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DIving in SPM - Panorama

The archipelago of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, located a few miles from Newfoundland, consists of three main islands: St. Pierre, Miquelon and Langlade who's Miquelon attached by an isthmus of sand about 13 km.

(c) Erwan Lefebvre 2010

(c) Erwan Lefebvre 2010

Icy mists that surround the islands for much of the year, the trap that is the natural dune Langlade and violent storms which hit the region frequently have transformed the coast into a marine graveyard. Thus, since 1816 there were over 600 shipwrecks. Unfortunate boats of all sizes and nationalities, who came to die in these latitudes. Some of these wrecks have given rise to legends that still today, fueling the imagination of fans of sunken treasures. This is the case "FuIwood", a British ship whose crew, after killing the captain and officers, would have hidden in the dunes coffers filled with gold, that constituted the cargo.
Despite harsh natural conditions, the remains of these tragedies are attracting more and more passionate divers.

In the early 70s, an association previously oriented towards swimming, "Club Nautique", was converted into scuba diving. After heroic beginnings, techniques and equipment improved rapidly. Today, thanks to its trainers and equipment available, the association allows multiple divers to discover and explore a particular universe, sometimes strange but still mysterious.

Every winter, many peoples, young and old, participating in basic training in the pool. It is a component that is both important and necessary to the action of diving. After this introduction, some will increase the number of regular club divers. Others, meanwhile, will simply snorkel and find their pleasure with friends, having acquired technical and insurance in a hostile environment by definition.

For divers participating in the activities of the Association dives begin with the return of the "spring". The first sorties flown late April and early May, due to water temperature, are reserved for divers with suitable clothing. From early June until mid-October, the activities open to all interested members. Structures and limited coaching volunteer force the association to limit its actions to the weekends. Still, there are many each season, to embark with their equipment, to exploring ancient shipwrecks or sometimes in search of souvenirs including the "clay pipe" is not the least popular.

Many wrecks around the archipelago will always maintain a mysterious and fascinant aspect. The oldest of them appear very often in the form of scattered pieces, half buried in sand or mud. The more modern, generally well preserved, are colonized by marine animals or plants.

But the world of "silence" is not just a graveyard of sunken ships. Many objects littering the bottoms of harbors and bays, are testimonies of human activities for centuries. This is the case of clay pipes, long used in the navy, and many of the specimens, sometimes rare, can still be found in the harbor of St. Pierre. A precise dating has identified the location of the manufacture of some of these pipes in the seventeenth century. This, in addition to their artistic side at times, gives them a historical interest. Although located in the heart of a region that was one of the richest fishing grounds in the world, the archipelago does not offer frequent opportunities to meet the marine fauna. Indeed, fish are relatively few, but their absence is often compensated by the presence of many shellfish including lobster remains the most popular for reasons that are not always gastronomiques. Flora, sometimes abundant, and a few specific species of coral, can reveal a world of shapes and colors undreamed.

Of course, the diving in principle accessible to all, requires knowledge of the risks. Training activities for technical diving at sea, held periodically, will produce the desired qualifications.

Despite sometimes difficult conditions, with temperatures that have nothing in common with those of the tropics, diving activity is possible for much of the year and  joy felt erases the inconvenience of an inclement weather or weight of equipment sometimes important but essential.

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Creation date : 23/12/2010 - 15:20
Last update : 17/08/2011 - 20:36
Category : DIving in SPM
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Sentence to think about :  Better to dive with a fool buddy than with an empty bottle!   
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