Eastcliffe Hall
Jul 22nd, 2009 by Tom

Wreck Summary

Type  Shipwreck
Build  Steel


Depth  63 feet
Length  343 feet
Built  1954
Sank  1870
Access  Boat
Experience Level  Advanced


The Eastcliffe Hall is potentially one of the most advanced 60-foot deep wrecks in the Great Lakes for two connected reasons: there’s a constant current, and if you should happen to get blown off the wreck it will rapidly carry you into the shipping channel which can really ruin your day.

This steel four-hold freighter was carrying a cargo of pig iron when it hit a shoal and then a rather solid concrete buoy before filling with water and making the trip to the bottom. Due to the shallow depth explosives were used to reduce the height of the superstructure to prevent it from becoming a navigation hazard, but luckily most of the structure fell inside the wreck and is still there to be examined, including the now upside-down bridge.

The wreck is pointed into the current, and swimming inside the connected holds provides an escape from the flow. Once reaching the bow it’s necessary to head up to the deck where you can find the winch and memorial plaque. Salvage efforts have removed many items from the ship including her two propellers. One thing they could not take away was the ship’s name which can still be clearly seen in white letter several feet down from the deck about 10′ back from the bow.

The Eastcliffe Hall is a great dive, much different from most of the wooden schooners and paddle-wheelers that people tend to dive quite often in the eastern Great Lakes region. The only charter operator I know of who runs to this site just outside of the Crysler Marina near Cornwall can be found at www.depthchargediving.ca


Mille Roche Power House
Jul 22nd, 2009 by Tom

Wreck Summary

Type  Hydroelectric Dan
Build  Concrete and wood

 Cornwall, Ontario

Depth  75 feet
Length  ??? feet
Built  1900
Sank  1958
Access  boat
Experience Level  Intermediate


What do you think the weirdest thing to dive in Southern Ontario would be? My guess would be it’s the remnants of Ontario’s version of the lost city of Atlantis, called Mille Roche (which means Thousand Rocks for those as challenged in the French language as myself). Mille Roche, which is near what’s now known as Cornwall, was flooded during the construction of the massive Canada/US hydro electric dam nearby.

A weir, lock system, building foundations, and perhaps the most interesting thing of all, the remains of a century old power station can be found alongside roads that end by going into the water. The roof and walls were removed before the flooding occurred, but the  foundation, water inlets, turbines, and water gate raising mechanisms are all still in place.

We experienced current which was substantial on the ascent and descent, but only moderate on the bottom. Visibility was approximately 15′ which is reportedly average for the area. The dive occurs at three depths: the intake gate opening/closing mechanisms are at 35′, what was formerly the floor of the power station is at 56′ and the water outlets are at 76′. It is possible to enter through the large round "manhole covers" on the top level and see the power generating turbines but this is only for the properly trained as the confines are tight, dark and easily silted out. This site has excellent diagrams of the site before and after the flooding: SOS Wrecks - Mille Roche


Belly Dumper and Barges
Jul 7th, 2009 by Tom

Wreck Summary

Type  Shipwrecks
Build  Wooden

 Cornwall, Ontario, Canada

Depth  40 too 90 feet
Length  –
Built  –
Sank  –
Access  Boat
Experience Level  Advanced

 Barges upright

 Belly Dumper on its side

There’s always something that feels just a little bizarre about diving a site where you know someone has died, and for some reason when you know it was a diver it has an entirely different meaning. The Belly Dumper and Barges are such a dive. Not a particularly spectacular dive, with limited visibility (6-12 on average) and an exceptional amount of darkness despite not being very deep, this location does present the opportunity to go for a decent swim. The four wrecks located here are all lined together which makes it easy to swim from one to another but make sure the boat you’re diving from knows to pick you up at the last one or it could be a long swim back in current to your point of origin.

The barges are kinda neat with a sizeable winch and boiler, with the ability to just barely penetrate if you’re into that kinda thing. The Belly Dumper is fairly featureless and lies disorientingly on its side, having capsized after only one of its bottom-mounted cargo doors opened, causing it to destabilize and go over.


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