Hello divers from the cold!

I thought I'd let you know about my first 1998 diving WE.

It was a busy WE: 5 dives, all with Rick Atkins, a trimix guy that I was trying not to slow down too much.

Saturday was all Ginnie stuff, 3 dives. The first dive was a nice circuit: hill 400, bats, roller coaster to main line and back. That's a 3 jump deal, not too difficult. 50 min bottom time.

On the second dive we went along the main line, jumped in the roller coaster, up to the bats, right into the hiller tunnel (cool tunnel) and made it to the dome room just on third. That room is neat!!! It's 1800 feet+ from the entrance. 60 minutes bottom time.

Third dive was a night dive. Cool dive to the white white room which can be found by jumping at the entrance of the bone room, 300 feet from the line, where it does a right angle. I was leading that one as I had been there before on my own. On the way back, before hitting the line where we tie the reel, we went back out on the right hand side to find than tunnel in the shape of an L that's close by. Very low ceiling. Very difficult not to touch anything. Good++ exercise. There's an old yellow line on the lhs of the tunnel, buried and difficult to spot.

Sunday was the best! We had so much fun in Manetee. The flow was quite low for this place. So we managed to get 200 feet beyond Friedman's sink from Catfish in 49 minutes taking it easy, just with doubles. The return took 30 minutes, no finning unless we wanted to check out a place on the side. We really had fun swimming each on one side of the tunnels, swimming in parallel, crossing the light beams for maximum illumination of the cave. I even scared some divers one the way back. When we saw them coming we covered our lights and got up to the ceiling. One guy looked up and saw me. He stared for a second until I waved hi, then he relaxed, you could tell. My buddy was right above him so he couldn't see him.

Last dive was hillarious. We went downstream from Catfish to Manetee. It only takes 10 minutes, 20 if you swim against the current and mess about like we did. When nearing the exit it is best to stow the light. That thing really *spits* you out! Even by low flow. Of course, I just had to attempt to go back in. Woo! I had to tighten my grip on the mouth piece! The mask stayed there though. I squirmed, finned, pulled all I could and..... made it! Completely out of breath, but I made it.
Rick went second and did it too. Then we got spit out another time, just for fun. Never moved so fast under water. When we got out of the water, the first thing I said to Rick was: "and that was low flow???!!!".

I made it back home in St Pete at 7:30 pm (2.5 hours drive), a record! I normally never get back before 11pm or 12! I'm ready for next WE!

Hope you enjoyed the story. Keep in touch.

Take care.