2- Caracol

15 02 2018

Wednesday. February 14th, 2018 ~

Ale and Peter kept us out late, so we weren’t as quick to get up, this morning (of course, we had nothing to do with it – nope, not a bit – that’s our story, and we’re sticking to it). I say that, but the torrential downpour did wake me up, in the wee hours.

Oren just happened to be in the area, so he was joining us on a dive to Caracol. We had been given directions to some pretty parts of the cave, so we were looking forward to seeing it!

On the jungle road, leading to the cenote, we drove past more wildlife than I remember seeing, in the past.

We saw a bunch of lizards…

A couple of vultures, that appeared to be waiting for us…

We also saw a little fox, that took off, once he noticed us. He didn’t stick around long enough, for us to ask him what it is that he really says…

We also saw a couple of mini road runners (ok, that’s not what they are really called, but that’s what they looked like). They ran across so fast, that one of them wiped out, when he hit the brakes. It was almost like he was skidding on ice. They were too fast, to get a picture of. We did learn that they are called, “agoutis.”

Ok, back to diving! They charge 250 pesos, per person, and if you pay an extra 100 pesos, the guys that work there, will bring your tanks to and from the benches, above the stairs. They don’t take them down, but will help to ease the load. Those steps are so friggin’ steep, and when you’re as vertically challenged as I am, you wish for the tank fairy to bring them up and down, for you. They are so steep, that when I take each step down, the butt end of my tanks hit the stair behind me. That’s a little unnerving, when you have about 120 lbs on your back. Nice and slow… nice and slow… Thank goodness they have decent hand rails, along the way.

Photo from a few years ago. At least they have better traction on the stairs now, than they did in this photo!

Caracol is a lovely, shallow dive. We realized that bringing a stage was probably overkill, but we were unsure of the distance that we were traveling, so we opted to bring one, just in case.

There were a bus-load of snorkelers jumping in, as we were entering the water. They seemed to be having a lot of fun. The cenote people didn’t turn on the lights for them, as we were hoping they would. It’s gorgeous, when they do!

Photo, from a few years ago, taken with an iPhone…

Oren led, Steve was #2, and I was #3. It seems that the main line has been cut back a bit, closer to the STOP sign, which was probably a good idea. We took the line behind the staircase (upstream), jumped, swam to the end, tied into another line, swam past another cenote, and as we passed the second cenote, dropped our stages. Holy smokes, that was a long swim. We swam some more, got to the end, tied into another line, and got to some slightly more narrow passage, with many decorations. There were even a couple of rooms with highly decorated “chocolate sauce” formations. We were not yet at our turn pressures, but we had been swimming for an hour and sixteen minutes, and still had to swim all the way back. Team consensus was to turn back. “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming,” I kept singing to myself, along with wishing I had my scooter. Ah, well… get some exercise, right? Something has to take place of the farm work, this week!

I was happy to see the STOP sign, even though it really was a nice dive. Day 2 of cavezzzz, and we already put in a good workout. After surfacing, I hadn’t even reached my back gas turn pressure.

Bottom Time: 2 hours, 16 mins.

Max. Depth: 28′

Water Temp.: 77F

Avg. Depth: 17′

Now, to climb back up those stairs…

It was fun to dive with Oren, too! Or… half of what we remember of Oren, when we last saw him, in September! Looking good, Dr. O!





Back To Kingston

25 05 2009

Friday, May 15th, 2009 ~

I spent a couple of hours packing the car, and managed to fit three 18 ah Gavins in my little, two door Honda. I had to do some arranging, but managed to get them in there. I was thankful for the end caps we have, that’s for sure! 

I fit two in the trunk, with end caps on, as the back ends wouldn’t clear my trunk…

There are actually two tubes; one on either side of the trunk, with a tub in the middle, and my 4th Elements to the left…

 

Since I couldn’t fit the back ends in, I placed them on top of their crates, so that the clutches wouldn’t touch the seats. I strapped them in, on each side of the back seat…

 

That left room for mine, riding shotgun…

 

Thank goodness Steve still had my tanks in Kingston, but I did have my other gear, that did fit in the car.

I arrived in the evening, grabbed a sub, and brought the guys some beverages. They had one more day left of the first ever, Canadian GUE ITC, and were working hard.

 

Saturday, May 17th, 2009 ~

We all got up early and headed over to Timmy’s, for some breakfast. I think Alan was getting a bit sick of the Bagel BELTs…lol…

We all headed over to the shop. The guys went to the classroom, and I waited for friends to arrive, to go out on their zodiac. Although… the weather wasn’t cooperating, and the waters were really rough. I thought that it would be a good decision for me to opt out of the lake diving today. My tummy doesn’t deal with that very well…. Apparently, the others did try to get out on the lake, but were unable to, and headed to the river.

I ended up being a dive shop bum for the morning, then headed out to Centeen Park, with James P., for a leisurely scooter out to the Gaskin. He hadn’t been on the wreck in a while, and I never mind doing the Gaskin. What was even funnier, is that we met up with the zodiac crew on the wreck! “Fancy meeting you guys here!” We exchanged hellos, and carried on our way. We had a fun dive, then went to get James some Fish ‘n’ Chips.

Bottom Time ~ 40 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 67′
Water Temp. ~ 50
Vis. ~ 25′

We then headed back to Kingston, where we met the gang for dinner. Well.. James had dessert! The fellas had had a great ITC, and finished the first hurdle.

Congratulations Steve, Guy, Alan, and Corey!

Then a bunch of us went back to the cabin for some stories and bevies.

 

Sunday, May 17th, 2009 ~

Guy had left the night before, to catch a plane, so it was just Steve, Alan, and I at the cabin. The boys had a well-deserved sleep in. It had been a long week.

We got up, headed to the shop, and saw that the charters weren’t going out today. The weather was way too stinky. We packed everything up, and went to Cora’s for breakfast. I’ve heard of this place for years, but had never actually eaten there. This was my first time, and what a breakfast!!! I had to share it with Steve and Alan…

 

After stuffing our bellies, we decided to go to Centeen Park again, and take Alan for a run out to the channel, so we headed out to Brockville.

We geared up, and in we went. We scootered along the wall, and got to the drop off point. Alan found some line to play with, then we headed down, into the channel. Hmm… drift, you say? I guess the current didn’t get the invite to the dive today, as it was pretty non-existant. We tooled around a bit, then headed back toward the Gaskin, where we did some swim throughs and played around the wreck. We got back near shore, and played a little more, with the scooters, then headed in. I think Alan might have enjoyed it… as did we. :o)

Bottom Time ~ 71 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 96′
Water Temp. ~ 50
Vis. ~ 40′

Alan…

 

Steve…

 

Self Portrait…

 

It was really great to finally meet Guy and Alan, and I look forward to many more dives with them, in the near future!





Ktown In August!

20 08 2007

August 17th, 18th, & 19th, 2007 ~

I was looking forward to going to Ktown on Saturday morning, to do a nice, relaxing shore dive with some of the gang, and to fix some of the line that had been broken in a few places at the site. Steve was playing hockey on Friday night, and had decided that he didn’t want to make the early rise to drive to Ktown.

Ok.. let’s figure out what on earth we can do so that I can dive my doubles out of my little Honda Civic ~ 2 Door Coupe ~ Not the most desired Dive Gear Transportation Unit…

We started brainstorming, and came up with this…

…with tanks…

…with stages…

I also have two small Rubbermaid tubs placed on either side for removing wet gloves, hood, masks etc.

We finally got it done at about 1 am.

The alarm went off early (way earlier than it should have, so it seemed..) Lol.. and after pressing the snooze button a couple of times, I got up, loaded up the water and yes, Kool-Aid , and off I drove to Kingston, to meet up with James, Dan, and Igor.

Our mission was to fix up the lines at the Stacked Hulls and/or Nicholson’s Point. I arrived at about 12 minutes past the agreed time, to which I felt horrible about (not really), and greeted Captain Tom and Mistress Polly. They had informed me that James had just called, and wasn’t going to be there until 10am… DOHHH… Igor was there, and opted to leave and come back, so I just became a dive shop bum for a little while. (Yeah… like I’ve never done that before?).

At least there were people there that I knew, that were loading up for charters, so I had people to chat with, as well as helped out a bit in the shop, and did a muffin run.

James finally made it into town, and once all the camera stuff and line was ready, off we went to the Stacked Hulls entrance.

Doh.. bad move. There happened to be a sailing boat regatta going on, and half the place was cordoned off, so we headed to Nicholson’s Point.

We ended up doing quite a relaxed dive, fixed the line, and worked on some skills. Not a whole bunch to see, but there is a nice wall, once you get past the old river bed, that contains some pretty cool iron ore formations in about 80ish feet. There’s one that looks like a fire pit.

On the way back, we picked up the pieces of the old line, attached and ran new line in the broken areas.

Bottom Time ~ 54 mins.
Water Temp ~ 67 below thermocline at 49′, 69 above
Max Depth ~ 84′

Today is another garage fix day. It’s coming along quite nicely. I’ll post more pics later! The new trunk rack worked amazingly, I am very happy with it. I did purchase some rubber matting today though, to put on top of it. I bought enough to leave a flap over the lip of the trunk as well. I’ll post that when I’ve done it too!

Garage Developments ~ Sunday, August 19th, 2007 ~

Well, we finally got the walls insulated, primed, and painted. We picked up some shelves (I will take pics when we have stuff on them), and mounted the booster.

Here are pics of the latest developments!!

Steve built some small shelves below the booster for “bits ‘n’ bites.” He is putting in the chain around the T Cylinders as we speak.

Ok.. I caught a pic…

I guess now we’ll have to find a spot for all the actual “garage” stuff now. Tire lifts, garbage bins and recycling bins etc. just don’t have a place in the dive storage area!!