Happy St. PatrickÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day!
After a little PT and breakfast the team was down to two. The tanks had to be filled in the morning so we got a later start than normal. After analyzing, rigging, and going over our checklist we headed off to the site with a dive plan to be executed by Renee and Terrence.
Don Raphael greeted us with a smile as always. He said again that we were always welcome and handed us a key to his gate to keep and use when we return next day, next week, or next year. HowÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s that for landowner relations?! We are so privileged to have someone so supportive and enthusiastic about our efforts as Don Raphael.
We would like to take a moment to thank everyone at Atlan for helping us stay warm and comfortable on our four hour dive today. Not once did we even think about the cool water. Each day we use Atlan suits that have been provided to us at a significant savings. A big thank you from all of us!
Team 1: Terrence and Renee
Once we arrived at the site we transported all of the equipment down to Cenote Muchachos. At the cenote we engaged in certain clandestine operations that no one needs to know about except Donna Uggucioni at DAN! No, actually we were rigging our computers supplied by DAN to help them with their Project Dive Exploration. Our mission required five tanks each filled with 37% Nitrox. After a 70 minute swim we arrived at our task area where we adjusted lines to make it safer now that the cave is being opened to the cave diving public. One of the areas that we passed through on our way is known as the Black Forest. It is named for the many hundreds of columns and other eerie formations that fill itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s passages. The walls of the cave in this area are heavily mineralized and this entire portion of the system is as black as a cauldron.
Once the assigned tasks were finished the team had more than enough gas to engage in exploration. Along the way we saw two large Blind Cave Fish and several molting cave creatures in the water column. Renee acted as Ã¢â‚¬Å“bird dogÃ¢â‚¬Â and scouted ahead for going passage. Renee signaled that there was a possibility for going passage and asked Terrence to verify. It was evident to us that this area of the cave was of some significance and we tied our exploratory reel to a very convenient survey station and set off into the unknown. This particular lead was made even more special by the fact that it not only led us through beautiful passages, but it also terminated in a previously unknown cenote. Rising up into the cenote, the area began to change. The bottom composition went from white and delicate to dirt, sticks, and leaves. Ascending further, the clarity of the water went from crystal clear to a brown, tanic color. We swam toward the sunlight where we then emerged from the limestone. Awed, we exited the cenote and walked up out of the collapse to have a look around. Cenotes like this are important as they can become forward staging areas for exploration further into the system.
The new cenote will be known as Cenote Kaibab named after Allison and TerrenceÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s beloved Boxer. The line leading to the cenote has been named TheciaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Line after Thecia Taylor who has been on every expedition and tirelessly helps the team however needed. This week she has been nursing Grant and Karl back to perfect health so they can resume diving soon.
The incredible feeling you get when you swim into an area that no human being has ever been is something that drives every member of the team and is not taken for granted. Every foot of new cave that we are privileged to see and explore we are thankful for.
Team Member Profile
I am the West Coast, US that is, Coordinator for the Cambrian Foundation. Terrence and I met at a Tec Show over a decade ago and we discussed this funny idea he had for a foundation. Gee, look where we are now. That is pretty cool, if you ask me.
I am also a PADI Course Director, technical diving instructor trainer, closed circuit rebreather instructor and a ton of other diving related plumage. Basically, I love to help educate people, any age any time, about the aquatic realm. So, that is why I am a part of the foundationÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s efforts. I also spend a great deal of time making images and telling stories for television and film. Of course, most of that work is underwater as well. Look out for The PlanetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Best: Baja Adventure on DiscoveryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s HD Home Theater and Animal Planet in the near future. I am just glad to be able to participate with such a keen group of explorers who are so passionate about the same things as me.
- Grant Graves
- Renee Power
- Karl Shreeves
- Thecia Taylor
- Terrence Tysall
Send questions or comments to the Trilobite.
Hi to everyone…
I just got back from being landlocked in Phoenix w/no computer access. The daily updates and pictures on the website are great…of course I like the ones of Karl the best! I can’t wait to read more each day.
Keeping the home candles burning…..:~)
Thanks, love. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve been out of the water today and may be tomorrow (cold), but hopefully IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll be back in soon. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t burn the house down with the candles. Love you, Karl
Everyone here is following along on the website Ã¢â‚¬â€œ we love you, are proud of you and are praying for you!
Thanks so much for taking the time to write. All of on the team appreciate your prayers Ã¢â‚¬â€œ ask for success and good health for us. Next week we have several high school students coming down to learn about cave systems, mapping and preservation Ã¢â‚¬â€œ we hope to be able to give them something that will last a lifetime.
Love to Dave and kids,
I like the new web site. It looks like others have been diving from Cenote Muchachos, has it affected the untouched beauty of Cindy’s Passage?? Wish I was there, you lucky dogs. Dive safe and look out for “rodents of unusual size”.
The new site is awesome isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t it? The instructors down here are being very careful whom they introduce to the site. So even though the entrance is far easier than it was the cave is just as incredible as the first time I saw it! We very much wish you were here as well. Hurry up and get back in the water so you can join us next time!
Terry I think every one is being a little hard on you and I am on your side they should not
make the peanut butter jar look so much like the Christolube.
I just wish you had not used so much Chunky Jiff on your SPG.
Hey Kenny, Why arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you down here to help me with this rabble! I always thought that peanut butter was O2 compatible! Please join us next time.
Hi guys –
I just read the updates. Nice narrative – makes us feel right there. Good pictures as well. Congratulations on finding the land connection. I am with you in spirit, since I can’t be there in person.
Thanks Anna! We wish you were here. Keep hanging with us in spirit!
Renee and team
Hey Guys!!!! The pictures look GREAT!!! Oh I can’t wait to get down there!!! Everyone is very excited on this end. Terrence… you umm… having a hard time with the peanut butter?? It looks like there’s an interesting story behind that one. Most of our ducks are in a row and we’re waiting for school to let out. Hope to see you all soon. If I see Johnny Depp on the way I’ll grab him for the ladies.
See you very soon,
Thanks John. We are sooooo looking forward to you guys getting here. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re either gonna love it or youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re gonna hate it!! WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve banned Terrence from the kitchen after the peanut butter incident.