April 25

Andy deals with the psychological consequences

Competition even among plants in the Yucatan

Beautiful formations seem to be everywhere

Andy Peterson swimming above the halocline

Peering out just below “Carri’s Loft” Cenote

Another new Cenote Discovered !!

Wednesday, April 25, 2001 –
The day started off on a interesting note when on the morning hike to stage gear at Cenote Camilo was marred by a tragedy. The team was in the midst of a quiet stroll thankful for overcast skies keeping the heat in check when we were jolted from our revelry by Andy’s anguished feminine screams! Then came a blurred human figure sprinting past billowing dense black smoke from it’s stern. Of course …it was Andy! Looking much like a Elvis Presley film speeded up 10 times it was difficult to see what was going on through the thickening pall of black acrid smoke! Evidently our friend had managed to set himself on fire with diving equipment. As Andy ran about the jungle careening off trees the rest of us chanted a chorus of STOP! DROP! ROLL! Soon the flames seemed destined to rage out of control when just in the nick of time a Spider Monkey chewing on a beef stick and carrying peanut butter pushed Andy into a previously undiscovered cenote extinguishing the flames. The local fire officials ruled that Andy unknowingly set himself ablaze after placing a scuba Cylinder on top of his battery and shorting it out. The environmental impact of the incident has yet to be assessed.

The density of the jungle is amazing near the Cenote. You can be ten feet away from a new Cenote or cave entrance and not even see it. The favorite technique to find the new sites is to first plot the locations on the map and then send a team underwater to surface at the new site and get a new set of GPS coordinates. Unfortunately the GPS we were using has given up the ghost, so we use a more primitive means. We surface in the new Cenote and begin yelling until a land team cuts through the jungle to us!

George and Mark comprised Team 2 today. Equipped with four cylinders each, they headed downstream once again to recheck some survey work and explore some leads discovered the previous week. A beautiful white room and connecting tunnel was discovered off of a large break down area named The Black Forrest. This area was surveyed out and the team headed to an extremely large room discovered yesterday to investigate more leads. This room has multiple leads extending off to the northeast. This will be our focus of attention for future exploration.

Team 1, consisting of Andy, Terrence, and Mike, headed upstream to the Lemely room. After taking a brief moment to drop their stage bottles, the team tied off a reel next to the first station marker (a point where the cave line is attached or where the line changes direction) inside of the Lemely room and started searching for new passage on the wall perpendicular to the main line. After several minutes of scouting on a very large breakdown area, the team got the break they were looking for….wide open passage. As the team started laying line in the newly discovered room, they found themselves ascending into an area with huge “banded” colored stalactites and a highly decorated ceiling. A short while later, the team noticed three spectacles of glimmering light and a rather large debris cone (an area inside of the cave that has leaves, sticks, and rich organic silt that enters through a Cenote)……YET ANOTHER CENOTE IS DISCOVERED (“Carri’s Loft”)! After laying about 250′ of new line just below the Cenote, the team retreated back to the Lemely room to investigate a tunnel that was discovered by Mike and Andy a few days prior. The team tied off a fresh reel of line and headed down a rather small tunnel with a spectacular salt water halocline near the floor. After about 150′, the tunnel opened up into and area where there were indications of passages heading in 4 different directions. Bearing back to their right, the team laid about 350′ of line into the newly discovered area which was later named the “Mirage Line” (so named because of the salt water halocline, the highly decorated passage, and the contrasting dark and white appearance of the tunnel). Team 1 tied off their survey, headed back to the staging area to recover their bottles, and enjoyed the scenery as they exited the system after their 120 minute dive.

As the first explorer to enter the area just below the newly discovered Cenote, Mike had the honor of naming the third Cenote discovered on this Expedition. The massive banded colored stalactites and the three glimmers of green glowing light coming from the Cenote entrance reminded Mike of his recent vacation with his wife Carri when they visited the Grand Canyon, Canyon Deshai, and the Painted Forest.

Dive Team:
George McCulley
Mike St. Germain
Mark Corkery
Andy Peterson
Renee Power
Terrence Tysall

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

The questions and comments to the Trilobite experienced quite a delay, we are very sorry for this as we look forward to hearing from you everyday. This explains the large numbers of correspondence in today’s update.

To whom it may concern:
I see from your web site that my good friend Thecia made it, and, yes, she engaged in her favorite activity her first day there – reading on the beach! Please tell her hello for me, with much love.
Bob Frans

Bob, sorry for the delayed response but Thecia did have a great time while she was here and the entire Cambrian Dive team enjoyed her company very much!

Greetings- I am curious as to the potential for any geologic sampling that might be occurring. Due to your preservation mission statement, will you be taking any sampling. I have read your Belize expedition results and wonder if any potential connection might exist. Also, has any measurement been assessed for salinity and pH factors. Thank you. I will be watching for further mission profiles and results. M.Preston Ph.d.

Hello Dr. Preston
The mission that we are currently on is primarily exploratory. However if a scientist wishes to obtain samples for study we would be delighted to be of help. We will be coming back in late October, perhaps you would like to join us. I am hoping to interest Dr. Tom Iliffe in joining us as he is a wealth of information on Cave Biology. We haven’t done any water sampling as yet either, without a trained Scientist we didn’t want to engage in faux research. Hope to hear from you again.
Terrence Tysall

I am a sick jealous wreck!

We wish you were here with us…..add another cenote to the list, “Carri’s Loft” was discovered today!

Hey gang! I hope you had a fantastic day. The update isn’t posted Yet for the 22nd so I don’t know what happened. I have a feeling it was a good line-laying day or at least solved some of the line issues. I got home safely, but, of course, I am missing a bag. Normally I’d be happy to have my dive bag arrive, but I need the other one for Honduras! It’s always something I guess! I’ll talk to you guys when everyone is home. I don’t think I will be able to follow the updates in Honduras unfortunately.
Mark–Do you know where your hockey puck is? weeeee-waahhhhhhh Mike–Glad you didn’t bring a stretcher????? George–Make sure they keep that pitcher full!! Andy–I can’t believe you washed your feet in the kitchen sink this morning!!! YUK! Terry–Try and get along without me, okay??
Bye guys. I miss you bunches already. Carry on and I’ll be with you in spirit!

Dear Renee,
Glad you arrived home okay, the entire team misses you and says “HI”. – Mark’s carrying six extra reg’s so the next time he looses one he will have a spare. – Mike wishes he had brought a stretcher so he can take a nap and get carried to and from the Cenote. -George found his pitcher empty again and Andy has been missing ever since! -Andy says “have sink, will wash”. -Terrence says “Renee who”?
Love ya! CF Dive Team

Hi guys,
Wish I was there. Going to FL tomorrow to do a little cave diving to get my self over not being with you… hope it helps. Looking forward to seeing everyone at Phase III in Hatteras.

Greetings Senor Nat,
Have fun and be safe in Florida. Sistema Camilo is an awesome sight With some of the most beautiful passages you can imagine, we need to Plan a Mexico trip in the near future.
Regards, Mike

Hey great job! Don’t forget to change the dive team names at the end! Keep up the good work guys!

Dear Renee,
Your name will continue to remain on the dive team roster because you’re still a part of this team! See ya soon, we’re having a great time and laying a lot of new line!

Dear Andy, We are really excited to see you and the team and the daily updates. It sounds like a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. I cant imagine what its like to be the first to explore, for the first time, caves and waterways. Keep safe! We love you and cant wait to see photos and hear more of your adventures when you return. Matt, Heidi Danika and little Brookie

Dear M H D B! Great to hear from you. Have’n a grand old time down here with the dive team. I’m honored at the invite to explore caves. They’re really a great bunch of people. Don’t worry, Terrence hardly ever loses a team member… Just kidding, safety always takes top shelf around here. It’s a downpour right now, lightning and thunder. Sorry it took so long to reply, but email doesn’t happen as easily here. Take care and God Bless you, see you soon!
Love, Andy

Hi Andy: We are watching the expedition with great interest on the Internet. Great pictures. Can you post any pictures of the underwater caverns? Everyone wants to type something, so I will end. (Is it really a dry heat?)
Love, Dan and Donna

Hey there big dude!!! I hope you are having a wonderful time! I bet it is an awesome experience! Catch malaria yet? he Well, I love you very much and be careful! Love Always, Ashley Girl

Hey Uncle Andy! I miss you so much and hope you are havin’ a blast! Sounds fun… maybe next time you go cave diving, I’ll join ya. :0) I hope to see you real soon and love you lots! Your Niece, Girlfriend Laura

Dear Dan, Donna, Ashley Girl and Girlfriend Laura:
What a tremendous experience. Can’t begin to describe it. Picture Carlsbad Caverns underwater, but with cave diving, you can float up to the ceiling and check it out. I love being weightless! (if ya know what I mean!) Look forward to seeing you guys upon my return. Carla and I would love to have our nieces over for a weekend…
Love, Andy

Hi Team, I hope all is well. I was wondering if the Mexican government takes Any interest (or provides any support) in the mapping of these caves And their importance to the local ecology. How are your daily blood donations going? Ready for some DEET? I did not see a report for 4/18 and I was worried that you had nothing to write about. Maybe it’s time for another contest (that seemed to generate some interest)? No fruit this time! I wish I was with yose guys (y’all)
Regards to all, and dive safe! Carl

Hey Carl,
All is well, and thanks for all of the support. I believe the Government is funding some larger cave projects in the area. With The dry weather we have had we haven’t as much as seen a mosquito. Hopefully you will be able to join us in October, We’ll need the DEET then.

Hey guys! Just letting you know that I’m checking up on you daily! Of course, I had to write a comment today after seeing “my” room all over the updates! It is absolutely beautiful! I think I need to learn to cave dive just to go visit! I am incredibly jealous of what you guys are doing – I would love to be there: ) Tell Terrence I love him and miss him immensely…and again, could you have him shave before he comes home Saturday! Have fun guys!

Dear Allison,
Speaking of your room (“Allison’s room”), part of the team will be visiting it tomorrow for a video shoot and to checkout some potential leads for future exploration (it’s definitely some of the more spectacular cave in the system). Cave diving is fun and the exploration in Akumal is particularly exciting because of the opportunity to go where no person has ever ventured…..don’t be jealous, just learn to cave dive so you can join us in October.
P.S. We’ll be sure to make sure that Terrence is clean shaven prior to coming home!

I have been unable to open the April 18 or April 19 updates for the Akumal trip. I want to thank you for all your work and let you know that I really enjoy being able to track their progress.
–Wife of George McCulley– Therese McCulley

TR –
Hopefully by now the system is up and running. We have two more diving days remaining but really would like to have a couple more weeks. Just kidding – miss you too much. See you Saturday evening.

Great job on the updates!!! Where exactly are the new cenotes in relation to Sistema Camillo? How awesome. Great job!!

“Little Cave” Cenote is about 400′ NW
“Coati Mundi” Cenote is about 1200′ SW
And, “Carri’s Loft” which was discovered today is about 350′ West
Regards, Mike

Hey Terrence,
Just a note to say I’ve enjoyed the updates on the web site. Give the big guy (i.e. Andy, aka “the Beast”) a hug from me. Sure do miss him!

My beloved wife, Carla. I dearly miss you. Look forward to seeing you at LAX Saturday night. I have so much to tell you. This has been a dreamlike experience. Often in the caves, I feel like pinching myself, can this be real? It’s so beautiful. Proof positive there is more than just a BIG BANG at work in the universe. I know it’ll be late, but let’s go out to dinner after I arrive.
With eternal love, Andy (The Beast)

Glad to hear you arrived in one piece. Hope the diving is as much fun as it sounds / looks! Safe diving to the team, and empty some more reels. I’ll be reading with envy in my heart.
Andy Henderson

The diving is fabulous and the cave is “out of this world” (spectacular decorations that include saltwater haloclines, stalactites and stalagmites by the millions, and passages with such awesome beauty that it leaves one “breathless”). Today we found another Cenote and laid some new line into a previously undiscovered passage with a salt-water halocline to add to incredible beauty the of the highly decorated passage. Have fun in Florida, be safe, and I’ll see ya soon!

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