Logged Out at Apopka

View of Apopka Blue Sink.

View of Apopka Blue Sink.

Apopka Blue Sink
by Amy Giannotti

This morning the team met at the City of Apopka Public Services Department in order to sign liability and release waivers with city personnel. Our sampling site today was Apopka Blue, a sinkhole managed by the City of Apopka. This particular sinkhole is especially unique and important to understand because it is the farthest known upstream location of Rock Springs Run.

Cambrian Foundation team meeting with City of Apopka personnel.

Cambrian Foundation team meeting with City of Apopka personnel.

Our waivers signed, the team headed to the site with Jeff Plaugher, Assistant Public Services Director. The city’s fire and EMT services stopped by for a safety briefing in order to become familiar with the site should we require their assistance. After the briefing, the team worked to prepare the sampling equipment and get the divers and their gear down to the bottom of the sinkhole.

Apopka Fire Rescue staff participate in our pre-dive safety briefing.

Apopka Fire Rescue staff participate in our pre-dive safety briefing.

It was decided that Terrence would do a brief dive to set the decompression cylinders and take the first sample at the mouth of the cave. He surfaced with some very disappointing news. It would be impossible to conduct today’s dive operations due to recent dumping in the sinkhole. There were many cut trees and debris that had been thrown in completely blocking the entrance to the cave and it will take a number of days to clear out the rubbish.

Jef, Bob D., and Terrence place the lines for traversing the terrain around the sink.

Jef, Bob D., and Terrence place the lines for traversing the terrain around the sink.

The team was able to analyze the samples Terrence retrieved from the mouth of the cave, packed away all the dive gear, and decided to make the best of our surprise free afternoon. We all headed over to Rock Springs to take a look at the cave there and hiked all around Kelly Park to see all the different karst formations.

Honoring our esteemed project director, Marissa Williams!!

Honoring our esteemed project director, Marissa Williams!!

Tired, hot and covered in ticks, the team headed to Jef’s house where we enjoyed an amazing dinner prepared by his lovely wife, Sarah. Thank you so much!! After dinner, the team was able to skype with Conrad, a Cambrian Scientific Diver who was unable to join us for this expedition. (We can’t wait to see you next time, Conrad!!)

Many thanks to the City of Apopka for their cooperation, coordination, and support. We look forward to continuing our partnership. And again, thank you to Seminole Scuba.

Questions or comments for the Trilobite?

Cambrian Foundation Team:
Bob Dehler
Jef Frank
Amy Giannotti
Betsy Hackley
Aaron Mills, Ph. D., University of Virginia
Kris Shannon
Karl Shreeves
Terrence Tysall
Marissa Williams

Our visit with Conrad (and his helmet!) via Skype!

Our visit with Conrad (and his helmet!) via Skype!

Orlando Spider Cave Crayfish (Troglocambarus sp.) - known ONLY to this cave system...has no eyes, no pigment, etc. This specimen was returned immediately to the Sink after taking the photo.

Orlando Spider Cave Crayfish (Troglocambarus sp.) - known ONLY to this cave system...has no eyes, no pigment, etc. This specimen was returned immediately to the Sink after taking the photo.

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