Day 2 – Rip It Up!

1 12 2019

Sunday, December 1st, 2019 ~Β 

“Woke up, got outta bed, dragged a comb across my head…”

w0000000t! We’re going diving!!! In CAVEZZZZZZZZZ! My favourite!! I would add extra exclamation marks, but I think I got my point across. πŸ˜›

Steve made eggs for us, but Frankie had already gone to the shop. Steve and Mike went to Β join Frankie, since they were doing an RB dive. I was joining Oren and Chris, and Tina was our Surface Support Manager.

While Oren, Chris, and Tina had some breakfast at Hippo, I had what I believe to be the best freshly squeezed orange juice I have ever had in my life… and I’m not a huge OJ drinker.

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We loaded our gear at the shop, then made our way to the gas station for some sodas. Thanks for the Cherry Coke, Dr. O!

Our destination was Taj Mahal, since we were a little late getting moving, it was close, and Tina could swim there. We paid our 250 pesos, and in we went.

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Oren, Chris, and I brought our doubles down to the water, and we happened to run into our good friend, Peter! We went over to the map, where there were Chantelle-fies. Ok, we made our plan to go to the Chinese Garden, too.

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I’m not really sure why I had the “mouth-open-surprise-look,” on my face for a bunch of photos, but… there it is.

The part of Taj that we were planning on swimming to…

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I put my drysuit on halfway, and made my way down the stairs to finish gearing up.

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As I pulled my suit over my head, it happened… my neck seal blew. It wasn’t a little hole, either. It was the size of a basketball – ok, not exactly a basketball, but it may as well have been. Not even duct tape fixable (even though Tina went to ask everyone in the parking lot, if they had any). My electrical tape wasn’t going to do it. Le sigh.

*Enter sad face, here*

At least it wasn’t a crappy place to float around in, while Oren and Chris abandoned me (no, I wasn’t abandoned – I had Tina to hang around with, and float with my holy suit on). It was Tina’s first ever cenote visit, and I don’t think she minded having company. We did have fun, but I did REALLLLLLLY want to dive!

We did manage to see another young padawan, that seemed to be even larger than the one at our condo, last night…

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Bottom Time: 0 hours, 0 minutes, 0 seconds
Max Depth: 3″
Water Temp.: 77F
Average Depth: 1 ATA

We also did see Peter, Manu, Gus, and Yiannis.

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Chris and Oren surfaced, and had a really awesome dive… *enter another sad face, here* They tried to convince me that it sucked, but the grins on their faces showed otherwise.

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Yiannis and Gus, before their dive…

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We ventured back to the shop, unloaded gear – at least I don’t have to refill for tomorrow – and the others had also returned. I handed my drysuit to Jorge, the Magician (seriously, Jorge is the Lord of the Drysuit Repair), so that I could try this diving thing again, tomorrow.

Chinese Food was on the menu, from inside the Chedraui Mall. Yes, we often get the Chinese Food, when in Mexico. It’s really affordable, you always have leftovers, and it’s pretty good! No picante, for me!

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Oren brought some bad ass chips…

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…and Steve wanted to go for a bike ride…

 

 

After some chat about the day’s Diving Goodness (except for mine, of course), it was time to sleep. Let’s hope I get to dive, tomorrow!! *CHEERS TO TOMORROW’S DIVING GOODNESS!*

 

 

 





Get Back In There!

30 11 2019

Saturday, November 30th, 2019 ~

Well, it’s about time that I got my arse back to Mexico, and back in those cavezzzzzzz. It has just been quite a year, and now it’s time to dive!

We left the house at about 3:15am, got to the airport, saw Mike, checked luggage, yadda yadda yadda, tea and croissant, plane, movies, nap, land, get food. w00t!

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We met our Easy Way people, and went to get our vehicle. If you’ve ever rented a car in Mexico, you’ll know that you very rarely get the car that you’ve booked online. In the 11 years we’ve been traveling here, this is the first time that they have actually called us beforehand, to let us know. They were “upgrading” us to a Jeep , from a Mitsubishi Outlander.Β  It appeared to be a bit smaller, but… in the end, we really liked this vehicle. Thanks for the Jeep, Easy Way! πŸ™‚

Ok… shop time… we saw our wonderful friends from Germany, Peter and Manu, as soon as we pulled in. Then, Annika…. and others. Lots of “how you doin'” hugs and reacquainting with friends that we hadn’t seen in a while. It feels so good to be back in the land of the cavezzzzzz!

Steve and I went down to the Pub to grab a snack and a libation. *Cheers!*

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I had a time of 3pm to pick up the keys to our condo…. We waited, and waited… at 3:40, she said that the keys were left for us… “here.” Grrrrrr… Ok… Thanks. Got keys, unloaded luggage, then back to shop, see other arriving friends, put tanks together for Diving Goodness, tomorrow! Oh, yeah… and go to the Chedraui!

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Of course, we congregated back at Zero Gravity, gathered our people, and went back to the Pub!

Myself, Yiannis, Steve, Frankie, Chris, Tina, Oren, Mike, Gus, and Larry.

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We got lollipops when we paid the bill. If you ever get one of these, I suggest leaving it on the table… unless you like watermelon lollipops with peppers in them, that taste like the wrapper says. Yes, Steve and I both tasted them. I brought one home, if anyone wants it.

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Mike found some mood balls to play with…

Please remember not to feed the monkeys… or shock them, in any way. πŸ˜‰

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When we returned to our condo, we found a man-eating beast. We found that kindness was our method of passage.

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Tomorrow, there shall be Diving Goodness!! w00t w00t!

Catch you in the cenote!





11- Iguana Be Here Longer

9 03 2018

Friday, February 23rd, 2018 ~

This dive is brought to you by the letters LOL. After a long gap of not seeing Irene, we were finally able to dive together! We went to a Nohoch, for a nice, easy swim dive… for 3 hours. This was my last dive of the trip, since Steve and I have some gear maintenance to do, tomorrow. That, and dry our gear, pack, switch condos for the night, and maybe relax, a little.

Partial map of Nohoch…

I ran the reel, since I think I need some more practice. I tied into the main line, and our swim began. We jumped left, over to the Parker Line, where the cave has so many decorations, floor to ceiling. Such a beautiful cave, that I could spend so much time just gawking, and looking at absolutely everything. We traveled quite slowly, so that we could look at all of the gorgeous stalactites and stalagmites.

After dropping our stages (a bit early), we made another jump, followed along, going through even more decorations, and then to a T. We traveled left, went to the end, then returned, ogling incredible formations in the cave floor, and calcite sheets, before and traveling right. We arrived at another jump (right beside the line), which we followed upward, where we surfaced into a narrow, cylinder-shaped opening. Of course, we chatted, laughed, and watched a couple of bats flying around, above our heads. Back down we went, and came to a very organic part of the cave, with tree roots, and a silty bottom. We eventually turned around, and headed back.

Of course, there was upside down swimming, giggling at helictites, and having an absolute blast. We surfaced with big grins, for such an awesome dive! Although, it sure was a lot of swimming. Next time, scooters! πŸ˜›

Bottom Time: 3 hours, 3 minutes

Max. Depth: 23′

Water Temp.: 77F

Avg. Depth: 13′

When we returned to the steps, we saw an iguana that appeared to be trapped against the back of the cenote wall. There was a person reading a book, waiting for other diver friends to surface, that said he fell in, and struggled to get to the far wall. Of course… we had to attempt to “save his life.” The book lady went and got a rescue swim floaty thing, that was for the snorkelers, and I gently pushed it towards him, trying not to scare him. He didn’t move a muscle, except his eyes. He seemed to look at me, and say… “Really?”

That didn’t work, so Irene suggested that I put my fins together, to see if he would climb on (laying on my back, which is easily doable in doubles, but slightly more challenging, with a stage). That didn’t work, either.

One of the snorkeling crew came over, wondering wtf we were doing, and says, “they can swim.” I’m such a dork…

Well, we did have some more laughs about saving the swimming iguana’s life.

This is a terrible photo, but the only one I have. Photo, or it didn’t happen!

We did have a most fun-filled day! Who says that diving is all serious business??

Totally whited-out faces, taken by the book lady (also known as the swim floaty thing provider), with our iguana friend in the background. Irene, we must dive again! Five years is too long!

We swam… here…

At least my last dive of our trip was a fabulous one! Until next time, amigos! πŸ‡²πŸ‡½





10- Rollin’ Down The River Run

22 02 2018

Thursday, February 22nd, 2018~

Today was dive with Weijie and David Day! I hadn’t seen either of them in a while, and joined them on their dive, in Eden.

Overlooking Eden, where the swimmers jump…

Water entry…

Weijie led the dive, I was #2, and David was #3. I don’t even remember the last time I did River Run. It may have even been during Cave 1, in 2008!

We swam across to the cave opening, descended, and Weijie ran that line. We jumped, T’d, played in the halocline, and poked around in a few different places. I had completely forgotten how nice the halocline was, in here! Also, how fun it is to swim in the gasoline mixture, behind Diver 1, and… sorry, David… I tried to stay off of the line, for you!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 7 minutes

Max. Depth: 47′

Water Temp.: 78F

Avg. Depth: 38′

It was a great time, coming back into a cave that I had forgotten how nice it is, with some friends that I haven’t seen in a while!

Thank you, David and Weijie!!!

Of course, I could not go without a photo of my other buddies, too! Nadine and Mike!

When we went for dinner, we watched two monkeys cross the road, in front of us. When they are walking, they seem much bigger than they appear, in the trees! We tried to get some photos. So neat!

We went to karaoke night, at Cafe Ole, where I met my new karaoke friends! Shannon was the host, who is fantastic. Juanita had her birthday celebrations, and Peter brought us some cake! I also met Ronnie, Klever, Emilie, Mel, Lynne, Dean, Chocky (I think), and a bunch of other really nice people. Gaylita runs a really fun place, and definitely knows how to make people feel welcome.

This day gets an A+!





9- El Toh-Ho-Ho!

21 02 2018

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 ~

Besides the fact that it’s February, 33C, and sunny, I swear, it feels like Christmas! Today’s dive had everything you could wish for: big rooms, small rooms, dark cave, white cave, cheese grater limestone, narrow passage, decorated ceilings, chocolate sauce, melted wax-like formations, calcite passage, passage with narrow columns, so many decorations, extreme restrictions, and even a very silty restriction.

Entry…

Today, Hilde took me to El Toh, which was absolutely amazing! We stayed on the main line, taking a few Ts, and made it to the 4th, where the passage became sidemount territory. The first two restrictions were fairly easy to swim through, even with a stage attached. The plan was to drop our stage bottles, before the third, since it would be extremely tricky to maneuver them through the next ones.

Next came the silt-out restriction. It wasn’t very forgiving, height-wise, and very silty. No way to avoid the silt, there. Hilde went first, and since I couldn’t see, to figure out the best way to pass, I waited for the “dust” to settle a bit, so I could at least see which way to slide through. I tried to follow behind, but my predicted movement was too narrow for me to get through. Once I had a bit more of a visual, I slid by. Yes, I did have the line.

The next restriction was a bit like a jungle gym. We fit the puzzle pieces, by maneuvering sideways, up, down, and around… not without taking a little bit of time to find the correct combination (at least, for me, ring my first time through it)!

There was also a halocline, at 38′, which was before the jungle gym restriction (not the actual name of the restriction, just my own interpretation of it). We went through it a second time, just before we turned the dive – it got rather “pinchy,” past that point!

On the way out, we were convinced that there may have been a bit of flow against us, as we swam. We weren’t sure if it was because we had been swimming for a while, or it there really was some resistance. My fin and glide had a bit less glide, on our exit. πŸ˜‚

As we neared open water, you could see the daylight, which was absolutely beautiful, as we reached the cavern zone. Apparently, you don’t see that in the summer, due to the tannic water. Lights out, for a gorgeous swim to the surface. It will be hard to beat that dive!

Bottom Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Max. Depth: 42′

Water Temp.: 77F

Avg. Depth: 21′

Happy Cavezzzzzz faces!

Hilde, thank you for being my buddy today, and for taking me on such an awesome dive!!!

w000000000t!

There may have been some relaxing on the patio, when I got back to the condo!