A weather front has finally taken over the Rimouski area and replaced the hot and humid weather (thank goodness) with a more temperate and comfortable climate. The winds came from all directions throughout the course of the night into the morning with the exception of the east. This unsettled weather pattern produced severe whitecaps out on the river and it was doubtful whether we would get out to dive today.
Just when we were about to give up the dive day, the winds calmed down and the seas flattened. All of a sudden, it was beautiful day! Although we got a late start at noontime, conditions on the wreck site could not of been more optimal. Calm seas, no current and a short run out to the Empress were great ways to lift our spirits. Unfortunately, due to business matters (Titanic), I was not able to go out with the other divers today :^(
The following is a report from my three divers (Tony, Ray and Charlie) that were taking photos and video of the Empress. Conditions on the Empress were pretty near perfect with about 15 feet of visibility and not so dark underwater. With no currents, it made the dive to the ship fairly relaxing. The divers decided to stay exclusively in the bow section of the ship, so they descended a down-line tied in near the bowsprit. The objective of the first dive was to clear of the portside letters that make up the name Empress of Ireland and then photograph/film them in their entirety. There was a piece of metal railing that was covering the N in Ireland but they were able to move it away for their photo shots. Following these pictures, they descended towards the crew's quarters and the third class entranceway to the front of the ship. Within the confines of this space you can see two distinct stairwells leading downward to cabins. This made for a very spectacular dive! On their second dive, they repeated their survey of the portside bow to include a visit to the huge anchor and the remainder of the area surrounding the cargo hatch.
Following the dive, Captain Jean-Pierre Bouillon, Dany St Cyr and my divers gave me a surprise birthday lobster dinner and a birthday cake with sparklers! Wow-what an evening! Hey, I like being twenty-nine every year!