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“More exploration of Calavera!”
Thursday, April 18, 2002 –
Today a portion of the team continued to explore Cenote Calavera. Apparently, the locals do not know this Cenote as Cenote Calavera. With the permission of the Don Raphael, the landowner, we hope to be able to name it, Cenote Raphael in honor of it’s owner who has been gracious enough to let us visit his wonderful Cenote.
This morning George, Andy and Renee continued exploration of Cenote (for now) Calavera. Each team member had to walk at least knee deep into the Cenote area. Fins are not donned until arriving at the rock overhang area at the other side of the Cenote.
At that point the team in the order of Renee, Andy and George (for survey purposes upon exit) began the zero visibility descent into the cave. Due to the stagnant nature of the basin the entrance is always done in zero visibility. The team went left at the “T”. Shortly after the descent Renee experienced some minor equalization problems. When it became obvious that the issue was not resolving itself, the decision was made by Renee to turn the dive. George and Andy escorted Renee to the exit and then bid her farewell to continue a fabulous dive! On the surface Renee and William (one of the surface support team) chatted in Spanish (well…), went Tarantula hunting and learned about the infamous Mexican “Pizza Tree” (more on that another day). The mission for the team was to try answer questions concerning other entrances to Cenote Muchacho. On side-mount, using 3 stage bottles each, they attempted to complete the mission. Tomorrow additional dives will be conducted in seach of more data.
Another portion of the mission was to place two marked, opposing line arrows on the line to indicate the half way point to direct divers to the nearest exit. After the mission was completed, and 1:40 minutes later, Andy and George emerged from the inky blackness only to find Renee and William reviewing the alphabet in Spanish. The team finally cleaned the sediment off of their equipment and then returned to Villas DeRosas for a well- deserved lunch.
After sending the diving team into the jungle various duties including underwater video preparation kept the remainder of the team on non-diving status for the day.
Mike St. Germain
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