Last week myself and a couple of friends took the 6 hours drive from Kingston to Dutch Springs to see what it was all about. I know many on here have probably expereienced it, but I thought I would write about my experience.
Weather was rather lousy to be honest, it was rainy and overcast the whole day, that was about the only down side, and that actualy created a plus. We were the only ones there. We checked in in the midst of a torrential down pour then headed over to the unload gear. Big advantage to the place being empty, they did not care where we parked, we parked on the "peninsula" right next to the ramp into the water. With no one around they did not care about parking in this spot otherwise reserved for just dropping gear. We laid out gear under one of the shelters, also normaly reserved for groups and got set up to dive.
First dive we set out and saw the crane, an old boat, and the trolly. The crane and trolly were great to explore, the trolly was easily accessed for a swim through. The boat, well it was an old boat, what can I say really. The water temp as decent, in the 60’s however the thermocline that we hit in around 50 feet dropped the temps into the mid to low 50’s, but nothing we were not used to.
Second dive, the big sikorsky helicopter (sorry about the spelling). This was very cool, really liked how it was suspended in the water so you are able to swim all around it and through it. Checked it out for a bit, made a swim through it, then moved on to the Cessna, schoolbus, and the old fire truck, there was also an old cargo van and another old boat we saw. In the are of the old fire truck there were some fish that were, well on the pushy side. Turns out they were often fed so saw people as a way to cash in.
Third dive the Helldiver aircraft, as an airplane enthusiast this was pretty cool, but by this dive that mid to low 50’s was feeling really cold and after a few minutes we all decided warmer water was better.
We headed up to a platform at about 30 feet and went over some skills that non of us had practiced recently. The underwater platforms were great for this. There are several around the quarry and we used them to practice some skills as well as a great spot to do safety stops.
We all really liked Dutch Springs and enjoyed being there and are looking forward to a trip back next season, perhaps a couple. My thoughts and advice are going early and late in the season, assuming you do not mind if you get a little bad weather. Chatting to the guy filling our tanks we learned that in the summer you can be wating up to an hour and a half for a tank fill and that it get pretty crowded in the water. For me this will be a great season extender. It was much warmer there so nice in that aspect. It was up to 25 degrees celcius there and when we got back here 10 degrees. (sorry to my American friends for not having the conversion, my computer does it for me so my water temps are F.) That made it nice. We rented a cabin at Nockamixon State Park, this was great. The two bedroom cabin, with full kitchen and bathroom and living room area was 60$ a night and was about 25-30 minutes away. It was great and would stay here again as it was a great place to go and relax in the woods after diving, have a fire and BBQ.
I would make sure you have a save a dive kit for sure (as is advisable all the time) but the gift shop does have some accessories, but you are going to pay nicely for it. The other facilities are great, hot showers and change rooms, that was fantastic after diving. We did not realize the concession stands shut after labour day, but thankfully we had lots of snacks. They appear to have BBQ’s around the place you can use, and it appears you can bring your own hibatchi if you wanted. Next time I will do this along with other items to make a good day of it. This was more a scouting trip for use to get a sense, but we will be back for sure.
It was a great day of diving, and it was neat to be there totaly on our own, except for the spotter that was there to keep an eye out, and again not being busy he was happy to give us directions, point out where the different things were, all round good time.
Not sure how to add picture here, but on my profile there are some pictures that we took.