Exposure—How Long, How Deep, How Cozy?

The Royal Mail Ship, Empress of Ireland, was an ocean-going luxury liner on her way to Liverpool from Quebec City when she sank in the Saint Lawrence River, 14 minutes after colliding with a Norwegian collier in the early morning fog of 29 May 1914. She had 1,477 people on board—passengers and crew—and the accident claimed the lives of 1,012, more than 800 of them passengers.

Marijuana buds (filephoto)
Marijuana buds (filephoto)

Diver caught smuggling pot into the US

The Canadian man in a scuba suit was taken into custody by federal authorities for attempting to smuggle eight pounds of marijuana into the United States across the St. Clair River near Marine City.

Jesse James Thomas Zunti was observed by a Marine City resident swimming in full scuba gear across the St. Clair River from Canada to Marine City early Monday.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman says agents arrested the man in his scuba gear as he exited the water about 1 a.m. Monday after remote camera operators at Selfridge Air National Guard base spotted him.

British Columbia's Southern Gulf Islands

Located between the lower part of Vancouver Island and Mainland Vancouver in the Strait of Georgia, the Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Canada, are made up of over 12 large islands and several smaller ones. The larger, more populated islands are accessible by taking an auto ferry from the Mainland to Nanaimo or to Sidney, just north of Victoria. Visitors can spend a day or several exploring by car, bike or hiking.

Diving the Arrow

It’s an unsettled kind of morning on Chedabucto Bay of Canada’s east coast. The sun is shining—it’s really quite pleasant—but there’s a brisk wind blowing from the southwest. What that translates into here in the waters between Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia is heavy seas. We’re pounding through four to six foot swells in a 25-foot rigid hull inflatable boat.

Bell Island Wrecks

Just knowing that Vikings started a settlement here a thousand years ago and that the first fishermen from Europe began arriving in the 1500’s adds to a sense of history that cloaks the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It’s a sense that I’m acutely aware of on this sunny day in June on board the vessel, Ocean Quest, as the skipper, Bill Flaherty, navigates across Conception Bay towards Bell Island.

Perfectly Preserved Gold Rush "ghost ship" Discovered in Canada's Sub-arctic. Detail from the paddlewheel
Perfectly Preserved Gold Rush "ghost ship" Discovered in Canada's Sub-arctic. Detail from the paddlewheel

Well-preserved paddlesteamer found in Canadian sub-arctic

Doug Davidge of the Yukon Transportation Museum in Whitehorse found the gold rush time capsule during a sonar survey. He has been looking for it on and off since the 1980s

The steamboat was built in San Francisco, taken apart in Skagway and hauled over the mountains to Lake Laberge.

"The discovery has been reported to the Canadian government and the Yukon government, and the winter ice has once again sealed the grave of A.J. Goddard.

Skookumchuck: Challenging the Rapids

Dive boat in the Skookumchuck, BC, Canada. Photo by Barb Roy
Dive boat in the Skookumchuck, BC, Canada. Photo by Barb Roy

Viewing a torrent of flowing liquid turmoil while safe and dry on shore is enough to make anybody hesitate about signing up for a dive charter in the Skookumchuck Narrows. This is also the place where rushing tidal currents commonly reach impressive speeds of 14-16 knots (30 km/hr)!

Thetis Island

Tallen, my youngest daughter and part-time dive buddy entered the cool emerald coloured water with me as the current slowed to a stop to change direction (slack). Full of anticipation, Tallen and I descended down the southwest side of Virago Rock within Porlier Pass, a .65 km (.4 mile) wide channel between the islands of Valdez and Galiano.