September 18

Karl is quite excited about having an empty reel

The dive team

Kyle and Terrence relax after their dive

Renee gets secrets from the locals

More Line

Monday, September 18, 2000
One Thousand Nine Hundred Forty Four. Wow! That was a lot of line. We had one team, Mark and Tony, on the upstream side, and they laid about 450 feet of line. On the dowstream side, we had two teams, Karl and Grant and Terrence and Kyle, pushing different leads. Our last team was a more critical part of the push teams, Renee and George, who staged extra cylinders (one each) for the divers to give them longer to explore farther back into the system. After deploying the stage cylinders, they did a little snooping around for potential leads from the small tunnels near the cenote to the large passage that we have been exploring farther back.

To set up for today’s dives, everyone had to make two trips into the jungle. The trek is 0.57 miles over a rather rough trail with unsure footing, climbing over and under fallen trees and up and down hills that have been created by sink holes. Of course, it rained very lightly this morning so that the jungle felt like a big green sauna. The locals that we hired usually get all the cylinders out before we get dressed and are ready to leave, so the trip out is a bit lighter. With all of this, we hiked, with gear, over 2 miles and on our dives, swam over over 2 miles. Karl called it the divers biathlon. Maybe we can get it entered as an event in the next Olympics.

This system, Sistema Camilo, is not heavily decorated in most areas and the walls near the cenote enterance are covered with a dark bacteria or algae. As we get farther into the system, the walls become a burnt orange color, and in the deeper areas (in the saltwater), the walls are white. We have seen blind, albino cave fish, isopods and shrimp. In the basin and the cavern area of the system there are some form of catfish and several other small fish. The cavern zone has a white sand bottom that is mostly covered with a layer of mung and other decaying vegetation (leaves and tree branches).

Back at the resort, we again prepared our cylinders, slates (after transferring today’s data), reels, lights and various other bits of equipment for tomorrow. We also plotted the data from today and discussed our plan for the next few days. As the end draws near, we can reflect on the excitement of discovery and look forward to next year.

Send questions or comments to the trilobite.
Questions and Comments To the Trilobite

G-Day! (in the spirit of the Olympics) I have checked out the website and the links look awesome. Looks like everything is going great. Hope you continue to expore more exciting rooms in Cenote Camilo (checked out the map). Ya’ll are doing great on the updates, I have read all of them and look forward to viewing more as the exploration continues. Do you think you will get to any other cenote’s at this point (since Camilo is so expansive)? Sure wish I could see pictures from inside the rooms!
Everything is fine here, weather is great, best in a long time. Oooooh pig Souiiiieeee!!!, Hogs Won, 38-31 against Boise State. They said it was one of the best at LR. Sure wish you were here so we could have gone. But there will always be other ball games, and only one Cenote Camilo. I read your excerpt from Friday, I believe. I can only imagine how pumped you have got to be. I have never seen you so good and excited at something as you are diving. Good luck on the remainder of the trip. Continue to do well, and be safe. I look forward to talking to you again. Miss you much, Love you lots.

We won’t be diving anywhere but here! You’re right this system is much larger than we could have ever hoped for. Tony says he loves you and misses you terribly!

I went to the USGS web site; and used your Lat. Long to get a coastline location for you dive site. Attached as a jpeg file..Can you tell me where on your map the exact Lat. Long you sent me is located. If I get that I can plot your location on the index map with an inset of your map which does not have Lat. Long coordinates. The work sounds fascinating. Don’t forget to send me depths of stalagmites and any indication of pools of water with spleothems controlled by subareal formation. Also what about wood in the bottom of the cave system fill. Are you taking digital video that can later be converted to still photos?
Best to all
Bob Dill

Bob, what you sent me was just a .dat file (text). As for the other stuff, our maximum depth has been about 78 feet (there is a halocline around 70 feet). I don’t know if these depths interest you. Can you give me more on what you are looking for. We have seen evidence of water running along the bottom and pooling. We will be shooting some digital video in a couple of days.

Hi All…..Friday and Saturday’s update are so great! Karl and Grant — you guys must be beside yourselfs with excitement over finding the “House of the Gods” room! It sounds spectacular and I wish I could see it!!
Love to Karl, Shawn

They were exceptionally excited. That room has turned out to be part of a large passage that we are still surveying. By the way, Karl sends his love.

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