Last Dance

Amanda snorkeling in NoHoch Nah Chich.

Josh snorkeling in the cave.

First cave snorkel ever!!

Woody explores the world below the surface.


Project sponsor–Divers Alert Network

March 26, 2004, is the last day that the Fuqua School team will be assisting the Cambrian Foundation divers. Tomorrow the divers leave to go back to their different homes. Today the Fuqua team and the Cambrian Foundation went snorkeling in No Hoch Na Chich. This is an underwater cave. The Fuqua students were amazed by the sites that they saw. The water in the cave was crystal clear. The speleothems were absolutely fantastic, pure white walls and tiny little fish everywhere. After spending about a total of three hours at No Hoch, the Cambrian Foundation and the Fuqua students went to Casa Cenote, which is a little restaurant, looking over a white sand beach and turquoise water. There the students enjoyed different types of delicious foods. After eating, the Cambrian Foundation and the students went to Tulum to see the Mayan ruins.

The Mayan ruins will take a person’s breath away. The site from the cliff is unbelievable and the tombs and temples were magnificent. The ancient city is overlooking a cliff that has a view of the second largest reef in the world. Tulum was a very significant religious place for the Mayan people. The sculptures and hieroglyphs depicted the Mayan’s beliefs on life and death as well as shrines to their gods. The bond between a man and a woman is very strong in their culture – some of the carvings and the actual walls of the city show a man and a woman’s face looking at each other. The city itself is a work of art. Even the holes in the walls are special. Some were constructed so that the sun and moon would shine in them during certain days in the calendar year, like the equinox. There is also a large room/building in the middle of the city that is an elaborate sundial. These people where clearly ahead of their time. Today was a wonderful day, and we will miss the Cambrian team tomorrow.

The evening ended with our last delicious meal from Villa DeRosa. We will all surely miss the wonderful food and hospitality provided by the staff. Once we finished dessert, everyone retired to the Cambrian condo for a project debriefing. Our evening ended with a viewing of Bob’s spectacular film from our snorkel in NoHoch Nah Chich this morning.

On behalf of the Fuqua Team, we would like to say thanks to the Cambrian Foundation for providing us with this awesome opportunity to discover and explore new things that some may never get to see in their entire lives. We look forward to working with the Foundation in the future, and wish them all the best of luck.

We finally arrived back at Villas DeRosa around 1820. After dinner we all began packing as today is our last day. In the evening, we all gathered to watch some of the video Bob shot of the group snorkeling. Everyone shared a bit about what the expedition meant to them. It was very touching to hear the wonderful ways in which the Cambrian Foundation has made a difference in so many lives. Several members of the dive team expressed what a great experience it was to have the students on the expedition. Those that couldn’t make it this year truly missed an unforgettable experience.

As we wrap up the Akumal 2004 expedition, the Cambrian Foundation would like to recognize our sponsors and those that have made this project possible: Divers Alert Network, the National Association of Cave Diving, Project AWARE Foundation, Villa DeRosa, Aktun-Chen Park Naturale, DiveRite, Sartek, and the National Speleological Survey/Cave Diving Section.

Farwell and thank you from the entire Akumal 2004 expedition team!

Team Members

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

Hello to all the Fuqua people!! I am SO JEALOUS;
but it looks like you guys are having an amazing time. Wish I could be there! Take lots of pictures, learn as much as you can, and have fun!! I can’t wait to hear all about it when you all get back.

Have fun and be safe!
Hi to Mrs. G!

Rebecca Tennant

Hey! How are you? This is Amanda. We are having a ball. Mrs. G said hello. Well, I guess I’ll see you at school on Monday. Amanda

The daily updates are fantastic! The way you have been able to share with us doubles the excitement of each activity and discovery. Many thanks for the vicarious experience. “Hi” to Annie and all the Fuqua Team.

Gene and Ann Rudy

Annie has run off to beddie by. She’s been doing great and is quite the caver! Renee

Greetings Everyone-
Looks like there’s plenty of action over there. New cenotes multiply like mushrooms, scientific data collected daily, laying line, surveying…With all that going on it’s hard to believe there aren’t some extra troops hiding in the jungle helping out.j Or maybe it’s that Mexican water turning you guys into super-humans?

It’s fun to read your daily updates. Although I’m still waiting to see a picture of Renee with five tanks.

Keep up the good work.


Hi Anna! Yes, there is plenty of action going on. Just think of me with four tanks and add one! I found a new place to stow it. I clipped it to my left upper D ring and let it fly off to the left. It has less drag that way. On return, I clipped it to my scooter ring and it floated up a bit. Perfect! The cave is so big where we’ve been it doesn’t’ cause any damage.

Take care!

Dear Terrence and others,
Thanks for your quick reply. Now we have another question.
Was Bat Cave slimy and cold and wet? Do you think the centipede creature was a new species? What kind of species of snakes/scorpions/spiders have you seen in the jungle? Have you seen any turtles anywhere? Was the cave dangerous? Do you know how deep the Blue Hole is? Have there been any injuries on this expedition? Has it been a scary or exciting time since you have been there?

Thank you! We are enjoying all the pictures. Artie you look great!!

Mrs. Ahr’s Class

Hi Mrs. Ahr and students…Amy here. Thanks for following along with our expedition! We are excited to have you join us via the internet! I wasn’t in Bat Cave, but Terrence and Josh said it was certainly slimy, cold, and wet! We saw a few spider, snakes, and scorpions, but I’m not sure what species they were. John caught a turtle at Dry Cave/Cenote the other day, and it was a cute little baby one! The cave isn’t dangerous…as long as you are properly equipped and are all staying together. It has been an exciting time, we haven’t had any injuries, and we can’t wait to do it again! The Blue Hole of Belize, which you have probably read about on our website, is 408’ deep in the center, and it is located just south of here in Belize. Thank you for writing!


It was good to see that you have all your appendages still. Is that why you and Boz are in different groups this year? Lol Luke was SO excited to see your picture. He said, “He really is there!It looks like he has an Egypt hat on.” (That sure sounds better than Auburn!) Rach said hello to everyone. Will you all be going near the island of the “sleeping sharks”?


Yep, all the arms and legs are still attached and working well (besides being sore from working and Terrence’s mornings PT). Well I am glad Luke liked the pictures and the hat was for protection (to keep bat droppings and such off me, lol) and I was wearing the Auburn hat over the shirt most of the time. We’re not going near any islands that I know of, lol, but we did go snorkeling just off shore. Today we are going to Na Hoch Na Chich to snorkel and then we are going to go to Tulum. It should be tons of fun, and it will be a chance to see something unique. Tell everyone hi for me. I’ll see you all Sunday.


Hello Meg et al,
This is the most fabulous reality series I have ever seen—thank you for the many exciting experiences that you have taken time to share with your many fans. Bat droppings, snake searches, coral digs (in feet), and, my favorite, the monkeys have kept us on the edges of our seats! Meg, you have got to hold one of those seem darling monkeys! Did I really say that? I did!!! Much love to you all. J

Hi! Thanks for your note. I’m haven’t gotten to hold a monkey but I did “shake hands/paws” with a coati mundi (a Mexican raccoon). Very Cute! The beaches are amazing and today we’re going snorkeling in a cave and later to Tulum to see the Mayan Ruins! I’ve heard the beach there is amazing! I can’t wait! I hope that all is well, and once again thank you for your kind notes! BYE!!! -Meg-

Hi, Amanda!

Sorry I missed your call tonight! We are really enjoying seeing all the many pictures and keeping up with each day’s events. We can’t wait until you get home so we can get a play by play account of everything! The house sure is quiet without you!

We look forward to seeing you in Raleigh! Sunday night cannot come too soon! Have a safe trip home! We love you!

Mom, Dad, Stockton, Grannie, Pop, & Tony

P.S. A special thank you to everyone from the Cambrian Foundation for allowing the Fuqua students to experience such an awesome adventure! Be safe!

Thanks for the e-mail. I will see you on Sunday. Love yall Amanda.

Hey Josh,
That’s so awesome that you got to name a cave. I’m sure they all are amazing because the pictures are great! Lynchburg isn’t the same without you here, so come back not hurt! I still wish I was there, but I love reading what you guys are doing everyday. Tell everyone I said hello and I miss not being able to see them. Be safe and have a great rest of the week. I’ll see you Sunday. Miss you!

Love, Beck
Beckster (for my Meg)

Hey Becky, Thanks for the messages. We are still having fun and no one has gotten hurt. I’ll see you when we get back. Keep up with the updates and pics. Miss you too!

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