***Update - for different shots and *much* better videography, using lessons learned from filming this video, check out "Freediving The Conestoga v.2" here: vimeo.com/45485714
Launched on July 6th, 1878, the Conestoga sank on May 22nd, 1922, after a fire broke out in its engine room near Cardinal, Ontario, in the St. Lawrence River. The steamer was waiting to go through what was then known as Galup Canal Lock 28 (before the seaway was flooded, which closed down the old lock system). The fire couldn't be put out, so it was allowed to drift out of the lock where the fire burned to the waterline, sinking the ship. In the 90 years since it's reached it's final resting ground, the shipwreck has survived surprisingly well after being battered by ice flows, pollution, explosives, human activity and invasive species.
The Conestoga lies virtually upright with it's bow facing into the current in 18' to 25' of water. To give you an idea of the size of it, the length of the ship is 252.8'. The propeller itself is 14' tall, and it could move the ship at a top speed of 8 knots. The ships engine sticks out of the water, marking its location to those who wish to pay her a visit.
Visibility when I went freediving on July 4th and 5th, 2012 was between 10 and 15 feet and the current was a steady 1-2 knots. The water was warm enough to let me stay in the water without any protection for about 30 minutes at a time before I had to pack it in on both days. It was a challenge to stay down long enough to get some shots while fighting the current and watching out for hazards all around me, but it was a really awesome! I was a bit disappointed in how steady some of my shooting was for this video (my camera was strapped on the top of my right hand), but I wanted to share this since it was my first experience at a shipwreck.
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