Hello my friends!
This was a long WE! 5 days, no less! I did my deepest dive ever and lots more. In this email I explain a few things for the people who don't understand the jargon.
It all started on Thursday night. I have made it a routine to go from work at 3pm. I get to do a dive in the late afternoon that way, without having to go to bed too late.
We dived Ginnie on Thursday night with Nanci. We spent 70 minutes bottom
time, max. depth 100. The plan was to go into the Syphon Tunnel. We scootered
up to the jump before double lines, dropped the scooter and started swimming
from there. 2 or 3 hundred feet later we were surrounded by silt in the
dead end after the
jump into the Syphon Tunnel. Some @@!#@ changed the line and we missed the jump. We recalculated thirds and ended up going into the back end of double lines. No bone, but lot of fun. Line stayed the same back there. We turned before the first T and got back on our scooters and out.
Friday was a 2 dive day. First one in Cow. This time we went in with a stage bottle (third tank). We spent 80 minutes with max. depth of 104 feet on a 32% Nitrox Mix plus a 4th tank of 100% Oxygen for deco. It's not too difficult to get in there with a stage, once you know the way. There's actually only 10 feet between the log where we tie off at the entrance and the beginning of the main line -- once you know the way... We breathed that stage nearly all the way to the drop to 100 feet, on thirds. We then took the first T left and carried on the main line as far as we could go on thirds. We turned where it ducks down (again) after at least 3 more Ts. The line was on the ceiling with a blue arrow on it and it look tighter. I'd like to do a 2 stage dive in there with one of the stages already waiting at the drop to 100 feet. This would require one setup dive and a dry suit, because we got really cold during deco (30 minute, on top of the 80 minutes of bottom time)!
We did the second dive at Peacock. This was only a 60 minute bottom
time at 70 feet max. on 26% Nitrox. No deco for a change. We took the scooters
in there, for practice. We didn't know that it was frowned upon by the
community to scooter dive in Peacock. Anyway, we had some practice of laying
line (primary reel and
jumps) while scootering. We went up the main line, jumped Pot Hole, jumped Olsen Sink and went on for a while before turning on the 2000 psi + 1/2 rule that Scott Landon told us about. It was cool and pretty. We did not damage any part of the cave as it's pretty big in most places! But we won't scooter this cave again, promise.
Saturday was more relaxed. We only did one dive in Ginnie. 50 minutes bottom time at 100 feet, 32% Nitrox as usual -- virtually no deco. We went up to the Syphon Tunnel area to look for that maldito jump again. We scootered up there, dropped the scooter at the same place, jumped towards Double Lines, and looked for a jump after the back end of Double Lines. Again we ended up in silt, and gave up. Instead we went up Double Lines (Whale Bone area) and turned after the first T, where the small gap is. Back on the scooters and out we flew.
Sunday was a day at Madison. And a good one! First dive. Bottom time: 90 min, max. depth 86 feet, breathing Nitrox 26, the left over from the 32% of yesterday. We went to the Gozilla room, round and round and messed around, trying jumps, cross referencing with the map. We also spent some time in the cavern zone -- pretty cool and no deco, all wet suit stuff.
The second dive was the outstanding one! 80 minutes bottom time, max.
depth of 80 feet. Nanci and I went up the main line with a stage bottle.
We dropped it not far from the half hitch restriction and went up the line
from there on our back gas. We passed many jumps, mostly on the left had
side. The depth was pretty much the same (except a hill here and there)
at 60-70 feet. It started getting interesting when it dropped to 80 feet
and became rather small. Nanci went first there, because she is ever
so good in tight passages. I often feel like an elephant in a China Shop.
So I followed her and did the same as she did. She took me through
really really neat formations looking like shelves: black and white. It looked so pretty and fragile. We swam at least another 400 feet from that point until it climbed back up to 70 feet and dropped down to 80 feet where the tunnel took a right curve in a 90 degree angle. We reached our thirds there. We just peeked. It looked like it was getting bigger! What a shame! We need to get back in there! Some of what we swam was not on the map. It took us 57 minutes to get there and a bit over 20 minutes to get back. We didn't take an Oxygen Tank for decompression. Big mistake. We racked up 40 minutes of deco. I used that time very constructively, turning Nanci's manifold knobs off and sticking stones between her tanks. She felt so guilty went she removed her doubles in the van. She thought that she had destroyed all that cave!
Monday was WKPP stuff. I did my deepest dive ever in there! 205 feet, with my doubles plus 4 stages on my Baby (Short Gavin Scooter). I was breathing a Trimix 19/37 graciously donated by Bob Sherwood! I went in with Devon to place those 4 190 decompression bottles for the team. Unfortunately my scooter decided to quit because I did not put the propeller assembly back together right, and Devon's Primary light failed. But we still did a good job of placing the bottles and exited slowly and safely --no deco. We then dragged down more deco tanks: some at 120, some at 70, some stuff at 50 and some horrible 95s full of Oxygen. Busy day! The last diver (JJ) came out at roughly 11:30pm. It was a short dive for George and JJ.
Tuesday was my last day off. Nanci and I did one dive at Ginnie Springs. This time, no scooter. We Took 4 tanks: our doubles plus one 80 CuF full of 32% Nitrox and another tank full of pure Oxygen for decompression. We swam the stage up to half way between the snapping gap and Hill 400, dropped it at 2000psi and went in the back of Double Lines with the intention of getting up into the Sherwood Split area. Unfortunately, this was a bad day for me. We went further than last time: whale bone, T left, short jump, and turned before the next T. I felt bad was breathing too much and I was very cold. I turned with 2600 psi left of back gas. Oh well... Bottom time was 65 minutes, 100 feet -- We did 19 minutes of deco.
I hope your 4th of July WE was good too!