April 23

Interviewing Don Raphael.

Restriction on The Road to Athens.


Renee on The Road to Athens.

Project Participants and Sponsors

Aquatech/Villas De Rosa
Sartek Industries
Dive Rite Inc.

(The Cenote formerly known as Calavera)

Tuesday, April 23, 2002 –
Not many items remain on our task list, so today saw the teams finishing up the last of our assigned duties and preparing to explore! The only remaining tasks were to cut back the Allison’s room line and obtain video footage of the connecting passage between Cenote Muchacho and the Cenote now officially named after Don Raphael.

Team 1 comprised of Terrence, Andy and Renee headed off to Cenote Calavara. Upon arriving at the site the team was fortunate enough to find Don Raphael at his home. Mike filmed an interview between Don Raphael and Renee (with the help of one of the surface support team, William). The purpose of the interview was to ask Don Raphael if he had a name for the Cenote on his property. He said he did not and he granted them the permission to name the Cenote. Cenote Raphael was the name suggested but Don Raphael said that Don Rach would be better. Don Rach is the more familiar name that everyone in the area knows him by. So the Cenote formerly known as Calavera is now Cenote Rach!! After completion of the interview Mike continued to video the set up portion of the dive. During the dive Terrence acquired footage of Andy and Renee swimming through some beautiful cave passages. The team swam the entire length of The Road to Athens and then surfaced at Cenote Muchacho. The team re-entered the water for the return back to Cenote Rach while more video footage was taken along the way. After a total bottom time of 78 minutes at a maximum depth of 65 feet the team exited the murky waters of the Cenote.

Team 2 consisted of Joe and Dave. The mission was to return to the Black Forest Line and explore off the right-hand (East) wall for a new passage. After securing 4 tanks each the team headed downstream. After passing the Soda Shop line a potential passage was found. After securing a line the team started down an unexplored passage. The passage meandered in a Northerly direction. The line was tied off in a large dome (by Florida standards, but not for this system in general). Survey data was collected while exiting out the newly laid line. Tie-in data was collected so the passage could be oriented to the existing system map. After a run time of 144 minutes with 44 minutes of deco the team surfaced. A quick calculation revealed the team laid 378 feet of line. The new passage has been named Sandy’s Passage in honor of Dave’s wife.

Team 3 (George and Anna) was tasked with going to Allison’s Room and converting two T’s around this area into jumps and obtain survey data in order to plot the exact origin of the Allison’s Passage Line. With three tanks each, George and Anna entered up-stream Cenote Camillo. On route to the Allison’s line they admired impressive formations along the main passage. It’s not every day one gets to swim through a minor restriction between two highly decorated columns, or duck under a ledge of stalactites. When they arrived at Allison’s room, George obtained the much needed survey data then relocated two T’s leading to this breathtaking room, while Anna marked the resulting gaps with line arrows. On the way out they briefly explored a tunnel off the main line, which had been previously marked by Mike St. Germain. Air supply did not allow for any serious exploration at that time, but George concluded that the area is promising and warrants a future visit.

Expedition Team:
Dave Duguid
Joe Fortuna
Andy Henderson
George McCulley
Anna Olecka
Renee Power
Mike St.Germain
Carri St.Germain
Thecia Taylor
Terrence Tysall

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