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!





Sauntering Through Moulinette

23 05 2016

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016 ~

So… Today’s dive started out with a bang, or a flush, or a swift, cold current… inside my drysuit. Totally my fault.

After bringing our gear down to the water, Steve, Eric, Jen, and I got into our drysuits, and put the gear IN the water. Jen was with me, when I was bringing my camera down, and as we were chatting, and at our scooters, I asked if she would mind clipping my camera to my stage. I didn’t have my dry gloves on, and I didn’t want to let water into my wrist seals. As I am handing it to her, I swear, I felt like I had hit some kind of frigid electric shock system.

Yes… I had forgotten to completely zip my drysuit zipper. After 10 years of diving dry, I finally did it. I mindlessly walked in, and let the flows of the St. Lawrence River completely soak me. *SRLSY*  I may have actually breached the water, as it dripped down, into my feet. Thank goodness, we were only in water up to our waists… er… up to the bottom of our drysuit zippers. *Dork*

Ok… I hung my head in open zipper shame, as Jen was telling an interested passer-by about my “damp” misfortune. I guess the silver lining is that I didn’t pee myself.

I fixed myself up (closed my zipper), and since the water was 50F’ish, I decided to soldier on. There would be no ridiculing in the locker room, for this girl.

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Ok… tanks on, in the water, went over our plan, gear checks, before we made a compass bearing. Our objective was to find the old Grist Mill, that was covered over, as part of the flooding of the St. Lawrence River. There is significant current in most of this area, so it is either a scooter-dependent dive, or a boat dive (we have no idea what the coordinates are, since we are trying to find it). 🙂

We found some foundations, Old Hwy. 2, a lot of tree stumps, and some remnants of what used to be the town of Moulinette. Always a fascinating place to dive, and to wonder how many people once lived here (311, according to the Historical Society), and lived in a thriving small town.

Remnants of the old town of Moulinette…

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We didn’t end up finding the Grist Mill on this dive, but we sure had a lot of fun looking for it!

As we scootered back, in the shallower water, the sun was shining down, and we could see our reflections in the top of the water. I tried to stop and take a photo, but due to the shallowy’ness (new word), I couldn’t get the shot, after we had stopped. I still tried (unsuccessfully)…

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Bottom Time: 1 Hour, 10 Mins.
Max. Depth: 56′
Water Temp.: 51F (53F, in some places)
Visibility: 25′, and milky

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Once we got out, and I dumped the water out of my drysuit (from my earlier self-inflicted zipper misfortune, ending up with chilly feet) and packed up, we went over to Ault Park, where the Lost Villages Museum sits. It wasn’t open, but we did manage to take some photos of some of the buildings that were moved, before the river flooding. I absolutely love this place, and look forward to going back, once it’s open for the season!

Just a couple of photos…

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Here is a link to the Historical Society web site:

Moulinette

We finished up the evening, with dinner at the Pizzeria/Restaurant, just west of the park. Their fries and gravy were really delicious. Oh yeah, and the Jello. That was pretty yummy, too. I think it was my first time, having blue jello! 😛 Blue, for what my toes must have been, at the end of the dive. Thank goodness, the water temp wasn’t too bad!

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Back To The Mother Ship

27 09 2014

Saturday, September 27th, 2014 ~

w00t! Today, we were going back to the Jodrey!

Some of our Québec buddies were joining us, for a splash, too!

Steve, Frankie, Dany, and Larry…

We did our mandatory customs stop, at Boldt Castle, and we were on our way!

Steve and I had planned on scootering to the stern, and possibly going inside.

On the descent, I had some really strange sinus thing going on, that was not normal, for me. I was able to clear without issue, so I kept on.

We noticed that the current was down at the bow section, but as we neared the stern, it was absolutely screaming. Thank goodness, for our most excellent scooters! The visibility was also pretty horrible, which was a little surprising, seeing as the water temperature had dropped, just a little bit, since our last dive here. The vis usually improves, as the water temperature drops.

Steve and I made our way to where we were going to go inside. The current was absolutely ridiculous, and I just wasn’t feeling 100% (sinus thing was messing with me, a bit), so I motioned a “no,” to Steve, to going in. As much as I wanted to, I figured that we could go in another day. The wreck wasn’t going anywhere. Ah, well…

We continued around the stern for a bit, checking out other extremely cool bits of Jodrey (I never get sick of this wreck), then made our way back to the bow, where we started up the wall, for deco.

We did most of our 20′ stop at the deco stool, then made our way over to the bowl, and did our 6-up!

Another amazing Jodrey day!

Ahhh… such goodness, and smiles all around!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 51 mins.
Max. Depth: 204′
Water Temp.: 64F





More Fundies!

22 09 2014

Saturday, September 21st & Sunday, September 22nd, 2014 ~

Well, in order to keep what happens in Fundies, in Fundies, I will just post that…. there was a Fundies course! 🙂

The first weekend of a split weekend course, in Brockville.

Jen B. was armed with the camera, and for this course, I just floated around, and helped when I was needed. Oh, and I took some photos.

After an ascent…

This buckle will go in Denis’ museum pile!

A freighter was passing by, blaring the horns…

I can only guess that it was towards the dive boat, or the sea doo’er.

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 53 mins.
Max. Depth: 30′
Water Temp.: 64F

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 22 mins.
Max. Depth: 28′
Water Temp.: 64F

A great couple of days of Diving Goodness!





DPVz

15 09 2014

Sunday, September 14th, 2014 ~

I wasn’t sure whether or not I was going to dive today, since I had a bit of an issue with my arm, the previous Monday (minor surgical procedure – yes, everything is fine). I did want to give it a try, so I figured that joining in on Steve’s DPV-1 class was a good idea. Of course, I brought the camera along, too.

Valve drills, stowing drills, OOG + towing drills, and all of that fun stuff. I stayed in the background, taking some photos, and stretching my arm out, a little. I wondered if the suit squeeze would bother it, but it didn’t. *Phew*

(Don’t worry, KK, we wear drysuits – I didn’t get the sutures wet) 😛

The team, on the trigger…

We scootered over to the Gaskin, then right back in, with some more skills, and an ascent. I can’t give away all of the fabulous skillz that the course ensues, so I will be a little bit vague with my details!

It was a fabulous day, and although the visibility was pretty stinky, it felt really good to be in the water! The camera does make the vis look better than it actually was.

Selfie, during an ascent drill!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 38 mins.
Max. Depth: 55′
Water Temp.: 68F
Visibility: Stinky – like gym socks

Way to go, team! Well done!