Onward Ho Through Lots of Flow!!

George mentally prepares for his dive

Rigging by Andrew

Divers debrief as locals frolic in spring

Andy secures line with the old hammer at the ‘T’

“This spring needs more garlic!”

Entering the Rock Springs cave

Today a portion of the team returned to Rock Springs with their minds set on pushing beyond a small restriction that has been considered to be possibly passable for a year or so. On Saturday it had been decided that the flow was at a reasonable level to attempt it. In sidemount configuration and a stage, Renee, Andy and George entered the cave. As usual, they passed numerous armored catfish on their way to the back of the cave, where the line splits. They dropped their stage bottle at the ‘T’ as usual, and pulled their way to the small room at the end of the line where the way on was barred by a restriction formed by a fissure which runs across the passage.

Andrew was in the lead. He tied on his reel and pushed his way on through the restriction. With a fair amount of wriggling, he was through and he moved further into the open space to find a good tie-off for the line and to allow Renee to come along behind him. Renee initially had some difficulty squeezing through until she discovered her camera was getting wedged. With some rearrangement of her equipment she was able to force her passage against the strong water current that is concentrated in this restriction. Andrew waited for her and George, using the time to find a secure tie-off for the line. He then pushed on up the slightly larger passage, which is composed of dark crumbly rock with numerous fissures in all directions from which the water flow is coming. After a short distance he came to a second tighter restriction through which he was just able to squeeze, enough to see the ongoing passage. Meanwhile George had gotten through the first restriction, but had not pushed in any further due to the limited amount of space in this confined cave. He also had the pleasure of diving in the large amount of silt and debris in the water disturbed by the two divers upstream of him, but he never complained.

Andrew tied off the line just past the second restriction, but decided that the cave passage beyond was too small to allow a team of three divers to enter safely. Rather than split the team, he decided to call the dive and survey out. Both restrictions were considerably easier to get through with the flow helping rather than opposing movement and the team got back to the ‘T’ without further incident. After a little line maintenance they had a leisurely drift back out of the cave into the bright Florida sunshine.

Thank you again to everyone who participated in this expedition. Thank you Seminole Scuba for the fills! This project would certainly have been less successful without you. Join us again in January as we continue the Central Florida Springs Project.

Email us with questions at trilobite@cambrianfoundation.org

Dear Renee,
Congratulations on a successful Project!
Thecia (your Mom)

Hi Mom (Thecia),
Thanks! All went well and we’re all happy and safe.
Renee

Team Members:
Jeff Chanat
Rima Franklin
Bob Giguere
David Hurley
Katy Marston
Melanie Masessa
George McCulley
Randy Munro
Andrew Pitkin
Tom Postel
Michael Poucher
Sandy Poucher
Renee Power
Kris Shannon
Ricky Simon
Marissa Williams
Don Zoecklein

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