Cavezzz, It Shall Be – Part Four – Rabbit Holes and Haloclines

12 12 2013

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013 ~

The usual: Breakfast, then onward, to the shop!

I wonder who these guys are, in front of us? πŸ˜›

Everyone gathered and loaded up various vehicles, for the day’s projects.

Today, Kata and I had a few tasks to complete at Xtabay. We loaded up, and away we went. The roads were slick, thanks to the ongoing rain, but we made it safe and sound. There had been a few very scary-looking accidents, with the rain.

We each brought a stage with us, to use for the first dive, and then would use just our back gas for our second dive.

In our first 6 minutes, Kata had run the reel, we located the sensor spot, replaced the first sensor, and began to make our way to the second task point.

We swam through the Wizard’s Den (which is one of my absolute favourite rooms), through the Halocline Room, and then to our second destination. We still had stage gas left, but since we still had work to do on the surface, we decided to turn the dive.

Bottom Time: 46 mins.
Max. Depth: 46′
Water Temp.: 77F

We had brought “field equipment” with us, and worked on our “secret mission.” Ok, it wasn’t a secret, but it adds a little more fun to the story. πŸ˜€

Once we were finished, we had lunch, some laughs (speedo!), then went back down for our second dive.

As we were gearing up, it appeared that Agent Kata had an issue with her spg. Basically, it was pooched. Luckily, Kata had a backup, and I had a Sea Spanner, so all was well with the world, again. Away, we went.

We returned to the furthest point of our first dive, completed our mission, and carried on into the cave. We reached the end of the main line, so made our way back, playing in the halocline.

When we surfaced, there was quite a bit of rain. We were thankful for the palapa that provided us with shelter, while we got changed.

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 25 mins.
Max. Depth: 47′
Water Temp.:Β  77F

Thanks for being my partner in crime, Kata!

Back to the shop, where we waited around for the truck to come back, to help with the unloading.

Then, to the resort, where Forest, Stretch, Steve, myself, Manu, and Peter went to the Grill restaurant – Awesome Empanadas (I think that’s what they were called)! The lemon dessert was one of few that I had on the entire trip, and it was absolutely incredible. πŸ™‚

Thursday, December 12th, 2013 ~

After breakfast, we had to change some Canadian cashola into pesos, which took a little more time than we had figured. We finally made it to the shop, and myself, Steve, Kata, and Joakim were going to Temple Of Doom, today! We had some sensor business to attend to, and then some pics!

At breakfast – A juice rainbow!

We finally arrived at Cenote Calavera (meaning: Skull – named for three circular openings in the cenote), and as we went to check out the entry, I was surprised to see this rather large fellow, chilling in the sun. He was wary, but he didn’t run away. I think we both caught each other by surprise.

The walk to the water…

The opening…

There is a bit of a drop to get in, and since Steve and I hadn’t been to this spot before, I was a little nervous, on the drive. Once we arrived, and I saw it, it didn’t really seem like that big of a deal (which it wasn’t – it was pretty fun).

The ladder, to climb out…

They also had a couple of parrots, in the parking lot. One of them was very friendly, and the other was a little shy… at first.

Mr. Friendly…

The shy one was shy… until we were all gathered around him. Then, he was whistling and flirting with us. The owner said that he whistles when girls get changed… which we found to be true!

There were also a couple of bunnies…

…and a friendly dog (it was really hot out)…

We worked together, to put our stage bottles and Jo’s camera in the water, and finally geared up!

Kata ran the reel, and then Joe went in first, to film and take shots (although, Jo was in a few different spots, working his camera magic). There was quite a stretch of going through halocline, and since I was in the back end, I got to see quite a lot of “gasoline.” We reached the spot where the sensor was supposed to be, and Jo and I held our positions on the line, while Steve and Kata located it. Once all was completed, we carried on, and reached the end of the line. Jo took some shots and video on the way back, too!

Kata, running the reel, through the halocline. Steve, second; myself, third.
Photo by Joakim Hjelm.

Another view of the halocline. Kata, Steve, me…
Photo by Joakim Hjelm.

Bottom Time: 41 mins.
Max. Depth: 53′
Water Temp.: 77F
Vis.: A little tannic in the basin, but cleared up, inside – apart from the gasoline halocline. πŸ™‚

Another shot, through the thick halocline. Kata, Steve, and myself in the back (in front of Jo).
Photo by Joakim Hjelm.

We surfaced, tied off our stages (which we still had usable gas in), and went over to the other line. I had a 100w LED light mounted to the back of my tanks, Steve had the Go Pro (with dual 24s), and Jo had his camera. Kata was in the front, then Steve, then me (lighting up the back), and then Jo (who moved around, a little). It was a lot of fun!

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 3 mins.
Max. Depth: 58′
Water Temp.: 77F

We still had some gas to burn, so Steve, Jo, and I went back in to take some pics, near the Madonna stalagmite. Jo took the LED light from the back of my tanks, and I was hand-holding it, so I was able to move it around, a little. This was a reallyΒ  neat learning experience, for lighting, for me. Having taken all of my shots with ambient light, I have a lot of lighting learning to do!

Bottom Time: 26 mins.
Max. Depth: 61′
Water Temp.: 78F

A video, done by Steve…

*NOTE* There are many more photos from this shoot, to come! I will make another post, when they are available! *END OF NOTE* πŸ™‚

You can see more of Jo’s shots, here (you need to enter your e-mail addy, which is not a giant deal): or on Facebook:

Some of our gear!

From here, we made our way back to the shop, dropped our tanks, to the resort, grabbed a quick bite to eat, then met some of the gang at The Pub, then back to meet some more of the gang, then to sleep!

That sure is a lot of tanks for those guys to fill! Jorge and Eduardo, you guys are awesome! Thank you!