Scuba divers in the know don’t call the 1000 Islands the “Caribbean of the North” for nothing. Like its southern cousin, the waters around this 1864-island archipelago in the St Lawrence River are clear, fresh and the final home for ships from all over the world. Over 200 shipwrecks are preserved beneath the surface here, each with its own story to show. Divers can generally see 50 to 60 feet in front them most of the year, and 60 – 100 feet in the Fall. And because there usually isn’t a thermocline here — i.e. a transition layer between warmer surface water and cooler deep water — the surface and deep waters are usually within a couple of degrees of each other (68 – 75 F).
All of this is good news for shipwreck divers and those just wanting a sharper, different picture of this natural wonder. Remember that the 1000 Islands are actually billion-year-old mountain peaks, so there’s much more to see below the surface (think granite walls and 100-foot chasms). Remember, too, that currents can be strong in some areas; beginners may want to stick to open water dives.
A love of all things diving brought scuba instructors Guillaiume and Martine together in 2015. Their company, Neptune & Salacia, was born out of a love of underwater exploring and the Kingston area. Their website says it all:”In Kingston, museums are not all located on dry land.” Whether you decide to dive from shore or from their diving boat, the Dorothy J, you’ll see first-hand why they believe this region holds the finest freshwater wreck diving in the world. Book your charter or find out about their 2 hr snorkeling tour to see HMS Princess Charlotte, a designated National Historic site of Canada! No Certification required, and all gear is included!!
Once your adventure underwater is complete, you’ll have no trouble finding a place to eat. Kingston boasts the highest number of restaurants per capita in the country, so you’ll have no problem finding your favourites. If you’re up for a little on land exploring, check out these 25 Things To Do and from luxury historical inns and waterfront hotels, you’ll find a place to rest and refresh for tomorrow’s adventure.
The St. Lawrence River, the main shipping route used for centuries, is where hundreds of vessels met their fate and came to rest. Wooden schooners with cargo of grain or coal, warships of the early 1800’s and modern day freighters all lie along the river bottom waiting to be explored. The Dive Brockville Adventure Centre/Abucs-scubA offers Learn2Dive options for the novice diver, as well as over 15 different dives for the seasoned diver, from both sides of the river in the Brockville and surrounding areas (some are in the US and a passport is required). With a fleet of Six Transport Canada approved charter boats, and a CSA-approved air-station offering air and nitrox, Abucs-scubA is the largest, and longest established dive charter company in the 1000 Islands region.
Also in Brockville, is Canada’s first underwater sculpture park, Centeen Park. What lies beneath the surface is an entirely new world. The main attractions at Centeen Park include standing human figures and an octopus sculpture which comes alive as its bright green eyes pierce through the darkness!
If you’re planning a road trip for Spring or Summer and want to hit up the South Eastern Ontario region, this can definitely add some excitement to your exploratory excursions!