Mayan Paradise ~ Part 2 ~ Cave 1

18 11 2008

Monday, November 3rd – Friday, November 7th, 2008 ~

It was finally time for us to start Cave 1. Steve, Oren, and I were taking the course with Fred. Francois, Jen, and Robert were taking it with Chris. We packed lunches and gear, and waited for our pick up.

Fred came to get us, and we headed to Zero Gravity, where we got our gear together in crates. We then went into the classroom, for some discussion on guidelines, limits for Cave 1 and 2, hazards, and command signals. We then packed up and went to El Eden, where we did a cavern dive, where our lights seemed to start failing upon exiting, then a dive in the basin, doing valve drills, mask removal, and no vis. line drills.

Tuesday, we were at El Eden once again, for another cavern dive, with more light failures, and some valve failures. We then did more no vis., touch contact line drills, then into the cave. We did River Run counter clockwise and clockwise, where it seems our lights and valves were still faulty on our exits. It’s amazing how crappy our gear is… hehe.

Wednesday, we went to Taj Mahal, where we had more light and valve failures, were out of gas, lost the line, and had a no vis., touch contact exit from the cave, over 4 dives.

We also had classroom time, and learned about the formation of caves, the Vadose zone, the Phreatic zone, and many other features of caves.

Thursday, we were in the classroom, learning about Solution, Elements in the caves, Contamination, and gas management in searching for a lost diver.

We then went to Xtabay (said Shta-buy), for three more dives. On these dives, we lost Steve three times, Oren once, and had to find them. We had more gas failures and an out of gas emergency.

On Friday, the final day, we discussed different cave environments, problems in cave diving, then headed out for our last 3 dives.

On the last few dives, we had a no vis. OOG exit, post failures, light failures, more OOG, and rescures.

The final dive was an exciting one…. We were going along our merry way, when Steve had a valve failure. Oren was quick to his aid as we thumbed the dive. As we exited, I was in the lead, Steve in the middle with one working reg, and Oren in the back. I was just waiting for that flashing light, to say that Oren was out of gas, and I would have to fly back to help him. There it was… saw the light flashing. I quickly hauled arse back to him, with reg ready to donate. Of course, I looked stupid, as it was Steve’s other post that had gone, and he had turned to flash Oren. The thought going through my head, was that I was Oren’s only source of gas, should he need it, and if I were to see a light flashing, I’d be there for him. I guess I’d rather look stupid than have my buddy need gas and not get it.  Oren gave Steve his long hose, and we kept going to the exit. When we reached our deco stop, which happened to be where the reel was tied off, I had to hand over my mask. I have to say that I was very relaxed here, and didn’t reach for my back up, as I figured it was a drill, and just went with the flow. I hovered there for a minute or so, when lo and behold, my buddy handed me my back up (thanks Steve)! W00 H00! We ascended up to our 10′ stop, where Steve switched to my long hose, and gave Oren a rest. Yes, we were almost at the surface, but at least we kept it in mind. Upon surfacing, the three of us felt pretty good about the dive. We had worked together as a team, and worked through our scenarios.

We debriefed, discussed, and packed up. It was now time to go back to the classroom for the exam.

I have to say that Fred was an amazing instructor, and I found it very easy to learn from him. There is alot of information to process in this course, and he just seemed to help everything make sense. I really enjoyed spending the 12 hour days learning from him.

I want to thank my team members, Steve and Oren, as well. We were dealt alot of cards, and worked well together to sort them out. We were always there for each other.

I am happy to say that we all came out with a pass, and couldn’t wait to put our new skills to work the following day. Oh yeah, and I heard the other group did well too!  😀

We were all a bit pooped, but had to go celebrate with some food and a Margarita…. and a Daquiri… and a Khaparina… and…….

To be continued in Part 3… After The Course…



4 responses

19 11 2008

excellent Chan… how long before you and Steve head back LOL

19 11 2008

Thanks! If I had my way, we’d be on our way back already! 😛

19 11 2008
Kelly Rodgers

nasty leaving us hanging on for part 3 like that….! Awesome report Chan & congratulations to you, Steve, and Oren!

21 11 2008
Kelly Rodgers

eh hem…. part 3???

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