        secretary@

Audrey Wood                    training@

Dive Coordinator            
Delsie Walsh                     divecoordinator@

Equipment Manager     
Joe Pascoe                          equipment@

Paul Campbell                  promotions@

Patricia Sideris                  newsletter@

Shelley Abbott                 social@

Web Master                     
Rob Cook                             webmaster@

All Executives can be contacted via their email address prefix followed by our domain;

An now word from our ASC president.
Let me wish you all a good 2015 full of exciting dive experiences.
I would like to thank the outgoing members of the executive for the great work they accomplished in 2014. They improved our web site, stabilized our finances while handling the compressor issues. Because of their good work, our club is in good shape.
We are working hard to bring you another great dive season. You will be able to select your dives at the Spring General meeting to be held after Easter in April (exact date to be confirmed).
A great club is made of its members; the role of the executive is to be attentive to members needs and to facilitate their diving experience. However, we need your participation. The position of VP is still open and we are still accepting volunteers. We also need the cooperation of Dive Masters to make sure our dive schedule is attractive, complete and all dives are performed safely.
As we are a teaching club, my objective is to remind each of you of the courses we offer and to ask you to be our ambassadors to all the people you know and might be interested in learning to dive. By promoting our courses, you will promote our club and you will bring new members to the club who in turn will follow in your footsteps and will promote our courses.
See you soon
Have a good diving season and do not forget to renew your membership

Robert Theberge

Thank You, Looking forward to seeing everyone at our Spring General Meeting.
ASC Communications, Patricia Sideris

Monday, 20 October 2014

Scuba Divers Halloween

Wondering how you can put your spin on Halloween?
You can choose to put a divers spin on your pumpkin or even dress up your little goblin as a diver.

Diver Pumpkins;
Some ideas for you; Take your favourite underwater photo of a fish or crabs, starfish, shark and in a photo editing program, put it (either way) into the negative, or black and white.  Print out, and cut out your creature.  Attach to pumpkin with tooth picks.  Using a dry erase marker, trace transfer your design.   Cave out with your favourite pumpkin carving tools. Light up and enjoy.
Here are two from my past Halloweens:

Watch VIDEO of a ship wreck pumpkin

Diver costumes;

For your little ghoul or goblin;
Make him/her a little diver,
Small Tubing [your air hose]
2Lt pop bottle (one or two) your choice [this will be your tanks]
Pacifier [this will be your regulators]
Silver paint [for your tanks]
With a clean pop bottle, wash inside with silver paint and set aside.
Using hot glue, attach tube from top of pop bottle lid to pacifier pulley
You can use black straps, or thick shoes laces, but make sure you put straps over shoulders, NOT AROUND NECK.  It should be light and easy to take off or on.
Your ghoul can wear this over blue or black pajamas, or tights and turtle neck.
Add Mask, fins, snorkel and hood and gloves and your well on your way to being a diver.

If all else fails, you can always break down and purchase your little one a Seahorse, Dolphin, Shark  or other sea-life costume.  Then you (the adult) wear your wet suit and chaperon your little ones in full gear (without the tank).

SAFETY first;  Parents should always accompany children and check all candy prior to consumption. recommended wearing reflective tape down the side of costume, mask on the head, so it doesn't obstruct field of vision.  Flash lights/dive torches just make great sense.

Yummy Snacks.
Jell-O creature snacks.
Using yellow, green or blue Jell-O, shortly after mixing in the cold water, stir for ten minutes,  fill clear plastic cups half way and add gummy s (Fish, worms, spiders or sharks)  Chill till set, very cool.

Edible Eyes;
Supply’s; Small white powdered droughts, Gummy Lifesavers, Chocolate chips, red gel icing
Place gummy in middle of doughnut, chocolate chip in the middle of gummy and then pipe in red veins of the creepy eye ball, place on plate and serve up some scares.

Witches Fingers Cookies
Please contact me for Recipe, and advise if you need in in PDF or WORD format:
Click the above link, or contact me @
"Newsletter"  (Remove quotes)

Friday, 22 August 2014


The last long weekend my dive buddy and I had the pleasure of joining in on the Tobermory charter with our other Ajax Scuba Club members.

I have never seen waters so clean and clear, or expected to see fresh water in Ontario look so blue.  Just stunning.  The other thing that divers will be stunned at?  The water temperature.
Warmest temperature recorded on my computer; 55°F, 12.7°C , coldest?  A mind numbing, reg freezing, icicles on my fingers; 42°F, 5.5°C

San Jacinto
Depth 80F, 24.5M.

She’s quite a way out off of Yeo Island, and was not discovered to 1989.  She was wrecked – with no lives lost on June 20, 1881.  

This large wooden schooner is split wide open but still has many artifacts intact.  

We were able to clearly identify massive dead-eye rigging some intact and some just left off the bow resting on the lake bed with part of the railing.  One of our divers (Derrick) who ventured the entire length of the ship recorded a temperature of 38°F/3°C. 

City of Cleveland

Depth 40F, 12.2M
The City of Cleveland is a ‘easy dive’.  Great light pouring in from the sun the wreck can be seen from the surface and lies in less than 40F/12M of water.  She’s a twin-decked, four-masted, wooden steamer.  

Completely broken up.  Great photo opt for divers have to be the two large boilers or the rudder and massive propeller.  She sank on September 15, 1901 in a snow storm when she ran aground.  No lives were lost

.DAY 2
The Niagara II
Depth 48 to 89F, 14 to 27

As the Captain warned us, this is the coldest water diving (next to ice diving) that you will ever do…
The Niagara II was scuttled on May 15, 1999, for the express purpose of creating a new dive site.  It is not recommended for penetration unless you are trained for wrecks, have the proper equipment and have planned and prepared.  Even then our Captain warned against it due to the heavy slit that now fills every room.  This 180F long freighter and sand dredge has ‘many’ new sites on it – you will find a bicycle, and a sea-doo.  This ship is intact and upright, but it’s very important to keep an eye on your air, and your depth.  Even with full sun, the site is a bit gloomy due to its location next to a rock wall.  The Captain also warned of these dive hazards; free flow, and cold temperatures.

The Caves / Grotto
Depth 70F, 21M to surface
Parked off the cost of what the Captain calls Bikini bay we are met with people launching themselves off the cliffs.  
Captain explains the dive plan.  Drop below the boat – the sand is at 70F/21M you don’t have to go all the way down, watch your computer and stay around 40F/12M, if you kick hard, in 25 strong fin kicks you will start to see the formations of the island.  Follow it up and in-between two large boulders you will see and opening.  Swim in and up 15F/4.5M and you will surface into a cave.  This cave will have lots of screaming children, and members of the public asking you where you came from and how you can breathe underwater. (The jokes continue from the Captain here) 
Most important things to remember; once you start the assent to the cave opening, get in as fast as possible.  There are cliff jumpers and we don’t want an accident.  
On your way back to the boat, watch your depth, two boat lengths away and there is a 500F drop off, if you get below 79F/21M, surface slowly, completing your safety stop and look for the boat.

The best part for me (at the Grottos) was sharing a moment with a family of Divers, Mark & Jane, and their son Thomas.

 I found a Cray fish and it swam from my hand to theirs – and they captured it on the GoPro.  I just love seeing families diving together.

Depth 40F, 13M
Few of our Ajax Scuba Club members had fun checking out the amazing shore dives.   Within walking distance of the shore you can start to see remnants of four small steam tugs (Alice G, Robert K, John & Alex, and the Bob Foote) .  Also suitable for snorkeling, it’s a great place to come out if you have an extra day, or air left in your tanks from your charter.  You’ll find free parking and a washroom here.  Ensure you have a dive flag visible at all times and stay with the marked diving areas. *** Site plan maps are available at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre.

Ajax Scuba Club had the pleasure of diving with a charter booked out of The Divers Den.  Our charter boat, piloted by Captain Jason was roomy and perfect for the twelve of us.  Captain Jason was constantly 
Captain Jason
feeding us facts, jokes, and cookies. He has inside knowledge of the wrecks we dived on, and shares a passion for diving like we all do.  It made a great dive weekend – a fantastic weekend.

You have to love it when, on the rare occasion you have the perfect dive.  Great Location, fantastic conditions, and outstanding charter staff.  It might be a Captain, or  Dive Master, or even a buddy that has inside knowledge, that makes  your dive that much better.  I can usually tell from the dive briefing when a good dive is about be to a great dive.
I was right – they were all great dives.
On tropical charters you might expect an orange slice after your dive, here in Tobermory expect the real Canadian deal; Maple leaf cookies.

Thank you Captain Jason of The Divers Den, our fearless leader and Dive Master Colin and the rest of the Ajax crew that made this trip one we looking forward to repeating.

Personal notes;
1.       Plan the dive, dive the plan – never dive outside your training or comfort limits.
  •     It’s required that you register with the Fathom Five National Marine Park as a certified diver and obtain your marine park pass.
      •      Weekend pass is $9, and you get a paper wrist band – go for the season pass for $19 and get a cool medallion souvenir for your BCD.
  •       Always book your camping/hotel prior to the Dive season opening.   Tobermory is Very popular.
  •     You CAN NOT dive these sites without the proper exposure suit and equipment. ***
      •      I tried to wear 3mil gloves on the first dive and I had to cut my dive short because of the pain. (Thank you Chantel for lending me her warmer gloves)
      •     Many of the wrecks require a torch to look inside, or underneath
  •     Know proper free flow procedures and how to deal with them. 
  •     Discuss emergency and dive abort procedures with your buddy.
  •     Bring a warm sweater or jacket and a beanie for pre/post dive time on the charter – did I mention that Tobermory was cold?

Helpful Links;

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Season Open'er

The 2014 Ajax Scuba Club Dive Season begins this weekend with our Student Open Water Checkout.

We know you will all Do GREAT! 

A quick Note from our Equipment Manager Ian Smith;
"I look forward to seeing everyone over the season, either on a dive or at the back room."

The Ajax Community Center is undergoing renovations, including parking areas, roads and playing fields to provide a new road from Bayly south to Clements, to service new construction, the hospital and Community Center.
They will be closing access to the area either from the north or south, depending on where they are working at that time.  Currently, the northern access to the backroom is closed and we must access the community center via Clements Rd.

The Backroom will be open from 7:00pm to 8:00pm on the Thursday before a dive weekend for rentals and air fills, and the Tuesday after a dive weekend for equipment returns.
***The only scheduled exception would be for the Prescott Family Camping Weekend over the July long weekend, where returns will occur on Thursday July 3rd

For those who have not been to the backroom, it is located in the South-East corner of the Ajax Community Center.  When staffed, the external door will be open, and a club sign will be visibly by the doorway.

Equipment Rental Prices remain the same as last year.

Cylinders - 1st Tank - 3rd, 5th 
Cylinders - 2nd Tank - 4th, 6th
Buoyancy Compensator (BCD) 
Regulator Set 
Dive Flag 
Free  (When Required)  
Packages - All of the Above
$50.00   (Save $5.00) 
Student Package (first summer diving with the club) 
$40.00 (Save $15.00) 

***For Open Water Students on their open water weekend, all rental equipment is provided as part of the open water check-out.

Equipment Concerns/Questions please contact Ian at;
Ian Smith - ASC Equipment Manager <>

Now Get out there and Dive, Dive, Dive.  "The Pool is Open"
Have a happy and safe Dive Season.