Bright and early everyone was up preparing for departure. With packed bags and fond memories, the team drove off of the Villa DeRosa property for the last time this expedition.
The 2006 Akumal expedition was truly successful adding over 4000 feet of line to the system bringing the total length to nearly 32,000 feet. Line cleanup was conducted in several areas of the system to help ensure more effective navigation. Team camaraderie was high with members assisting each other during jungle hikes, expedition tasks, and with all aspects of the dives. High School student Kris Shannon took part in a unique educational experience that provided him opportunities to learn effective dive planning, expedition logistics, team dynamics, cylinder analysis, dive supervisor responsibilities, equipment maintenance and local customs and language. Landowner relations were heightened further when contact was made early in the expedition to ensure continued access.
Thanks are extended again to our expedition sponsors. Thank you Cambrian Foundation board and president for the time you spent before, during and after the expedition to ensure its success. Sartek Industries, Inc. supports the Cambrian Foundation with lighting and other technical needs. Dive Rite donated line, arrows, non-directional markers, slates, oxygen sleeves and underwater notebooks to the expedition. These items make diving logistics, survey and communication much more effective. The Cave Diving Section (CDS) of the National Speleological Society and The Cambrian Foundation each generously donated $500 that was used toward the purchase of oxygen and to help hire our faithful muchachos. Thank you to the entire 2006 team who donated their time, money and efforts in order to participate in this expedition. Nancy, Wayne and the whole staff at Villa DeRosa were ever present and ready to assist when needed. The team wishes extended thanks to you also for having our needs met even before our arrival. The muchachos were extremely generous with their support and time and they will always be considered teammates. Thank you to the locals for teaching that it is important to take time to smell the flowers. Thank you to Thecia (team Mom) who returns every year bringing lots of snacks, napkins, first aid supplies, team cups, the dish drainer and her relentless support.
Changes were everywhere. Our landowner friend Don Raphael’s gates were closed due to his passing. Roads are being widened and communication towers soar to the sky. Expansion is everywhere including right next to the treasured Camilo cenotes. There seems to be a fine line between progress and loss. We look forward to the future of this area and to continued exploration.