3- I Can’t Tell You…

15 02 2018

Thursday, February 15th, 2018 ~

Today’s dive was at a site that we had never been to before, and cannot really disclose info on. It was a good distance into the jungle, and not very well-known. The land owners were pretty friendly, and showed us the direction in. We parked, then went to look around, to find the entry, and brought our tanks down. The stairs weren’t bad, but there were a few steep steps that I knew that I would need an arm to climb up, with my tanks on!

We looked down another path, that another cenote was, but didn’t want to venture too far, wearing only flip flops and shorts. We tried to narrow our chances of getting invested with ticks.

Second path…

As we were prepping gear, another couple unloaded, to dive the other cenote.

Looking down, to the large cenote…

Steve went in without gear on, to locate the line, so we didn’t silt up the area, looking around, with gear on (very silty bottom). We did find it, so we got ready to dive!

What. An. Awesome. Cave. This place has just about everything: decorations, big passage, small passage, restrictions, up and down crevices, chocolate sauce decorations, and just freaking amazing. We will definitely go back to this place!

Gear: AL 80s ~ Back gas, only

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 11 minutes

Max. Depth: 44′

Water Temp.: 77F

Avg. Depth: 32′

After our dive, we met up with some other folks that were swimming in the cenote. One was a local, and the other two were from the US.

Definitely some happy cavezzzz faces!!!

2- Caracol

15 02 2018

Wednesday. February 14th, 2018 ~

Ale and Peter kept us out late, so we weren’t as quick to get up, this morning (of course, we had nothing to do with it – nope, not a bit – that’s our story, and we’re sticking to it). I say that, but the torrential downpour did wake me up, in the wee hours.

Oren just happened to be in the area, so he was joining us on a dive to Caracol. We had been given directions to some pretty parts of the cave, so we were looking forward to seeing it!

On the jungle road, leading to the cenote, we drove past more wildlife than I remember seeing, in the past.

We saw a bunch of lizards…

A couple of vultures, that appeared to be waiting for us…

We also saw a little fox, that took off, once he noticed us. He didn’t stick around long enough, for us to ask him what it is that he really says…

We also saw a couple of mini road runners (ok, that’s not what they are really called, but that’s what they looked like). They ran across so fast, that one of them wiped out, when he hit the brakes. It was almost like he was skidding on ice. They were too fast, to get a picture of. We did learn that they are called, “agoutis.”

Ok, back to diving! They charge 250 pesos, per person, and if you pay an extra 100 pesos, the guys that work there, will bring your tanks to and from the benches, above the stairs. They don’t take them down, but will help to ease the load. Those steps are so friggin’ steep, and when you’re as vertically challenged as I am, you wish for the tank fairy to bring them up and down, for you. They are so steep, that when I take each step down, the butt end of my tanks hit the stair behind me. That’s a little unnerving, when you have about 120 lbs on your back. Nice and slow… nice and slow… Thank goodness they have decent hand rails, along the way.

Photo from a few years ago. At least they have better traction on the stairs now, than they did in this photo!

Caracol is a lovely, shallow dive. We realized that bringing a stage was probably overkill, but we were unsure of the distance that we were traveling, so we opted to bring one, just in case.

There were a bus-load of snorkelers jumping in, as we were entering the water. They seemed to be having a lot of fun. The cenote people didn’t turn on the lights for them, as we were hoping they would. It’s gorgeous, when they do!

Photo, from a few years ago, taken with an iPhone…

Oren led, Steve was #2, and I was #3. It seems that the main line has been cut back a bit, closer to the STOP sign, which was probably a good idea. We took the line behind the staircase (upstream), jumped, swam to the end, tied into another line, swam past another cenote, and as we passed the second cenote, dropped our stages. Holy smokes, that was a long swim. We swam some more, got to the end, tied into another line, and got to some slightly more narrow passage, with many decorations. There were even a couple of rooms with highly decorated “chocolate sauce” formations. We were not yet at our turn pressures, but we had been swimming for an hour and sixteen minutes, and still had to swim all the way back. Team consensus was to turn back. “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming,” I kept singing to myself, along with wishing I had my scooter. Ah, well… get some exercise, right? Something has to take place of the farm work, this week!

I was happy to see the STOP sign, even though it really was a nice dive. Day 2 of cavezzzz, and we already put in a good workout. After surfacing, I hadn’t even reached my back gas turn pressure.

Bottom Time: 2 hours, 16 mins.

Max. Depth: 28′

Water Temp.: 77F

Avg. Depth: 17′

Now, to climb back up those stairs…

It was fun to dive with Oren, too! Or… half of what we remember of Oren, when we last saw him, in September! Looking good, Dr. O!

1- Minotauro

15 02 2018

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018 ~

After our rigamarole (yes, I used that word…), in trying to get to Cave Diving Goodness, we finally made it. This morning, Steve spent some time playing with his rack… ok, he was putting together his LP50 rack, then we threw some gear together, and went diving. I kept having that feeling that I was forgetting something, as you do, on your first day.

Steve’s pretty LP50 rack…

We decided on Minotauro, since it was getting on in the day, and it was close by. There were two other groups there: a GUE cave course, and a sidemount crew. Both teams were in the water, already.

Stairs, going down to the entry:

As we pulled into the entrance, the mujere let us know that we were to pay at the cenote, instead of at the house, like we always had. We kept driving down the path, and saw new park signs, as we went. Apart from the road taking a different direction than I remembered, all seemed the same… until we got to the parking. Half of the parking lot was roped off, and there were extra palapas, with life vests and snorkel gear. They also had a tree adventure place, which we did not investigate. The fellow taking our money said that the tree adventures were new, and the price for diving had gone up to 300 pesos. We signed in, paid the fellow, and that was about the same moment that I remembered what I had forgotten… the hose to connect my drysuit hose to my She-P. Well, this should be interesting.

Well, if there ever was a field fix for that, I have come up with another one. Apparently, electrical tape will hold the quick disconnect to the She-P, if you use a figure 8 pattern. You must also have both sides of the QD. It actually worked. Enough said.


We were just using back gas, since it was our first day back. We did our gear checks, and away we went. We took the jump to the left, that takes you to the “underwater river,” which is awesome, if you’re diver #1. If you stay in the fresh water, you can really see the beautiful halocline, drawing a line above the salt water. Of course, there are a couple of spots that diver #1 cannot avoid going through it, and causing diver #2 to be blinded with gasoline water. At least I could pay back, on the way out. 😁

Our dive was nice and relaxing, although I did feel like I was breathing slightly heavier than normal, because… CAVEZZZZZZZZZZ! I was a little happy to be back, seeing pretty cavez.

Where the cave begins…

Bottom Time: 1 hour, 19 mins.

Max. Depth: 47′

Water Temp.: 77F

Avg. Depth: 24′

The walk back up…

Of course, we had to celebrate being back in the Mexico cavez, with a couple of Daquiris, at The Pub, where we had a great dinner and chat, with Ale and Peter! I can’t believe that we didn’t take a photo! I mean… other than the beverages! Cheers, until tomorrow’s adventure!