DeLeon Springs was the area of operations for todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sampling. The team trickled in to DeLeon springs park and we began unpacking and getting ready for the day. We had a slightly smaller team today then we had on Saturday. Kris and the divers began rigging gear and reviewing the dive plan. Jeff, Katy and Rima got the sample bags and water chemistry kits ready to go. A short while later the divers where ready and began the dive!
George went to the opening of the cave to collect water samples. As soon as he returned team two, Renee, Bob and Ricky, moved toward the blowhole entrance. As usual, it was furiously blowing rocks, shells, wood, divers and any other debris that dared get near its mysterious, bacteria covered lair. Andy pulled himself in first to take pictures as each person entered the cave. Renee, Bob and Ricky, once rested, Andy and Mike followed giving team one ample time to complete sampling at station one. Team two proceeded to site two which is a side passage off to the right of the line going in.
Meanwhile back on the surface, analysis of the mouth sample quickly found that this site had at least one different reading. The nitrate level reflected differently on all three of the surface sample bottles. Most of the other tests kept their normal readings of zero.
Back inside the mungy cave, Renee, Bob and Ricky moved along to station three that is situated on a large rock where the line takes a sharp turn to the left. Renee noticed along the way that the line was buried in the sand. The line in the cave runs well above the bottom, so she quickly knew something was not right. Soon, some good sized chunks of ceiling that fallen and had the line trapped on the floor of the cave came into view. These chunks were very white limestone and there was no bacterial growth. This had happened since January 2006 when we were there last. Andy and Mike proceeded down to station number four and did the routine sampling as well as filling syringes with water which would be tested for organic carbon. Renee, Ricky and Bob then secured the samples from all four sampling sites and transported them out of the cave where they were handed over to the surface science team. Andy and Mike ventured further into the cave to have another look at the end of the line. They were intrigued when they found the source of the flow to the cave.
Once everyone was topside and the on site water testing was completed a team debriefing was conducted. Following the debriefing the entire crew gathered at the Old Spanish Sugar Mill and Griddle House for yummy pancakes. This fine establishment is located inside of the park and is an experience you wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want to miss!
A big thank you to the Boston Sea Rovers for sending us Katy Martson who served as an intern for us during this project! Katy is the 2006 Sea Rovers Frank Scalli intern. This unique opportunity allows her to explore the world of diving through several different viewpoits. Over the course of the summer she will be sent across the country to work with Sea Rover’s associates and friends to obtain a deeper understanding of the underwater world and all of its different aspects. She is thrilled to have had the experience of working with the Cambrian Foundation on this project.
Seminole Scuba again provided us with gas fills and good company. Thanks!!
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