5- A Pinch Of Salt

17 02 2018

Saturday, February 17th, 2018 ~

Today, we headed to Otoch Ha, with scooters and a stage. I have scootered parts of the upstream section a few times, but had never been on the downstream line.

We packed our little VW Gol (that’s right, Gol… not Golf), and I’m not sure we could have fit much else in it.

Two scooters, two stages, two sets of doubles, and two bins…

It took about 30 minutes to get down the Labna Ha road, since we were weighed down, a bit, and didn’t want to bottom the car out, or get a flat tire.

The bugs were in full force, when we arrived at the cenote. It’s further into the jungle, so we did come prepared (those Avon wipes are the best invention, ever).

We carried our gear down the path, and got ready for Diving Goodness.

With a view of the cave entrance…

We entered, T’d left, jumped right, and reached a crazy restriction. Steve went in, first. He got through. My turn… scooter, then me… oop… oop… oop… regroup… oop… I wasn’t sure that I was going to fit through, and was trying to figure out how the puzzle piece was going to fit. Regroup again, and try to squeeze a different way. I had watched how Steve went through, and thought that I was doing the same thing. Apparently, not. Ooh, ooh… there I go! I’m through! Not the easiest spot to navigate, when you’re half upside-down, and sideways.

We scootered for a bit longer, dropped stages, then scooters, and came up to some absolutely stunning and highly decorated cave. Oh. Em. Gee. Being stuck for 4 minutes was worth absolutely every second, for what we saw. We just hovered there, and couldn’t move. There were decorations from floor to ceiling, big stalactites, a bunch of tiny straw stalagmites, and just pure heaven. I didn’t want to leave! We eventually kept swimming, and went through some narrow, decorated passage. As the line continued, there was a small collapse in the floor, which dipped into the halocline. We had a quick peek, then turned around. Holy smokes, such beauty. Steve did take some video, and I will eventually post it, once it’s edited.

We turned, picked-up scooters, stages, then reached the restriction. I guess I figured out the puzzle, as I didn’t have any trouble, getting through, from the back side. w0000000t!!

We surfaced, and I was giggling like a school girl. I’m sure I had a shit-eating grin on my face, too!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 49 minutes

Max. Depth: 41′

Water Temp.: 77F

Avg. Depth: 32′

Once packed, we realized that we had so much gas left over, we could have done another swimming dive. I guess we were so happy with our dive, that it never even occurred to us. 🤓

Very silty entry…

We finished off our day with a presentation of the Hoyo Negro project, some food at The Pub, and a free shot of tequila. Such an exceptional day!





2015 Brockville Canadian Invasion

18 08 2015

Thursday, August 13th, 2015 ~

Woo Hoo! The time had finally arrived, for the 8th Annual Brockville Canadian Invasion! Steve and I had arrived at Caiger’s Resort, late Wednesday night. It was nice, not having to rush, to be there for the Thursday shore dives!

We loaded up the coolers of sandwiches, drinks, and various treats, and made our way to Centeen Park.

Invasion Goodness! Those benches sure are handy!

Various dives were done, between buddy teams; some went to the Gaskin, some to see the water park statues, and some did scooter dives!

Darth Nash, about to get in, with the Raph of Kahn...and a Phinney photobomb!

Going for a dive, at Centeen Park!Surface interval.

Our team was made up of myself, Steve, Mattias, and Frankie. The plan was to scooter upstream, for an hour, drop into the channel, and drift for about an hour (depending on the current). That is exactly what we did!

Bottom Time: 3 hours, 3 mins.
Max. Depth: 114′
Water Temp.: 71F
Vis.: Better in the channel, than in the shallows.

Gear, to go in!

This was an awesome discussion. :)

When we got back to Caiger’s, we had time to set up the next day’s gear and charge scooters, before dinner. Sleep came pretty easy.
Friday, August 14th, 2015 ~

Breakfast was around 7:00am. This is the first year that we didn’t have a buffet, so a few of us missed the serving. We were still treated to a nice, big breakfast!

There was a Rec charter (going to the Muskie and Lillie), a Tech charter (going to the Jodrey), and more shore diving, at Centeen.

Mattias – all the way from Sweden, hopping on a charter, to the Jodrey…

Mattias, getting ready for a dive on the Jodrey!

Rec charter, heading to the Muskie/Lillie…

Loading the boats! Osprey

Piotr and Ania…

Anna and Piotr

Mark and Steve, getting ready for their dive…

 

Today, I was diving with Eric B. and Eric V. The Erics. 🙂

Our plan was to scooter 40 minutes upstream, drop into the channel, and drift. We would then come back up to the Gaskin, and take a shot, for Project Baseline. As we dropped into the channel, we saw a bunch of different fish, which was really nice to see. We saw sheepshead carp, sturgeon, pike, bass, and walleye. Very nice to see them, after not seeing very many, in the last year. We have seen more sturgeon, than pike, and they were baby sturgeon, to boot!

As we drifted along, in the channel, we came to a structure, that we had never seen before. It was approximately 12′ high, by about 8′ wide, on four sides. Half was rounded, half was square, and it was hollow. There was a fish having a wee snooze, that didn’t seem phased by my camera. I did take a photo, but the ambient light was pretty low, at 100′.

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We came back up, after our planned drift time. There were spots where the current was absolutely ripping, and we couldn’t swim against it, if we tried. There were also places where we had to swim and scooter a bit, because the current was non-existent.

At the Gaskin, I took a pic of the bow, we played around for a bit, then made our way back to the shallows.

The bow of the Gaskin. It was tough to get a decent shot, thanks to the visibility.

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As part of our plan, we tied off our scooters, did our required deco, then Eric V. practiced his bottle rotations, for his upcoming T2 course. Of course… We had to load him with all of the bottles… and I just happened to bring my camera!

Scooters, tied off, and doing deco…

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Yes, we just had to load Eric V. up, with bottles…

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Bottom Time: 2 hours, 37 mins.
Max. depth: 115′
Water Temp.: 71F
Vis.: Same as yesterday

More happy divers…

Going for a dive, at Centeen Park!

We headed back to Caiger’s, prepped gear for the next day, and… Dinner!

Again, sleep was not difficult. 🙂
Saturday, August 15th, 2015 ~

Happy Birthday, Oren! Good to have you back at the Invasion! What better way to celebrate, than go for a nice Jodrey dive? w00t!11892062_10205106629642310_5153704937251023776_n

Boat departures were at 8am. Yes… 8am. That required us to actually be at breakfast for 7am, load the boats, and get out of dodge. Life is hard. 😛

The boats met at customs, which wasn’t too surprising, since they opened a bit early, for us.

I don’t recall going to the back side, before.

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Two Tech boats (to the Jodrey), and a Rec boat (to the Keystorm and America)! I’m sure everyone can hear me saying, “Don’t forget your passports!” How ironic would it have been, if I had forgotten mine? Good thing that I didn’t. *Phew*

Eric and I had a plan for 30 minutes, with a max depth of 200′, and our deco was based on a 200′ average, even though we planned on a 170′ average. We were extra conservative.

We had a nice, easy descent, and putzed around the bow, for a bit. We went to the spot that Steve and Frankie had gone inside, had a look, and continued on. After switching to back gas, we swam and scootered a bit, and were in a different spot than we normally would start our ascent. We were a little ahead of schedule, but since we had to come up a bit anyway, we started our ascent. We did see a pretty cool beach area, at 140′! As we came up, we found a pretty neat spot to do our deco, since we hit a back eddy, and were able to do a nice, easy drift back. At 20′, we came to another relaxing spot, where we were hardly moving, and being sheltered by a large piece of wall. Excellence. Just before we had finished our 20′ stop, we scootered back around to the bowl, under the boat, hung about, and did our 6-up. A very fun adventure!

Total Dive Time: 1 hour, 22 mins. (a bit shorter than originally planned, but not far off)
Max. Depth: 185′
Vis.: Not as good as we were told that it had been the day before!

 

We boarded the boat, waited for those RB80 fellas to get back, and we headed back to Canada!

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Mattias and Dan, after their dive…

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Eric and I… It appears that I have something in my teeth. D’oh!

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A nice little boat passed us, as we were still tied up to the mooring tree. You can’t help but wish it to sink… without any catastrophic loss of life, of course. 🙂

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We made it back to Canada (thank goodness), and as usual, we had “Picture Time!” We always have a nice photo, followed by absolute silliness.

Here we are, appearing to be functioning members of various societies…

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…and then… the truth comes out. Apparently, Pierli can fly…

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We had a delicious supper, followed by a whole bunch of prizes! Thanks to Dive Right In Scuba, 1000 Islands Pleasure Diving, Caiger’s, Exploration Diving Services, Exploration Promotions, Undirworld Diving, DUI, GUE Ontario, Ursuit (and Mattias)

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Christian was happy with his pink t-shirt!

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11889422_10205114910009314_9196532781372250775_n.jpgMattias got a schematic of the Jodrey, to bring home – Look where I went diving!

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Thanks for everything, Wayne and the 1000 Islands Pleasure Diving crew!!

11887928_10205114911009339_3710205819313609019_n.jpgPierli was the lucky winner of the grand prize! A new Ursuit undergarment, donated by Mattias and Ursuit!

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11873517_10205114911729357_4760179462575310061_n.jpgWe didn’t have as many grand prizes this year, due to the fact that everyone received an Invasion 50L dry bag!

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We then got ready for Daniel’s presentation on the Mars! Notice Chris’ display of head dress!

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The littlest Invasion-goers!

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Sunday, August 16th, 2015 ~

Last day of Invasion Goodness!

The Rec boat was headed to the Vickery and Kinghorn, and the Tech boats were headed to the Jodrey. Imagine that!

 

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Photobomb!

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We had another fabulous, yet less-than-stellar-visibility dive. As Eric and I went over the ledge, and descended, we ended up right beside the wreck. We waved at some of out other diving friends, as we passed them, on the bow. Our plan was for 30 minutes at 200′, and we ended up having a 180′ average, by the end of our 30 minutes. w00t!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 26 mins.
Max. Depth: 194′
Water Temp.: 71F
Visibility: Less than stellar

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Loading up gear, after our dives…

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I swear, it wasn’t me…

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Raph of Khan, and Darth Nash…

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11902274_10205114782046115_8910635310366797131_n.jpgThey do match nicely, don’t they? 😛

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I must thank Jen and Mike, at Undirworld, for the millions of cubic feet of gas, that they must have used, and for the delivery guys! 😛

Thanks to Steve, for filling all of my cubic footage, and for hauling it (yes, I did help to load – I think I loaded about 14 sets of doubles).

I did unload all of these sets of 130s, the day after!

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It was an absolutely fantabulous 4-day weekend of friends, fun, laughter, and a ton of Diving Goodness!! I can’t even begin to share how amazing this group of friends are, and I look forward to seeing everyone, August 2016! w00t w00t!





Sturgeon Island

31 05 2015

Sunday, May 31st, 2015 ~

w00t! There shall be diving, today!

We had an Oren sneak into our house, late Saturday night, so we figured that we would take him for a scooter run, in the River. There have been occasional Oren sightings, over the last year, and this time, we took him for a nice swim. 😛

Our plan was to go to a little underwater island, that we had found last year. It is entirely possible that it may have been found  before, but it was pretty new to us. Last year, Steve had seen a giant sturgeon there, on more than one occasion.

As we dropped into the channel, we came upon remnants of a wreck, that we had also found recently. The current was absolutely ripping here, so it was hard to get any good shots. I did get a few, but they were a little blurry… thanks to the blustery current!

dsc_1885Another current blurry shot…

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Other bits, laying near the wreckage…

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We stayed at the wreck for a few minutes, then back towards the middle of the channel. As we got to about 94′, we saw a baby sturgeon. This was so nice to see! I had never seen a little one, and that means that there is something good going on, in the water. He was just over 1′ long, and didn’t seem too afraid of us. I did have my camera, but it was clipped off, behind my leg, and I just wasn’t quick enough.

We arrived at the island, and since we have seen sturgeon here, every single time, we decided to call it, “Sturgeon Island.” It may have another name, if it’s been found before, but to us… Sturgeon Island. We drifted along, and enjoyed looking at the different levels of rock, and the different formations, which were really amazing. 🙂

As we made our way back up, we passed through the Gaskin, and then into the shallows, for a little bit of deco.

Steve and Oren, as we swam up to our 20′ spot…

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Oren…

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Me, with a nice green slime, in front of my face!

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All three’s a charm!

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Nice bottle!

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Steve’s new-found snorkel…

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Bottom Time: 1 hour, 25 mins.
Max. Depth: 109′
Water Temp.: 55F
Vis.: 20′ to 50′

Steve and Oren dumped their tanks, while I guarded the gear, in the water, so the choppy waves wouldn’t whisk it away. Then, it was my turn… so… I just had to take a picture…

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We had yet another grand day of Diving Goodness, in the St. Lawrence River!





Back Into The Cavezzzz!

18 12 2014

Sunday, December 7th, 2014 ~

After only 2 1/2 hours of sleep, Steve and I pulled ourselves out of bed at 2:30am, and made our way to the airport. We boarded, and our seats were at the back of the bus. There was a lady beside us, sitting in the aisle seat, that moved across the aisle, to sit with her husband. Score! We had the 2nd last row to ourselves! There are good things and bad things about this… Advantage: Space, space, space. Disadvantage: Every single person that comes to use the washroom, will bump you. Every single one of them. They also hover over you, while they wait for their turn to go. There was also some hilarity, as these people were standing in the aisle, pulling my seat, hovering over me, I did get to witness many different varieties of the “Pee-Pee Dance.” That was entertaining.

There was quite a lot of turbulence, at the beginning of the flight, but we made it, safely. 🙂 Once we arrived, it appeared that the car rental company  had forgotten to pick us up. We found a very nice fellow, from another car company, who called them for us. After about an hour, we were in action. We actually got the car that we had reserved, too! w00t w00t!

To the shop! We went directly there, and got our gear together. This was the first time that we had been to the new shop, since they moved, in September. It is absolutely beautiful! Well done, friends!

We had to check on our scooter batteries, which we knew needed replacing. Their fate was not as wonderful as the weather…

 

 

We had one other, that was also toast. 2.01… Yep.

 

 

Steve put one of the packs together, and we were able to borrow another battery pack, to get us going, until our 3rd battery arrived.

As we assembled all of our gear, we started to see some of our friends, from across the ocean, as well as friends from back home!

Yvonne and I!

A.J., Mike, Jen.

Chris P.

Our first night, we stayed in one of the new condos, at ZG. We went up to the roof, to see the impending doom, that was almost upon us!

Monday, December 8th, 2014 ~

Up at 5:30am – Why? Why? I managed to grab a few more ZZZs, before getting up at 6:30am. Mike, Jen, Steve, and I went to one of the little cafes, in PA, and grabbed some yummy breakfast. Not exactly the most cost-effective place to eat, but it was delicious.

We had a nice view…

Back at the shop, we loaded our gear, and a big group of us (9 of us!) headed over to Caracol.

This was the first time that Steve and I had been here (same with most of the others, if not all of us), and the stairs were very steep, going down through the opening.

So steep, that when you walk down with your tanks on, you have to be careful not to bottom out!

It was extremely dark down there (duhhh… it’s a cave), and took a couple of minutes for our eyes to adjust.

Then, the owner put the lights on, for us!

Just. Stunning.

We broke up into four different teams, and off we went. Steve was using Jen’s camera. We stayed on the main line, and apparently, there is 25,000′ of cave, in this system. Steve and I swam an hour in, using a stage, and just a touch of back gas. This cave is pretty awesome – it has halocline, as well as an area with a lot of tree roots, in tannic, shallow water. A great dive!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 47 mins.

Max. Depth: 23′

Avg. Depth: 15′

Water Temp.: 77F

Vis.: Do I really need to say? Gin clear! 😛

We dropped our doubles, before climbing back up the stairs, had lunch, then headed back down for a second dive. Johannes joined Steve and I, for this dive. We didn’t really need to bring a stage, so we left our second stage bottles behind, just using back gas.

We took a jump to the left, off of the main line. There were some really nice passages, with many changes, throughout. From white cave, to decorations covered in “chocolate sauce.” Very cool!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 15 mins.

Max. Depth: 24′

Avg. Depth: 18′

Water Temp.: 77F

Steve, with one of the locals…

Back at the shop, we met up with Fred, Chris, Arno, Sander, Forest, and Stretch! We got our condo info, for the rest of our stay, then to dinner, then…zzzzz………..

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 ~

Bowl of cereal, shop, load, then to Minotauro, along with Sander, Jan, and Arno. We each brought a stage, which we realized wasn’t really necessary. There was a tiny bit of flow, as we swam in, and lo and behold, we happened to see Vlada, in the cave! We waved hello, as they were heading toward the exit. We noticed Sander, Jan, and Arno’s stages, just before we dropped ours (of course, we had to raz them about that). We jumped to the left, swam through the “river” section, with the gorgeous halocline, and another jump to the left, where we ended up in another small cenote. We didn’t stick around long in the cenote, since we were a bit paranoid of snakes landing on us (that almost happened to Steve, once…). We turned around, but still hadn’t reached our turn pressure, so we made another jump. We dropped down, through a bit of a restriction and halocline. I couldn’t see a thing, so I “ok’d” the line, behind Steve. The line went straight up, through some even more silty swiss cheese passage, and it eventually got a bit too tight, so we headed back. We ended up right behind the “Dutchies,” on our swim out. We were able to say hello to Vlada and pals, as we were coming out, and they were going back in!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 45 mins.

Max. Depth: 46′

Avg. Depth: 27′

Water Temp.: 77F

Jan, Arno, Sander…

Back at the shop, Steve set up his RB80, we worked on our two scooters, then went to get some groceries. Also, shout-out to the Chinese Food restaurant, beside the Chedraui. It’s really good!!!

Back to the shop, where we attended the MCEP meeting. Chris gave us an intro; Fred gave us location info; Ed spoke about sediment; Kovacs gave us the low-down on calcite, and Ivan gave a presentation on some of the Baltic Sea wrecks, that they have been diving. Some incredible wrecks!!

Thank you, Forest, Becki, and Dan. I was presented with this… I think I had tears, I was laughing so hard!!!

Back at the condo, it was scooter balancing time, in the pool. We borrowed a battery pack, until our new batteries arrived. 😛

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 ~

Project Day!

We all assembled at the shop, and had our assignments given to us!

Stretch and Forest, armed with spanners!

Peter and Manu!

Jen was nice enough to let me jump into her car, to Yax Chen, since Steve was taking ours, and was filled to the brim, with RB80s and scooters.

There was definitely no room in here, for me!

More of the gang…

Jen and I had two stages each, and a scooter each. Jen was using an XK-1, while I had the T16 (Steve was using both of our Gavins). Our goal was to take sediment samples, from the top layer of sediment, and not to disturb the lower layers. This is a bit of a challenge, in an extremely silty environment!

We reached Tarpon II, dropped stages and scooters, then swam, using our second stage bottles. It was pretty dark, where we dropped the stages, and there was a bit of flow. We saw the huge school of tarpon that live there, and they seemed to follow us, each way. Pretty amazing sight!

At our first station (we started at our furthest station), Jen held the line, as I dropped into the H2S layer, to take a sample. I swear, that H2S layer had me  narc’d out of my tree, and scooping the sediment proved quite a task. When I reached for my wet notes pencil, it turned out to be my eraser, and I genuinely could not find my pencil. It took me a few tries, but I eventually found it, as I turned my notes around… about 5 times. It was pretty humourous – just ask Jen… 😛

We swam back to our gear, picked it up, and went to back gas. Our next station was pretty close, and I took Jen’s scooter, while she went to take the sample. The XK-1 was “a bit” negative, so we didn’t want it to disturb any of our samples.

This is where more hilarity ensued… I tucked Jen’s scooter over my leg, and it still wanted to take a silty nose-dive – not effective. After trying a few different methods, I ended up holding both scooters in my right hand, to keep them stable, and out of the way. Jen took the remaining samples, so that we didn’t have to juggle the scooters back and forth. We picked up the last sample, then scootered home, on our stage. There were so many crabs in the open water, right near our exit, so we had to check them out for a bit (of course). One of the little crabs was about to pick a fight with two curious fish.

Bottom Time: 2 hours, 8 minutes

Max. Depth: 47′

Avg. Depth: 21′

Water Temp.: 77F

We waited for the rest of the gang to surface, helped to remove gear, and headed back.

Jan, Steve, Arno, Sander…

Forest and Stretch…

*Note* Need to try that stone oven-bake pizza place, near Yax Chen. They claim to have the best pizza on Earth!

Thursday, December 11th, 2014 ~

Today, Jen and I were going to Xtabay. Of the people that were here, we were the only two that knew where the sensors were, here. We were picking up Jen’s sensor, near the start of the main line (the GUE Ontario one, which is very close to Jen’s, no longer works), and the other one, on the way to the Repair Shop.

We swam through the Wizard’s Den (I love this room), then the “Bone Room (that’s what I call it, since it looks like a huge room of bones),” then a jump to where the sensor was hiding. It was definitely hiding, but I managed to find it! We then swam back to Jen’s sensor, in the salt water, picked it up, and out we went! We left the reel in, for the next dive. We used a stage, but didn’t even need to touch our back gas.

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 4 minutes

Max. Depth: 43′

Avg. Depth: 31′

Water Temp.: 75F

After lunch, downloads, and a few punny jokes, we went back in to replace the sensors, then continued on with our dive. We headed towards the Repair Shop, and came to another room, after passing another cenote. We didn’t dare surface, after hearing about some of our friends’ experiences, the day before. All I know, is that there were bees involved, and there were jumps and leaps, back into the water! The Repair Shop was really cool. There were fossilized urchins, mini conch shells, and other neat things, that you don’t normally see. We turned the dive a little early, since the line decided to make a sharp turn upwards, and we had both had slight ear issues, the day before. There was a lot more diving to do, yet! We played in the halocline, on the way back in!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes

Max. Depth: 44′

Avg.: Depth: 27′

Water Temp.: Still 75F

Back to shop, unload, condo, then Latitude 20, with a bunch of the gang!

Friday, December 12th, 2014 ~

David Dusek and I were heading near Little Chen, to do a sensor retrieval. It was one that was pretty tough to find, and apparently, there had been a couple of attempts to find it recently, without success. Ok… Time for David and I to get to work! We both really wanted to find it! Yvonne and Mike also went, with Constança as our Surface Manager. The other teams were in different locations today, so we were a small group, at Yax Chen!

David’s truck, packed right up!

David and I had 2 stages each, a scooter each, and I was carrying the back-up scooter. We were pretty efficient, and were tied into the jump line, stages dropped, at 43 minutes. We dropped most of our gear at the start of the jump line, so that we wouldn’t be carrying so many things, through the tighter passage. We made a sharp turn, and the cave gets a bit deeper, here. The cave really lightens up, and you go through a halocline. We looked everywhere, for that darn sensor, but couldn’t find it. It’s nowhere… really… There is so much cave to look through, and trying to find a little bitty sensor, was seeming impossible! We reached a T, and knew that we had gone too far – it was definitely not past the T. We turned back around, and swam slowly, slowly, slowly… and… WHAAAA??? THERE IT WAS! David and I saw it at exactly the same time! Boooooooyahhhhh! We would not be foiled! There may have been some kind of celebratory dance, in the water, between the two of us. Just maybe. We stayed on our second stage bottles, since we hadn’t reached our drop pressure. We picked up the rest of our gear, and away we went. I always get really nervous, as we scooter through the “L-Shaped” cenote. There are crocs there, and they might eat me (yes, I actually think this, as I scooter through this area… every time). As we went through Tarpon II, there was a really large tarpon that came right up to me. I was absolutely giggly! Funny, I don’t think he’s going to have me for lunch. It was a really amazing dive, and both David and I were thrilled that we found the sensor. It was really neat to see the cave change, into such white cave, as opposed to the giant darkness, that envelopes the cave, in front of that section. It was like night and day!

Bottom Time: 2 hours, 17 minutes

Max. Depth: 51′

Avg. Depth: 28′

Water Temp.: 77F/78F

Vis.: Varied from 10′ to 100′, depending on where we were, in the cave

After our dive, we waited for the second team (we passed them, on the way in), packed our gear, and…. of course, we just HAD to go to the place with the BEST PIZZA ON EARTH!!!

It seems that they have the best drinks on earth, too…

It was a pretty neat place…

The pizza was pretty delicious!

Back to shop, unload, wait for Steve, condo, then we made some grilled cheese sandwiches, and off to Lat. 20, for some chips ‘n’ salsa, and for the MCEP dinner! Another great project, in the books!

Saturday, December 13th, 2014 ~ 12/13/14!

Steve and I went to the shop a little later than usual (about 8:45am), and packed up our little Atos, with two sets of doubles, two stages, two scooters, and the rest of our gear. Yes… that happened!

Rosa shared her homemade tamales and cake, with us! Thank you, Rosa!

We were heading en route to Tux Ka Paxa, where the jungle roads were not very forgiving, at all. The speed bumps are all natural obstacles, and can easily bottom out your vehicle. Our fingers were crossed, since we were so heavily loaded, in such a little car! We made it… *Phew!*

Some of the nicer road, on the way to Tux – part of the 8.3km, into the jungle!

Once we parked, we took our time bringing down our stage bottles and scooters, since there had been a coral snake seen here, the previous week. We were armed with a “fork stick,” just in case. There were also piles of poop, below the trees, that we had hoped were that of monkeys, and not giant kitty cats (yes, they come here at night). Being the first ones here, today, we really took it slow, and hoped that any animals left without us, as lunch.

Down by the water…

As we geared up, Manu, Peter, Sven, Johannes, and Kovacs arrived for a dive, too!

We made our way into the cave, and then hit the triggers. I was leading this dive. We went right at the T, made a couple of jumps, and went to see what are believed to be giant sloth bones.

We dropped all of our gear, before our stage drop pressure, since the cave was very highly decorated. We went for a swim, and the decorations were absolutely beautiful. We came to a gorgeous room, with “soda straw” decorations, tiny and large stalactities. We were in awe. It started to get pretty tight, and we were close to our turn pressure, so we turned around. We passed Kovacs, Sven, and Johannes… and then Peter and Manu, with their giant core sample poles! Of course, we had to wave!

Steve got some really nice footage, with the Go Pro…

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 53 minutes

Max. Depth: 42′

Avg. Depth: 28′

Water Temp.: 77F

Steve and I, after our awesome sauce dive!

Shop, unload, condo, refresh, Chedraui (for groceries), and Chinese, again (it’s really good)! I did learn that the “orange” chicken is the one that is not “picante.” *Phew*

Sunday, December 14th, 2014 ~

Steve and Jan were going to Yax Chen, to retrieve the safety bottles and the reel. David D and I went over to Minotauro, for a nice back gas dive… that is, after we had to go back for my finz… Sorry, David… D’oh! Although, on our trip back, I finally got to meet Lynne, who had been avoiding me, for years! *Giggle* 😛

Once we finally got going, we headed toward the Winz cenote. There was a really tight restriction, going through there… probably one of the tightest that I have been through (that doesn’t move). At first, I wasn’t sure if I was getting through (I was behind David), but then, like a puzzle piece, I managed to find the right combination of movement, to get through. All the while, I’m thinking… Ok, I have to fit back through there… There were some very decorated rooms, covered in chocolate sauce (that’s my description), as well as white, swiss cheese passages. There were a few spots with halocline, too. We reached another cenote, and turned the dive, at the T. Getting back through that restriction proved a little tougher than the other way around. I finally made it! *Phew!*

(There was no danger, since there was the Winz cenote, right above, as a worst case scenario)

A really nice dive, to a place in the cave that I had not been to, before! Thanks for the tour, David!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 39 minutes

Max. Depth: 48′

Avg. Depth: 26′

Water Temp.: 75F

Shop, unload, and Jen and Mike gave me a lift back to the condo! We met the gang at the Pub, and it was quite a feat… Lynne and I met, and the Earth kept going! 😛

 

Monday, December 16th, 2014 ~

Today was scooter and gear maintenance day. We probably could have squeezed in a dive, but we decided to take our time, and take care of our gear. We took the scooter back ends apart, sprayed them, dried them, and put them back together. Put all of our gear back into our bins, paid the bill (d’oh!), and hung out with friends.

Onno, me, Yvonne…

Anne-Marie, Steve, Lynne…

JP and AM…

Mike and Jen, playing “Finny-Cakes!”

We even got to see some of our Italian friends!

I have never seen a toucan, before. This was pretty cool!

Steve and Kees…

Our new friends, from China, that we met at the Pub!

Daquiris de fraisa, por favor!

Well, another fun-filled trip and project has come to an end. It’s really amazing, to pick up where we left off… both in friendships, and in Cave Diving Goodness! CAVEZZZZZZ!! Until next time!





Dary-Ary-Ary-Aw!

28 09 2014

Sunday, September 28th, 2014 ~

Today was going to be an adventure! Jen and Mike took us out for a cruise, launching from the Brockville public boat launch.

We put the boats in, loaded up, and away we went!

The ride out was pretty fun, in the two zodiacs. I managed to cling on, even when my butt got some air time, thanks to  a couple of the waves. At least I had my drysuit on. 😛

We anchored in a spot upstream, and north of the wreck. We had scooters, so we didn’t mind the extra jaunt. We preferred the shelter from the ripping current! We were able to jump in, and do our gear checks, beside the channel marker, with ease. Bottles were also checked and verified. We dropped down, settled out, and scootered into the channel, where the Daryaw sits. As we made our way, my reg started to breathe a little tight. Got a breath, didn’t get a breath… I reached down, and the knob had mostly closed. I guess my AL40 deco bottle had somehow rolled it off. We had checked our bottles/gauges at the surface, and I even breathed it in the water. I know that I had turned it on. Oh, well… It’s on, now – carry on.

We reached the wreck, which is sitting upside down, and Frankie and Dany went inside. Steve and I poked around a bit, went up into the air hole (as the season progresses, and more divers are on the wreck, the air pocket gets larger). You can surface in it, but I wouldn’t recommend breathing the air, in there!

We checked out the other holds, and to stay on schedule, for our awesome sauce boat captains, Steve and I motioned to Frankie and Dany, that we needed to get our drift on! We drifted along, and decided to go up and over the south wall, to check out the other “valley.” There was a lot of neatness, there! We found a rather large anchor, a few large fish, and some very interesting rock formations. What an absolutely fantastic dive!

Eventually, we made our way back over the wall, and headed north, where we did our deco, blew an SMB, and waited for Jen and Mike to collect us. Absolutely LOVED that dive!!!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 38 mins.
Max. Depth: 91′
Water Temp.: 64F
Vis.: 25′

Wheeeeee! We made it back to the public docks, with minimal butt ejection, and waited our turn to remove the zodiacs.

As we waited, I even tasted a crab apple, right from the tree (Jen made me do it) … 😛

It was definitely a spectacular day! Diving Goodness, good friends, shipwrecks, anchors, some ripping current, and FUN! Thanks for taking us out, Jen and Mike!