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. ๐Ÿค“

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!





3- I Can’t Tell You…

15 02 2018

Thursday, February 15th, 2018 ~

Today’s dive was at a site that we had never been to before, and cannot really disclose info on. It was a good distance into the jungle, and not very well-known. The land owners were pretty friendly, and showed us the direction in. We parked, then went to look around, to find the entry, and brought our tanks down. The stairs weren’t bad, but there were a few steep steps that I knew that I would need an arm to climb up, with my tanks on!

We looked down another path, that another cenote was, but didn’t want to venture too far, wearing only flip flops and shorts. We tried to narrow our chances of getting invested with ticks.

Second path…

As we were prepping gear, another couple unloaded, to dive the other cenote.

Looking down, to the large cenote…

Steve went in without gear on, to locate the line, so we didn’t silt up the area, looking around, with gear on (very silty bottom). We did find it, so we got ready to dive!

What. An. Awesome. Cave. This place has just about everything: decorations, big passage, small passage, restrictions, up and down crevices, chocolate sauce decorations, and just freaking amazing. We will definitely go back to this place!

Gear: AL 80s ~ Back gas, only

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 11 minutes

Max. Depth: 44′

Water Temp.: 77F

Avg. Depth: 32′

After our dive, we met up with some other folks that were swimming in the cenote. One was a local, and the other two were from the US.

Definitely some happy cavezzzz faces!!!





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 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ Once we arrived, it appeared that the car rental companyย  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! ๐Ÿ˜›

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. ๐Ÿ˜›

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 meย  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… ๐Ÿ˜›

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 Constanรงa 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* ๐Ÿ˜›

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! ๐Ÿ˜›

 

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!





Cavezzz, It Shall Be – Part Eight – The Last Couple Of Days

19 12 2013

Thursday, December 19th, 2013 ~ย 

Today, a gaggle of us headed to Dos Pisos. Since there were so many of us, we staggered the teams… especially since we had about 100 meters of restrictive passage to go through, at the entry.

Dan, getting ready for Cavezzzz…

Our plan was to go right at the first T, and left at the second T…. which would have been great, if the lines had not been changed.

We brought our stages and fins down, trying to avoid the paths of red army ants. There were thousands of them!

Laurynn and Kathryn entered first, and the rest of us waited, while Steve fixed a manifold issue (which was fixable, thanks to some tools that we had). Then, Karen and John went in, followed by us – Me, Dan, Steve. Since Dan had flooded his light, the previous day, he had Becki’s light… except it wouldn’t fire. D’oh! Ok.. That’s the third failure for Dan, this week! I think he’s had enough! ๐Ÿ™‚ John had an extra light with him, that he loaned to Dan – Thanks, John!

I led through the restrictive passage, then let Dan through, so I could see his light (this was planned). Steve had the Go Pro, in the back.

We dropped our stages a little early, and continued on. We approached Laurynn and Kathryn’s stages, and I stuck a “Ding Ding Cowbell” note in Laurynn’s stage bungee. ๐Ÿ˜›

We reached the spot where we thought the T was supposed to be, but it was not there. We swam for quite a while, and reached a T. Karen and John were on their way back, and signaled that they had turned right, and it wasn’t the direction that we had originally planned on going. It turns out that the first T had been cut back, and this was the second T, that we were supposed to go left at. So… Thanks to John and Karen, we went left.

There was some very pretty cave, along the way, with some beautiful decorations. We passed through a section that slanted upwards – clearly, to a small opening. There was quite a collection of bat guano, that had rolled down from the surface. We got to a spot that had “jaws,” and some more beautiful decorations, from top to bottom. We had a peek through the “jaws,” then turned around.

Bottom Time: 2 hours, 27 mins.
Max. Depth: 28′
Water Temp.: 77F

Chatting, after Diving Goodness…

A couple of little frogs, near the cars…

Steve, packing up…

We packed up, and were on our way.

As we passed through Tulum, we passed the yummy bakery. Maybe we will go back there, sometime!

Once at the shop, we started the tear-down and drying of our gear. We still could have fit in another day of diving, but it was supposed to be very rainy, and we needed our gear to dry. That, and Steve had some work to do, with the scooters. We opted for a “gear day.” It’s always a sad time, to be breaking down your gear, to leave Mexico cavezzz…

Our undergarments are going to need a good wash, when we get home…

We dropped off our gear, and tidied up some of our charging station, before dinner.

At the buffet…

Friday, December 19th, 2013 ~ย 

Well, in hindsight, we could have gone diving, today… We did have things to do at the shop, so it was probably the right decision not to, but it doesn’t mean that we didn’t want to go diving. ๐Ÿ™‚

We slept in a little, then went down to have some breakfast. We sat beside a man, sitting with his young son, and I couldn’t help but hear some of their conversation.

Boy: I would like a straw for my juice, please
Dad: You don’t need a straw
Boy: But I really want one (he had the saddest look on his face)
*The waiter brings him a straw – Happiness ensues*
*Boy drops straw on ground*
*Dad lectures boy on irony, and then calls son a Monkey Butt*

I was really trying not to laugh, since Dan had us in hysterics, earlier in the week, regarding Monkey Butt (Ok, I may have been the only one in hysterics). ๐Ÿ™‚

We made our way back to the room, to finish packing – Yeah, that took a while. Trying to get the right combination of clothes vs. dive gear in each case, and keeping it under the 50 lb. mark, can be fun. We were finally successful.

We went down to the Seaside Grill, and met Becki and Dan for lunch. Huh… This is what resort life is like, during the day!

Then, off to the shop, to tend to our scooters, pay the dreaded bill, and finish packing the gear away.

Steve and Angelica…

We then headed back over to The Pub, where we met a bunch of our friends for some beverages, munchies, and “see ya next times.” We also met new friends, from Finland, and I finally got to meet Irene! w00t! We had a lot of fun, and of course, we had to get some gelato! Back to the resort, and in bed by a decent hour (what’s with that??).

The giant gingerbread house, in the resort…

Dan, wondering if he could sneak a piece…

Saturday, December 20th, 2013 ~

Packed and ready to go, we were able to have some breakfast, before we left. Then… It was time to go…

On the way…

Too bad, we were going to miss the Ricky Martin concert ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

Giant wind turbine…

…and back to the car rental place, where they had their Christmas decorations up.

We arrived safe and sound, to this…

Well, it was a fantastic couple of weeks ofย  cavez and amazing friends.

See you next time (soon!), Mexico… We shall miss the CAVEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! ๐Ÿ™‚