Lillie Parsons, Ontario
Dive site characteristics
The picture on the left shows the location of the entry point (just to the right of the dive master). The central picture shows the bin containing few artefacts (the wreck is the property of the Province of Ontario, removal of artifacts is illegal). The picture on the right shows the stern.
The boat goes West direction over a 3km distance until you reach Stovin and Sparrow Island. At that place the boat may be anchored. You must carry your gear on foot over a distance of about 100m from the South-East side to the North-West side.
There is an anchor on the north-west side of the island. The diver makes his entry from the shore by following the chain. The diver has to take a good grip to it. The current is quite strong and the diver will "fly" as a flag. According to the level of rain, the following parameters may greatly vary: water level, visibility and current. Another possibility is to go the extremity of the island and begin your dive with a drift dive leading to the wreck. You will have to maintain your depth between 40’ to 45’.
The wreck lies upside-down on the slope of the river bed. Penetration is possible but a lamp is mandatory. A good level of training is mandatory and a good knowledge of its internal architecture is needed. Take note that precautions need to be exercise due to the age of that old wood wreck.
If the traject followed match the following: descent on the chain, left turn upon arrival on the wreck and visit to come back to the starting point, you can choose between the 2 following possibilities (otherwise make the adaptations). You can end your dive by getting back on the chain up to the surface or with a drift dive. In the last case, you must maintain your depth between 40’ to 45’. Take note that the slope of the river bed can go at a depth of 200’ depth, please be carefull. You will have to slow down your speed by gripping the rocks on the river bed. Watch your time, you should travel about 3 minutes long (approximate duration). At the end, watch for a white nylon cord of about 1/4 inch in diameter. Follow it up to a yellow cord of about 1/2 inch in diameter. You should then ascent a cliff and find yourself into the cove where the boat is accosted. You only need to dive up to the boat (always watch for moving boat).
If a difficult condition arises, you may drift along the shoreline as nearly as possible, you should find yourself in the cove (watch for the moving boats). Try to raise to surface and direct yourself toward the island. Call for help if needed.
Take note that on the south-west side of the island a drift dive is possible and quite fun. Follow the underwater shore. Watch for the boats and have a dive flag to indicate your presence if needed. You should find yourself in the cove where the boats are docked.
Note: directions are accurate as possible. It is recommended to go with someone who knows the site.
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|1||20′||Molly’s Gut wrecks||On West side of Molly’s Gut Island. 3 shipwrecks to visit.|
|2||60′||Sam Cooke||On the West side of Battersby Island between Black Charlie Island and Picnic Island. A dive for advanced and trained diver in strong currents.|
|3||30-100′||Needles Eye Drift||Located between the mainland and Needle’s Eye Island, the dive is done from the boat from West to East near the shore at a depth of ~40’.|
|4||42-83′||Lillie Parsons||Located on the Northwest corner of Sparrow Island, descent along the anchor chain down to 40′ deep where the shipwreck is located. Normally, the visit is done by fist going left and coming back by the rear to the departure point. If you follow the mast, it goes deep to 100′. It is important to grip to the chain during the descent as well as the ascent. Instead of doing the ascent on the chain, you can also terminated the dive by a drifting dive by maintaining a deep of ~40’ and do the ascent as soon as you see the plateau of the docking area. Watch boat navigation. From South-West side of the island toward South-East. Maintain a depth of 40′ and keeping near the shore. Make the ascent in the docking area.|
|5||90′||John B. King||Located West of Cockburn Island and at 80′ downstream from the "143A" flashing green light buoy. It is a dangerous dive on a twisted wreck. Current is strong and could take you into the deeper channel at 155′.|
|6||30-100′||MacDonald’s Point||MacDonald Point is a privately owned place. You get there by boat. A drift dive with important surface currents.|
|7||100′||Narrows Drift||Upstream of the Brockville waterfront. A drift dive within high current. A dive for advanced divers. Avoid drifting downstream from Royal Island.|
|8||55′-60'||Motor vessel||Located at Smith Island drifting from South-East.|
|9||32′-82'||Two hulls||In front of the bandshell of Hardy Park of Brockville.|
|10||70′||Mahogany Launch||Located just off the "Sabre Jet" memorial on Blockhouse Island.|
|11||55-70′||Robert Gaskin||Located at 2500′ East of pier of Brockville. Descent along the buoy line down to the wreck 55′ deep. The visibility may vary during the season.|
|12||100′||Brockville Walls||Located at 3/4 mile East of Brockville (1.5 mile East of Blockhouse Island).|
|13||100′||Muscallonge||Located at 3/4 mile East of Brockville (1.5 mile East of Blockhouse Island). There is current while doing the descent. The descent is done by following the line down to a plateau at 50-60’ deep. You may go to 100′ deep by following the slope of the bottom. Watch your air (rule of thirds). This is not a dive for beginners. The visibility mays vary as well as the current.|
From highway 401, take exit 696 leading to Brockville. Turn left (heading South) on Steward bvld which after the railroad crossing becomes William Street. Follow up to King’s Street. Then turn right heading West up to River street. Watch for the St.Lawrence’s park signs.
Park your vehicule in the
St. Lawrence Park - Parc St-Laurent (not near the city boat ramp: the city exerts a gentle surveillance). If you use the service of a local dive operator, you may have to park somewhere else. Take appropriate information accordingly.
Carry your gear to the boat.
|ABUCS Scuba||12, Water Street East,
|charter, air, nitrox|
|Bottom Time Dive Charters||423, Curzlen Ave,
|boat charter, air, rentals (doc)|
|Sea’N Sky||14, Water St. West,
|boat charter, air, rentals|