Hello my friends!
Another diving WE! Just easy recreational stuff this time, taking it
easy in central Florida: Ginnie and Peacock. -- Did the Orange - Peacock
I managed to get off work at 3pm again. This time I made it to Ginnie at 6:15 pm as I was driving a rental car while my van was getting fixed. I had forgotten all
about how comfortable and responsive a car was, compare to my van. It's also ever so close to the road. I love it!
I met my Dear One at Ginnie. Nanci was waiting for me and after getting
a car sticker and the usual bracelet, we headed near Devil's Ear &
Eye and put our gear together. Each of us had one Gavin scooter (short
body), one set of doubles, one stage tank and one oxygen tank for decompression.
We scootered up the main line to the line arrow marked '2000'. Dropped
the scooters there and looked for the jump that Bill Lais told me about.
I saw it right away, just 30 feet upstream of the arrow on the left hand
side on the ceiling. We went in there, took a left at the T. Over a little
hill and into a nice room with a big dome. It is pretty obvious why they
call this place the insulation circuit. I peeked at the rest of the circuit
but had to turn there as I was already at 2700 psi in my back gas. A number
of things had gone not so well -- just a bad day, like it happens sometimes.
We got to deco in the Eye after 60 minutes of bottom time. Nanci was performing
her customary "Shakes Show" as she insists on scootering with her wet suit
instead of using her warm purple dry suit. My TLS 350 was keeping me nice
and warm, not a hint of a shiver!
At 10 pm we were all packed and ready to go to bed.
Next day (Saturday) was dedicated to Peacock. We filled our tanks at Ginnie late in the morning. We wanted to check out that Water Hole part of Peacock.We got in at Peacock with 104s with 32% Nitrox. No need for any more gear. We stayed on the left hand side of the cavern to find the Peanut Tunnel. I haven't dived Peacock much. I forgot how long a jump that was. 200 feet I think.
The Peanut tunnel goes on at 30 feet for a while (500 feet maybe), then
we dropped down to 55 and that's where we started to look for jumps on
the left hand side. Now I had not studied the map properly and we paid
the price for it. If I had, I would have known that there were 3 jumps
that went into Water hole. I only remembered 2. The first 2 jumps were
not marked. The third one was so obvious that it looked like a tourist
avenue. I saw the first one and tried it but found it way too vicious to
my taste. I saw the second one and I motioned Nanci to come back and jump
in there as she was leading the dive. She did, with style as usual :-).
We swam to the first T and Nanci did not like the way the left hand side
looked like (our mess was getting siphoned in there) so she took the right
hand side. Of course,
had I read the map properly, I would have known that that was the right choice in the first place. But I asked to come back to the main line thinking that we had blown it. Continuing down the main line we saw the obvious third jump (i.e. double arrowed, prints on the floor, marks on the ceiling, the works). So Nanci lead the way in there and I kept contemplating her sexy rubber derriere. I had the feeling that Nanci was not conformable though and I was upset about things going wrong on us again. As we were both into unknown territory I asked to turn back to the main line. Then Nanci wanted out because she was on her thirds. So we came out after 80 minutes in there with 2200 psi left of back gas -- both of us.
Sunday was an adventure! We went back to Peacock to meet Erik Schmidt and Tiffany for a traverse from Orange Grove to Peacock -- total distance = 4700+ feet according to Nanci's data. Erik was the only one who had done this dive previously so he was going to be our guide. Unfortunately, 200 feet after I tied the reel to the main line, Tiffany turned because she was not comfortable with her new dry suit. So Nanci and I continued. Now I thought that this dive was a big deal and I was in for a surprise.
Between Orange and Challange the depth stays around 60 feet. The line takes us into all kinds of different shapes of rooms. Some have a high dome like ceiling, some are on big vertical crack. There are line arrows marked with distance every 100 feet. It's all made really easy as we knew exactly how far we were from the nearest exit all dive long. We got to Challange after 40 minutes (that's me being slow) -- just a little crack in open water. Then headed to Olsen. I loved that part. Some of the rooms were so huge for Central Florida! I remember having 2300 psi at Olsen Sink. I waved at some people outside that were looking down in the water. After recalculating our thirds for the 2nd time, Nanci and I went in there, towards Pot's Hole and then the exit. At Pot's hole I pulled a jump reel out to mark the jump, but Nanci signed to me that it was not necessary. :-))) I also had to wedge that piece of ceiling that someone else knocked down between her tanks. That looked good on her as she got out. We got out to see Erik's and smily face after 90 minutes in there, with 2000+ psi of gas left. Erik said he did the traverse in 63 minutes, which means that I am very slow... but that's OK. Erik's a Pro anyway... And now that he just got his new Gavin scooter, I bet his swimming won't improve much...
We finished the day at Sunnies', the 4 of us + Kelly, Nanci's lovely daughter ;-) Then we watched 'La Femme Nikita' as I was burn testing the battery of my Small Gavin scooter -- 50 minutes, as Jeff wrote.
And as usual I woke up at 5 am and drove down to St Pete to start work at 9 am -- exhausted but happy.
I hope that your WE was great too!