Early to rise, early to bed; most of team Fuqua awoke for PT with sore feet and arms from the previous day’s work. So, they decided to stay at the hotel and rest. One by one, the team slowly dwindled until only the three freshmen remained. The remainder of the group left early for Aktun Chen, the dry cave system we had started surveying on Tuesday. The small team quickly finished surveying the main passage of the cave. The freshmen discovered a small fissure that they decided to name “Freshman Fissure,” (a fissure is a crack, “just say no.”) They returned to the hotel for lunch and to check up on the others. After lunch, all but one of the team members had a quick snorkeling session in the pool, before they moved on to the ocean. The ocean wasn’t perfectly clear but the sight was spectacular for those who had never been before. There were an unusually large number of long-spined sea urchins. The team then moved on to their next feat: “bouncing off the walls,” as they repelled down the wall of the hotel. It was quite an invigorating experience. Before the day was over, everyone was fitted into a wet suit for snorkeling tomorrow. Catesby packed for his departure. Meanwhile Andrew, Renee, Michael and Sandra returned to Cenote Camilo. They were assisted by Boz, Josh and Woody, who were deputized to help haul gear and support dive operations topside.
Renee and Andrew finally got in the water at about 1pm, after a plethora of equipment problems. One of Andrew’s short high-pressure hoses blew just after he got in the water. The topside crew hauled the cylinder out and Michael swapped out the offending gauge. Once underwater they headed for the line they left yesterday going west. Having left a yellow line marker (cookie) for Mike & Sandra they investigated the southward end of the north-south passage with flow, looking for more passage going southwest rather than southeast and looping back to previously explored cave. Andrew pushed through some very low bedding plane in zero visibility while Renee waited back in the main passage. Nothing doing. Reluctantly they turned around to head back to the main passage where they could see Michael & Sandra’s lights as the Pouchers tied on preparing to explore to the north. As the main trunk of the passage was going north, Renee & Andrew followed Mike & Sandy, looking for leads to the west. One of these was visible behind a wall of speleothems after only fifty feet, so with some excitement Andrew tied in and reeled off into big borehole passage going slightly north of due west with black walls, dark brown hard-baked floor with numerous rimstone dams and pockets of speleothems. Most encouragingly, they were finning into discernible flow the whole time. After laying 600 feet of line into moderate-sized phreatic tube they came to a breakdown area. As one of Renee’s tank valves had started to leak they tied off and surveyed out, finally surfacing, shivering but happy, into the narrow opening of the cenote after a dive time of over three hours.
Mike and I (Sandra) lagged behind Renee and Andrew in the tiny tiny opening of Carrie’s Loft (maybe 4 feet by two feet). There were spiders everywhere! Just kidding. Renee is a little nervous around spiders. We followed the line back and up and over and around until we saw the yellow cookie Andy placed for us indicating “ONWARD”. Out came the reel and off we went. I led and Mike navigated. We headed north and west and quickly emptied two reels (Mike’s exploration reel and my primary reel, 1000 feet of line altogether). The rooms were very wide and dark, and dark brown to black encrustation covered the speleothems and ancient rimstone pools. We surveyed out. I had to restrain Mike, who wanted to race up another bigger and whiter passage – alas, we were out of line and past turn pressure. We returned triumphant. Our euphoria was short-lived when we realized the sun was descending and the tanks and gear were not walking out on their own. Out great helpers, Boz, Josh and Woody, were so awesome. They carried so much weight and in good spirits, singing to ward off the growing darkness and the myriad little blue eyes that watched us from the jungle (don’t tell Renee, but they are spiders!). The trail is rough, with deep solution tubes and “ankle rollers” everywhere. Josh fell and busted his knee, but continued! These guys deserve a medal! I had a visit from Montezuma and after trips with one tank and some gear was out of commission. I retired early while the rest of the team shared their victory, exhausted but happy.
After many trips up and down the trail to Camilo humping scuba cylinders yesterday, Karl decided to wimp out (his words) on account of fatigue and some dehydration. Instead, he and Bob returned to Cenote Muchachos for a final dive there. This helped the other team, in that it reduced the number of tanks needing hauling by eight. They explored along the Black Forest Line looking for leads off to the west, but nothing new materialized. Bob ran line into one promising lead, only to run into a line to the south and another to the west. They turned and exited, giving a final goodbye (and a Cambrian Foundation T-shirt) to Don Raphael as they left.
This closed out a highly successful expedition of mapping, exploring and studying Sistem Camilo. Tomorrow, the students and several of the divers will go snorkeling at Nohoch Na Chich (Mayan for “Giant Bird House”), one of the world’s largest and most beautiful underwater caves. Unlike most underwater caves, the entrance to Nohoch has a long overhang with an airspace with plenty of light from the entrance, making it one of the few underwater caves with opportunities to snorkel.
- Bethany Barton
- John Boswell
- Breanne Bryant
- Doug Chapman
- KO Donkor
- Woody Dunkum
- Taryn Eggleston
- Amy Giannotti
- Bob Giguere
- Jessica Langlois
- Hope Morton
- Mr. Shane Newcombe
- Josh Owen
- Andrew Pitkin
- Renee Power
- Michael Poucher
- Sandra Poucher
- Cara Robertson
- Catesby Saunders
- Karl Shreeves
- Thecia Taylor
- Ms. Stephanie Trovato
- Terrence Tysall
- Linda Wooddell
Send Questions or Comments to the Trilobite
Hey Guys!!! I hope yall are having fun!
*Jessica WE MISS YOU– its no fun with out you here!
*Newcombe- we saw the great picture of you *ready for action*:-p
..haha–The project is DUMB and noone is gonna finsh (Chelsea
will…but DUH)…its ok though…we love you and miss you!!! *We miss you in Bio Ms Trovato!! *Catesby and Kara- WE LOVE AND MISS YOU!!!!
Have a great time and come home safe!!
I Love Yall!
—> <3 Sarah
Hey dude this is Jessica (ps I accidentally wrote “this is Sarah” Haha I miss you guys too…I haven’t even seen the freaking pictures on the website AND YOU GUYS HAVE? Lol 😀 I got to blaze a trail with a machete- AKA: big knife wahaha yup yup- big fun, hard work, see you guys after spring break. Peace, love, and chicken grease: Jessica! <3
Ps. Ms. Trovato kara and catesby says hi hahah I told newcobme that mary beth sent him an email..tehehe he says hey too
Hey you guys!!
Hope ur having fun!! We miss you lots!!
~Jessica- 922! I miss you!!! Ive texted ur fone a few times lol..Guess
what… ITS MY BIRTHDAY! 😀 hehe
~Newcombe- this proj is dumb! no one but chelsea is gona finish bcuz u
gave her money (as her topic)!! We miss you alot!! and We are so glad ur
“ready for action!” < YES WE KNO WE WHINE 0:-) >
~Hope- I miss you cuzzz! Hope ur not gettin in too much trouble :-P!
~Catesby- My angel! Have fun and don’t hit ur head on anything!:-P ~Fuqua
People–Have fun! Good Luck! Come home safe!
–Freshmen do it best–make us proud 😛
THIS IS J E S S I C A- HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABE! Miss you guys! Dude I hurt muh head- Ill show you the ‘hand thingy’ when I get back..tehehe Catesby says that he didn’t hit his head too much and is doing fine newcombe didn’t read this yet-but sarahs was similar STOP FREAKING COMPLAINING-haha jkjk
Peace out- tehehe *JESSICA*
Ps. Freshmen kicked butt today-read the update- its Thursday haha FRESHMAN CRACK!
Hello Woody! It was great to hear from you yesterday. I am so glad that things are going so well. Congratulations to you, John and Josh on the scholarships. That will be another great experience for the three of you with Terrence and the Cambrian Foundation. Amy, did you have any idea how great this program would become when you first got involved with the Foundation?! Truly amazing! This has been a great experience for Woody. (You would not believe how excited he was at 3 a.m. last Saturday morning, astonishing since he usually awakens at the crack of noon on Saturdays.) It has been a great program and I sincerely hope that Fuqua School will continue the relationship for many years. Thanks to all who make it possible! Take care and keep us updated on the adventure.
Karen, Wildman Woody’s mom
Woody is currently on his way to snorkel! Woody has done a fantastic job. His leadership skills are something you should be proud of. He is very polite and respectful. He works exceptionally hard and his efforts will not go unnoticed.
Renee (project director)
Thanks for the informative updates. Hope one of those leads hits a homerun soon. I’m there in spirit, but wish I was there in person.
Anna, Thanks for following along! As always it’s good to know you are out there supporting the CF efforts.
Hey Taryn and Bree, just wondering if ya’ll are having fun because i miss you both. I cant wait to see all of the pictures you’re going to bring back. Hope you had fun at the “beach” while you were “swimming”. O well ill see
you when you get home
From your bestest friend,
Jacob “Smithers” Smith
Newcome looks like he misses all of the trouble makers from his spanish
class… espically me
Ummm…Bree and Taryn aren’t here right now…they are snorkeling. I’ll tell them that you left a
message. They are having a great time and they are looking forward to seeing you!
I was hoping that you would call me back tonight…I wanted to tell you that you are an Uncle. Lori had John Michael Owen late Monday night. I was really excited to hear about it from your mom. I know you are excited. for some reason my e-mail won’t let me attach a picture of him, but I will try again. He is adorable at lbs. 22 oz. I just wanted you to know…so congrats Uncle Joshy!
love you and can’t wait to see you,
Josh is out snorkeling right now. I know he misses you. Wish you were here!!
Hello to all!
I’ve been checking up on you guys as often as I could and it sounds like I’m missing a great time. A word of advice to the Fuqua students, enjoy this opportunity as must as possible! You will look back on it for years despite what you may view as temporary inconveniences (such as morning PT, putting up with Boz and Terrence, or hacking your way through the warm jungle). But I promise you will look back and want to do it all over again. As for morning PT, HA!, I’m quite sure that Terrence could make it more difficult than it was last year (sure beats PT at 0430 in the cold Colorado air!). Now, when it comes to Boz and Terrence…well that can be a little more difficult to survive, but I guess I’d have to say they grow on you. When you’re hacking through the jungle, just think about how many people have had the opportunity to see the things you are seeing (then you’ll know it’s all worth it). Boz, I hope you and Terrence haven’t been too hard on Mrs. G…well, at least since I’m not there to share in the laughter, lol. I digress, well I hope all is well and goes well for everyone for the remainder of the expedition.
Jeremy, We all miss you and wish you were here. Don’t worry, Mrs. G can handle the harassing. She’s tough you know! The jungle is still hot and PT is what it is! Terrence and Mrs.G make it all fun as always. 🙂
Hello Fellow Fuqaites!
Just thought I would let y’all know that since you’ve been gone, the school uniform has been abolished and Dean Joyce told us that we don’t even have to come to school if we don’t want. Jealous? Ok, well maybe I wasn’t telling the truth, but I thought I would just try to make you a little jealous since I really wish I could be in Mexico right now. Looks like you guys are having and amazing time! The new helmets look like a GREAT investment, especially for Boz! I was sorry to hear about the engine trouble with the luxury automobile… Traveling in style does have a price! I hope you’ve learned your lesson. I leave for Europe on Saturday, but I want to hear ALL about the rest of your trip when I get back. Yep, that’s right I will be hangin’ out with the Pope for Easter! Have a great time guys and be safe! You’re experiencing a trip of a lifetime! KEEP AWAY FROM THE CORAL!
P.S. I hope Terrence is behaving himself and tell the coati mundi & monkeys I said hi! See you next year!
Meg, Yes, Boz needs all of the head protection he can get! He’s a very hard worker with a great attitude as you know. We wish you were here. Your name has come up several times this expedition…all good of course!
Its your big sister! J I have missed ya around the house, I thought I would love it being an only child, well I do, but then again I don’t. Heheh…I have been driving to school a good amount this week and its sooo long and lonely without my buddy with me…. Anyways have gotten to dive yet?!!?!? If so let me know what you saw! I am packin for spring break as we speak….Good luck getting back by yourself. Mom and dad have been missing you, Your their “baby” (I feel special). I miss you, and BE SAFE diving and getting back to North Carolina.
HEY MR. NEWCOMB! J Julia and I have missed seeing you around school….
I hope everyone else is having a BLAST J
Tayrn*in science we all ask Jennifer how you are doing. We can’t wait for you to come back to chemistry class.
Love ya all
Anne, Catesby is on a plane now! He read your message last night and was honored that you wrote to him. I’m not sure why he didn’t reply!! Have fun in Bonaire!
Looks as if you guys are having a blast amd doing something worthwhile.Boz- bring your grandma some more uglies, she loves those figurines u brought her from Honduras!!! I bet Taryn hasn’t stopped smiling the entire time. Regards to Mrs Geonazi and Terrance!!!!
Boz is a good man! Good job. He has fine leadership skills and is a pleasure to work with.
Hi Ms. Trovato (aka Steph), I’m enjoying all the updates and am getting quite an education just reading about your adventures. I can only imagine the wealth of knowledge you’ll bring back. Question, if you were in waist deep water, why is it called a dry cave?
Love, Mrs. Trovato (aka Mom)
Good question. It is a dry cave meaning it’s not completely flooded. There is some water within the cave however as you have noticed. Stephanie is also snorkeling so I am answering on her behalf. Our day yesterday went very late so not everyone got to their emails.
Renee and the team
hey there k.o.,how are u and the rest of the group doing today? i hope uare having as much fun as l am following your daily adventures on thewebsite.wow,what a unique opportunity to learn about mother earth! given your curious nature,i am sure you think you’ve died and gone to heaven.well i think u have ,so enjoy! i am keeping dad ,and nana abreast of all the developments over there–k.o. can u believe i have become the
web savvy one at home? hello from dad,nana,the manis ,and ms.c.take
Should have seen KO rapelling!
Hope you are having a wonderful time. Say hello to all the gang “especially to
BOZ”. Love you, Melanie
Breanne does seem to be having a wonderful time! Boz is the bomb!
Hey everyone, I just wanted to say keep up the good work! I am so proud of each and everyone of you in this very important and challenging project! Thanks Cambrian Foundation! Bill Rotella
ps There is no way I’m going to miss out next year.
Hey Bill, Wish you could be here with us. Next year for sure!
Renee and the team
Breanne, we just saw you working. What are K O and Jessica doing? We are doing Geometry.
This is Jessica. Jessica and KO are working. Have fun with your… Geometry.