Dry Cave Completely Surveyed

Amanda and Josh doing water sampling.

The crew helps the dive team unload tanks.

Bob rigs his doubles.

Meg lowers a tank to Grant.

Shane watches Dora sketch the cenote.

Students during their snorkeling class.

We…love…PT! It all began again at 0630 this morning. Terrence had us running down the beach in a line passing a coconut to each other. We looked quite humorous to the people watching us from their balconies! We left in two groups around 0930 and drove to our respective destinations.

Dive team: Karl, Grant, Renee, and Bob
Assisting team: Mrs. Bounds, Mr. Newcombe, John, Brian, Meg and Meagan.

Today the dive team again went to Cenote Muchachos, We woke early and did our morning PT, which was a little less harsh than the morning before. (but, don’t tell Terrence please) We loaded the gear and headed to Don Raphael’s place to start the day. The team got in the water without incident. The first team of Karl and Grant went in first, followed much later by Renee and Bob. The second group went later because they were attempting to get some film of the cave system, but there were a few technical errors. The first team found some promising passages, more on that as it develops. Meanwhile the supporting team enjoyed a much more lax afternoon of reading, painting, playing cards and the endless chatter spewing from Mr. Mackintosh’s mouth. I enjoyed a book and soaking my feet in the cool cenote, and later attempted to climb a tree to Mackintosh’s amusement. Then the second team of divers resurfaced closely followed by the first, and then the survey team showed up pretty much all at once. Then we packed all the gear up and headed to Villa De Rosa. It was a very productive yet relaxing day.

Cave Team: Terrence, Artie, Annie, Jeremy and Woody
The cave is even more beautiful the second time around. Today we went to the new cenote, Hidden Breeze, which Josh discovered yesterday. We surveyed all the line that had been pushed. Since it was our last day in the cave, we named many of the formations and rooms. Some of the names include the Tarantula’s Lair, Baby Cenote Junction, and the Hut Room. It was really cool knowing that the names we used for these rooms will be used forever. Jeremy stumbled across another Mayan wall, but we did not have time to explore what was behind it. With the job done, we presented the owner of Aktun-Chen, Lorenzo, with a Cambrian Foundation T-shirt. While waiting for Amy to pick us up in the van, we all played with the monkey, and it pulled off Artie’s Camelbak’s mouthpiece. It was a great day in the cave and we all left with a satisfied feeling knowing that the job was done, at least for now.

Jungle Team: Mrs. Giannotti, Josh, and Amanda
Today’s jungle team was very interesting. Today the three team members went to eight different cenotes. We collected data consisting of pH levels, specific conductivity, total dissolved oxygen, nitrate levels, and the temperature. Today when we went to Cenote Camilo we took a dip in the cenote to cool ourselves off. Today’s team was enjoyable. We had a blast and hopefully we will be able to plot our data soon.

Dive Team
Today Grant and Karl headed through Muchacho to the northern part of the system. Flying five cylinders of EAN36, they pushed a new line through low sidemount passage below the halocline, similar to the line put in by Renee and Karl yesterday. Grant led, laying out this new passage, called the Off Ramp. While Grant surveyed the Off Ramp line, Karl collected five water samples at different levels in the water column, ranging from the ceiling (fresh water) to below the halocline (salt water). They returned to the surface after a total dive time of approximately 158 minutes.

Meanwhile, Renee and Bob went into Muchacho on a two cylinder run to shoot video. Bob captured footage of Renee demonstrating reel use and surveying, and surfaced after 73 minutes. During their dive they saw a beautiful blind cave fish very near the entrance. What a sight!

We all regrouped at Villas DeRosa. Terrence and Artie led the group in a snorkeling class to prepare for the trip to NoHoch Nah Chich (Mayan for giant birdhouse) tomorrow. After dinner we went into Akumal to let the students phone their parents and get ice cream. There’s very little time left and we plan to fill it up with more fun!

Team Members

  • Artie Ahr
  • Amy Giannotti
  • Bob Giguere
  • Grant Graves
  • Renee Power
  • Karl Shreeves
  • Thecia Taylor
  • Terrence Tysall

Fuqua Team
  • Meg Barkley
  • John Boswell
  • Woody Dunkum
  • Meagan Jones
  • Brian Mackintosh
  • Amanda Massie
  • Josh Owen
  • Annie Rudy
  • Jeremy Wyatt
  • Dora Bounds – teacher
  • Shane Newcombe – teacher

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

Hi Fuqua School “Ambassadors”–it is great being able to follow your expedition on the Web. You certainly look like you are having fun–great pictures (and what a nice outfit, BOS–is that Spandex in the dress code?)

Give my best to Amy, Mrs. Bounds, and Mr. Newcombe, too. Wish I could be there–NOT!!

As always, you guys make us so proud to be a part of Fuqua School where things like this can happen. Thank you to the Cambrian Foundation for making this and similar adventures possible. Keep up the good work–and come home safely.

Love you,
Judy Sams

Hello. This is Amanda Massie. Thanks for the wonderful e-mail Mrs. Sams. Everyone says hi and we hope to see you soon. We are all having a blast here in Akumal. We are learning all new things that we didn’t know before. Mrs. Bounds wants to know how your days at Saint Christopher’s went. Meg also says hello and we are thinking about you. We will all see you on Monday.
Thanks for the e-mail. Fuqua School Team

Son, I want to apologize now for dragging you down the road with a rope while you were skateboarding and you fell off but didn’t yell for me to stop (bloodied elbow). Then there was the time I pulled you down the driveway on your back, because you pants me in front of the whole world (bloodied back).

Now its come to this, I never anticipated that you would let your Akumal 2004 expedition partners drag you down the beach so as to better the team (photo. Mar 23rd, 2004), that is so considerate of you. You actually have grown into the person you were raised to be. One more year at Rollins and my dream will be fulfilled (ha ha). I am so proud to be your father, but please don’t ride any horses. O yeah didn’t you tell me you could hold your breath longer than Terrence?

Love Dad
P.S. New Smyrna was waist to chest on Sunday with a 5 mph offshore wind,water temp 65 and clean.

Hi Mr. Ahr….Thanks for your email. Artie has made a full recovery and will soon be trying out for the equestrian team in Akumal. 

The Team

Hey, Jeremy are you ok? We have seen pics (with the exception of the group pic on the first day) of everyone except you, Shane, and Dora. Are you all not telling us something? You are mentioned in the writing…but I have no proof you are ok. There is no ROV (I think that is right name) to drop on your toe this year….so…are you really there and ok or doing your typical hiding from the pic or taking the pics? You also have made no response to the emails. BOTH of your parents are wondering now….lol
Mom and Dad

Hello Mom, Dad, Luke, and Rachael, I just thought I would respond to show that the emails are getting through and that I am perfectly okay. We are all having a wonderful time and have learned quite a bit. We have had so many unique experiences on this adventure; it will not be forgotten anytime soon. Well, keep checking in to see what is happening, and I will see you all on Sunday.


Hi Guys,

Just took time out of my desk job and went on expedition with all you Mayan gods…Thanks for lifting my spirits. Love to Grant, Terrence and Karl. Need a second camera ? I’m ready when you call.


So wish you were here. Next year, we can get you ready by then. We can always use a second camera you know that. Miss you tons and everyone says hello. We all wish you were here with us.


Bob G.
I thought about warning your fellow “cave” people about you, but it seems there are as out there as you!!!! I LIKE THAT. What an awesome experience you guys are enjoying. Please let me carry your tanks on the next visit??? Rita says hi. Let’s have some nice wine when you get back.

‘the renovator’

Hey Renovator…you can carry my tanks now! I’ll be home on Sunday and I like Merlot.


Hello all!!
Tell Terrence not to be too hard on those kids with his PT in the mornings! I know how it is because I’ve suffered through them many many times!! The students seem to having a wonderful time – I am so jealous of all of you 🙂 How far back have the kids gone in the dry cave? I agree with Keith’s comments about posting more pictures – of the dry and wet cave! Good luck to all and I’m glad to see it’s been so successful! Tell Terrence I can’t wait for him to come home and that I love him!

P.S. Tell Amy Allie and Sadie got along so well…other than the fact that Allie wanted to eat Sadie’s head and foot!

Hey Sweetie,

The kids have been about 1500 feet back into the Aktun – Chen system. Today we gathered about 2000 feet of survey data and the day before Josh discovered a new surface opening. I miss you and the puppies and will see you very soon.


I just wanted to tell you all that I am okay. Tell Cathey, Howard, Grannie, Pop, and Tony that I miss them and I’ll see them when I get back.

Love Amanda

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