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The last day…
Friday, April 26, 2002-
Well… it’s the last day. This day is always a little different from the others. It’s the last dive and there is a certain sadness in the air. The team is moving a little more slowly and the excitement has seemed to wane. Yet, there is still a job to be done. So the team once again loads up the truck, runs through the morning gear checklist, rounds up the Muchachos and then heads off to Sistema Camilo.
Team 1 was made up of Andy and Renee. The team entered at Carri’s Loft to head upstream. The mission was to collect more video of the area. They needed some halocline shots so Andy and Renee went up the denial line into a small, crunchy halocline area. Andy captured video of the remains of a turtle. It seems that turtles don’t make good cave divers! During the dive at the upstream main line the team two divers appeared. It is always a pleasant surprise because it is rare to be on a dive in this system and encounter other divers. After about 60 minutes of filming and playing in halocline at a maximum depth of 72 feet the team completed 8 minutes of deco and then surfaced from the last dive of the expedition.
Team 2 (Terrence, George and Anna) planned on going back to the tunnel they discovered yesterday and continue the push. To save time they entered through Carrie’s Loft. They turned right on the first T and right on the second T. At the third T they picked up the line that was laid by Terrence yesterday and followed a winding passage through several twists and turns. When the passage began to open up, they exchanged a few exciting glances….but it was not to be! Unfortunately, shortly thereafter they saw the main line. Their promising tunnel ended on the main drag of the upstream system. They turned around and reeled out of the passage. They spent the rest of the dive looking around, paid a visit to the Halocline Room, and turned the dive. There is always the next year.
Team 3 consisted of Dave and Joe. After waiting their turn to enter into Carri’s loft the team headed back up toward the Halocline Line to simply poke around and lay some line if something really stood out. The team examined the ceiling area and discovered there appears to be an entirely new level of passage above the Halocline Line. The team secured a line and explored one of the bedding plains. The passage was at a constant depth of 50ft and a height of 3ft. Not much time was spent exploring due to the necessity of keeping the dive relatively short in preparation for the flight back to the US. The max depth was 77ft; total run time was 62 minutes with no required deco stop.
As is prudent, the last day of diving was short. There were no long dives or lengthy deco stops. Once all of the teams exited they began the breakdown process of the two base camps. All of the gear (nearly 2000 pounds total) had to be carried out of the jungle. The team then made sure that the jungle was as they found it. Nothing was left. The gear hanging lines were cut from the trees and tarps were removed. It’s always sad to say good-bye to what has become a special place, Sistema Camillo. Although the cenote has been gracious in allowing us to enter, it seems reluctant to give up some of its secrets! The entire team looks forward to a return visit to explore and learn more of this awesome system’s secrets. The tentative dates for next year are March 15-29 when the exploration continues…
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