Hello my friends!
Hey! Hey! It's Hervé again! With more adventures to tell you about. I had a nice 3 day week-end so I did like the local cave divers: one dive per day. Coool...
On Saturday Nanci, Erik, Skip and I scootered up Little River. Skip and Erik went 5 minutes ahead of us. We followed the main line with the intention of dropping the scooters at the well pipe and swim from there to the source of the primary flow. Well, Nanci and I were about 300 or 400 feet away from the pipe when we saw Skip emerging from the darkness of the tunnel, then very soon after Erik came out, surrounded by a cloud of silt, shaking his head. They were OK. But as viz was quickly dropping to complete zero, Nanci and I turned around and decided to have some fun somewhere else. So we took a right turn at the T that goes into the Serpentine Tunnel. Then it was all slow motion letting the trigger go all the time. No wonder this tunnel is called Serpentine!! We were looking for the Harper tunnel and found it about 50 feet before the big arrow at the last left curve. We clipped off the scooter, placed a jump line there to mark the way out, dropped the stages and started swimming. The tunnel is fairly big. It reaches heights of 20 feet, especially where this big crack is. I swam in there, saw a sharp curve going right. I turned the dive there on feel. I thought something was wrong. I was right! But nothing difficult to handle. When we got back to the scooters, my new crappie way to attach my clip to my scooter strap broke. So I clipped both the D-Ring and the strap together in the snap bolt. Then 40 feet later my long hose was leaking. I found out later that the O-Ring in the hose fitting on the demand valve side broke. I just shut off the right hand side post and went to my backup reg. with a quick signal to Nanci. I was wondering what would go wrong next. But we were so close to the exit anyway, no big deal. On the way out we crossed Matthias Pohl and Angelica. We did a good 70+ minutes of bottom time and after 25 additional minutes of deco we were out of there! Happy as could be.
On monday we all met at Divers Supply, Gainesville to fill tanks: Nanci,
Tiffany, Erik, Tony and me. Most of us were using double that had Helium
left over in them. We just bled them a little and topped them off with
enough O2 to get a 32% O2 mix. Destination: Cow Springs. Tiffany and Erik
ended up not diving due to gear problems. Nanci, Tony and I went in there
(... slowly). I spent at least 10 minutes in there waiting for these guys.
I had the privilege to go through that restriction
multiple times, just for practice :-). But I understand that they had to deal with a more obstructive restriction than me... Of the mutant kind... Anyway, we swam our stages for a while and after much labor against the flow, made our way to the first T at 100+ feet of depth. We took a right there, and right again at the second T. I wanted to see that bit. I was first, Nanci second, Tony third. That was a nice syphon, moderate strength. The tunnel was between 2 and 3 feet high and at least 5 feet wide. It went maybe 100 feet. The line is wrapped around a rock in the middle of the tunnel at the end. Easy enough to turn around without making a mess. It's really beautiful and fragile over there. Back at the second T we took the other way (left coming in) and visually jumped on the main line going further inside the cave. There was a nice big jump on the left hand side that I would like to try next time. We carried on some 100 feet+ and turned there. On the way out I stopped here and there looking at possible jumps. I liked the one just before the final drop to 100 feet. We soon got out after 80 minutes of bottom time, pulled out Erik's reel and did 10-15 minutes deco.
As usual I drove back the next morning. Only instead of waking up at 5 am, I woke up at 4 am to see whether I could avoid the Tampa morning jams on the highway. It worked. I saved 30 minutes: 150 minutes instead of 180. I was at work at 8 am!
I hope that you had a great week-end too.