Bandwagon Blogger says Follow Me on Instagram! Story time is just getting started…

I will admit it – I have been a bandwagon blogger. I started the blog when I had an abundance of free time on my hands. More than enough. Too much, if there is such a thing. I’m sure some reading that sentence might cringe, or disagree in some way. But I was adrift.

Today, I am happy to say, I don’t have that problem! Free time is once again something precious, to be hoarded, and treasured. I am a graduate student. So you see, it’s not that I have stopped writing.

To reinforce this lifestyle, my tried and tested Nikon D60 has finally gone caput after a lot of use, and from time to time, abuse, at my hands. My trigger finger is getting itchy: and so my love for Instagram has finally taken flight.

So Follow Me on Instagram! 

More travel photos from around the world, as well as a whole bunch from my home, Canada, as well. Photos from Home and Away! Food, travel, the great outdoors.

I’m hooked you guys. So I’m here to say that I haven’t given up on the blog, just put it on the back burner on a very gentle, slow cooking simmer. It makes me happy to see that people still come to the blog as it is through search engines and other external links! The most popular posts continue to be those that I had some sort of experience or story to share – factual or fictional.

There are a ton of travel bloggers out there to be sifted through online, but true storytellers among them seem few and far between. That is something I am trying to keep up with on Instagram by sharing my photographs. Instagram is like the Travel Years, just distilled and concentrated down. Check it out!






Monday Photos – The Inco Superstack


Good afternoon, my fellow bloggers and readers! As I continue posting a new photo each Monday, I find myself getting into the habit, and enjoying the process of finding just the right photograph to post for you all. Thanks for following along and motivating me.

This is a photograph of the iconic Sudbury ‘Super Stack‘ at sunset (I am starting to see a pattern) – the second tallest free-standing chimney in the world. It is also the site of the largest nickle mining operation in the world. Despite being a eternally smoking blight on the landscape… there is something to be said for looking upon the Stack at sunset. It use it as a weather vane each morning unless it is too foggy.

Before the dive

I adore this photograph. I annoyed my dive instructor and dive mates to get it so I’m glad it was worth it. Running late one Sunday morning, I snapped this picture looking across Lake Ramsey towards Laurentian University (Sudbury, Ontario). The lighting, color and peacefulness of the shot is everything I could have hoped for.

Worth getting up early for.

Worth getting up early for.

Monday is for photos

After a very busy two weeks, I am more than ready to get back into the regular habit of posting!

So Monday’s are for photos, because no one is ready for heavy reading this early in the work week. But keep your eyes peeled this week people! I am working with a company called RelayRides, and planning a dream vacation to Hawaii. New place to go diving? Hello!

This is what "picking apples" looks like when you go with your Dad, and bring your camera.

This is what “picking apples” looks like when you go with your Dad, and bring your camera.

My photogenic hound dog.

My photogenic hound dog.

Some mornings, getting up early is worth it.

Some mornings, getting up early is worth it.

Post-Dive #1: Deep Diving at Moose Mountain Quarry

Sunday was reserved for an early morning trip to what Mike – the head diving instructor – calls ‘Moose Mountain’. The dive site is an out-of use quarry north of Capreol filled with clear, blue, tropical-esque water and little ledges that you can drop down and explore. Today we were descending to 96 feet, among other things. “Just so I could get used to it”, Mike said. What did that mean? But he’s the kind of guy that doesn’t give you a lot of time to over-think it. As everyone is suiting up, he hands me an underwater slate with a column of numbers – “How’s your math?”. He times me as I add the numbers together – 40 seconds. Then under the surface we go.

Amanda and I - one of the Divemasters that dives with the Scuba Shop. The gear flatters.

Amanda and I – one of the Divemasters that dives with the Scuba Shop. The gear flatters.

Diving at deeper depths is different for a number of reasons. At 96 feet, the water around you and in your wet suit is cold. About 42 degrees Fahrenheit, or 5.6 degrees Celsius. I repeat – it is cold. The pressure of the water on your body at greater depths compresses your wet suit and your air supply, so cold water is rushing in and it feels like I’m gasping for air. For once, my arms are tucked tight in to my body, not floating out beside me – “like a starfish”. Despite having air in my buoyancy control device (BCD), I still feel like there is a danger of sinking, dropping too far. So much for the graceful diver, calmly gliding through the water. Even the color is starting to change; blues start to fade away while my yellow fins and snorkel begin to look pink more than anything. Most of all, it’s dark. I feel myself start to breathe faster, gasping at my air supply. I see what Mike meant about “getting used to it”.

At just the right time, my guide turns back up the ledge we had come down and we slowly ascend to the relative warmth of 60 feet. I had never imagined I would call 60 feet warm, but after my first time at almost 100 feet it felt like bathwater. Later on I learned that the temperature at 96 feet was comparable to diving under the ice in the winter – without the ability to ascend to warmer water at shallower depths. Intense.

The math exercise is repeated and I am grateful for it. For whatever reason, I couldn’t slow my breathing and calm down after coming up from the deep, and I feel myself really starting to freak out a bit. At first I was having a tough time even holding on to the pencil, but as I started to add my brain was forced to focus and I was able to relax. Slower this time – 45 seconds. This touch of anxiety at 60 feet really put into perspective how important it is to remain calm and not panic under the water. You can’t just quickly rise to the surface if you are panicking, or out of air, or whatever the scenario may be. Too quick of an ascent can do internal damage due to nitrogen build up and expansion in the blood, and so must be controlled.

We rejoined the rest of the group and headed for the beach where we had entered the quarry. We start to speak again in English – not the combination of recognized and made up hand-signals that divers use to communicate with each other when under. Numbers are exchanged; depths, temperatures, times and remaining air supply. While no one is in a hurry to return to that depth anytime soon, you can feel the excitement from the divers about the accomplishment. As for me – I am thrilled. I am one step closer to diving in the ocean again!