25 more…24 more…23 more…

Boz exemplifies teamwork!

A Coati Mundi and a Spider Monkey play.

Queen Palmetto Meagan

You ought to be in pictures Brian!

Renee, Terrence, Thecia, Grant and Karl

Well, it’s time to load up the van and leave beautiful Villas DeRosa yet again. Before the dive team left, we were each presented a card signed by all of the Fuquaites. They asked us to sign the t-shirts they had made for the expedition. We took farewell photos together and hugged each other goodbye. It was a sad day as the dive team departed. The Fuqua folks had one more day to themselves before they leave on Sunday. We’re sure they did morning PT and hiked around in the hot sun all day carrying tanks and trying to help anyone and everyone they could find!

On the way home, the Akumal team staff shared more about our experiences during the expedition. Silence often filled the air as we remembered quietly some special times. Then came the reality check. It was weird arriving back at our homes. Oh yeah, we can drink the water out of the faucet! There is laundry to do, dive gear to stow, bills to pay, and emails to answer. I guess I should prepare my taxes, too! We’re already looking forward to another adventure in Akumal.

Another expedition has come and gone for the Cambrian Foundation in Akumal, Mexico. A beautiful cave system awaited our arrival. We expected to explore Camilo, but we learned so much more.

One goal was to put line in new cave and expand the map that we will be made available. Due to sickness, we had a small dive team to accomplish our in-water goals. We not only added some line, but discovered a new cenote, Kaibab, in the process. A trail was chopped to two of the cenotes to have land acquisition available. We further developed our landowner relations with Don Raphael who by allowing us to dive on his property makes this expedition possible. Divers Alert Network invited us to participate in the Project Dive Exploration. With the data we provide, we will contribute to their database the information that helps to make diving more safe for all of us. The Foundation took a giant leap this year by involving high school students from the Fuqua School in Virginia. These students were to shadow the dive team with project logistics. Cave survey was new to everyone during their two hour survey class on the beach. Over the next three days they surveyed a “dry” cave and will present the first time ever map to Aktun Chen. They navigated and chopped trails. They helped to blend nitrox and learned how to supervise diving activities. The students developed further their team building skills. Fears were overcome and dreams fulfilled. Opportunities to grow were ever present and met with great eagerness. Bonding took place between the dive team and the students. Once instructed we trusted the students to help us ready our equipment for long dives into a dark underwater world. They would talk us through our “lights, leaks, thirds” and verification of regulator drills prior to descending. They managed the dive supervisor position and monitored the dive planning statistics that will be presented to the Diving Safety Officer. Water quality testing was performed daily by the students. They learned value to math (gas management and blending, mapping), science (water quality), history (Mayan), geography (on the Yucatan Peninsula), physics (rappelling, gas laws, gravity) and certainly physical education (experienced from 6 am until bedtime daily!). How about snorkeling for the first time in what is to some the most beautiful cave system in the area? Wow! They all had awe in your eyes as they swam past the magnificent formations. A visit to Tulum presented some history and culture not to mention some stunning views. Don’t forget about the video work by Bob! They all were stars this past week as he captured the life and emotion of their experiences on camera for a segment that will be aired on TV in their area. They all shined in the face of all that was placed before them.

To the Fuqua Students and Chaperones
When I found out you guys had committed to the expedition I was elated! Having met some of you before I knew it would be a good experience for all. My expectations were exceeded. You guys faced some very tough challenges as individuals, as small teams and as an entire group. I saw you take on your challenge with boldness. You helped each other out during the difficult times and cheered each other on. I was amazed at the support you had for one another and the bonds were obvious. It was fun to watch you overcome and grow as young people. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what it would be like to have students along on this expedition. Your being there made this year’s expedition a huge success. I was truly blessed by your presence and have grown through my experience with you. It was so special to have a card signed by all of you to each dive team and staff member. Dora and Shane, the chaperones, were super. They participated with the group on activities and we are so glad you came! It was neat to see the closeness between you and the students. Your supervision was present, yet not overpowering. It was a pleasure to get to know all of you and we all look forward to working with you in the future…anytime.

To the Dive Team
We found a new cenote, we put in some more line, and we got to explore some beautiful cave! I truly enjoyed diving with all of you. A good dive buddy isn’t always easy to find. I trust all of you with my life in the cave and look forward to diving with you again. Sistema Camilo still remains elusive with her secrets. Perhaps one day she’ll reveal them to us.

To Our Sponsors
Without sponsors and support an expedition like this couldn’t happen. The Cambrian Foundation is honored to have you with us and we are truly appreciative of what you do for us. We thank you.

Behind the Scenes
The Cambrian Foundation would like to recognize a few people who were working behind the scenes on this expedition.

Rick Richbourg designed the new Cambrian Foundation website. He has done a remarkable job with the new look. A new format for uploading the daily updates has been created and that has made our lives so much easier in the field! Divers can now update their logs online and check individual diver status. THANKS!!

George McCulley is on our Dive Safety Control Board. Unable to participate on site during the expedition, George volunteered to help manage the survey data and make additions to the map. Thank you, George for contributing your time to support the project.

Of course, this expedition wouldn’t be possible without the continued support from prior expedition team members. The work conducted over the past five expeditions has laid the groundwork for 2004. Thank you to all who have continued to faithfully support the Akumal project in the many ways that you do.

Certainly,a big thanks to all of you who sent in emails and encouraged our progress. It always makes us proud to know our friends and families are out there watching! The emails from today and late yesterday are posted below. We apologize that they are not answered online for today’s update. Ask the one you wrote to if they know the answers and see what they learned!

On behalf of the entire Cambrian Foundation Akumal 2004 team we bid farewell for now and ask that you continue monitoring for other projects and educational endeavors.

We miss all that the area around Akumal has to offer. Our memories will sustain us until next time…

Team Members

  • Artie Ahr
  • Meg Barkley
  • John Boswell
  • Dora Bounds – teacher
  • Woody Dunkum
  • Amy Giannotti
  • Bob Giguere
  • Grant Graves
  • Meagan Jones
  • Brian Mackintosh
  • Amanda Massie
  • Shane Newcombe – teacher
  • Josh Owen
  • Renee Power
  • Annie Rudy
  • Karl Shreeves
  • Thecia Taylor
  • Terrence Tysall
  • Jeremy Wyatt

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

I am sad that this wonderful adventure is winding down, but will be happy to see the “kids” back safe and sound!!! I miss john!!!!! Thank you Terrence and the rest of the Cambrian folks for “the time of their lives”!!
Jack Boswell

We are sad the expedition is eding, too. There will be more opportunities in the future. It was truly an honor to share this experience with the Fuqua team! Boz is a pleasure to be around. We can see why you miss him!

Hi Terrence and Amy,
I hope that you will still have this program when I reach the upper school. I really want to do this and I think this is a great learning experience(not to mention awesome). I can’t wait to see you this spring in my class.
Genevieve (Meg’s sister)

Hi Genevieve,
Thanks for your note! We certainly will have this program when you reach the upper school, and I am quite sure it will be even bigger and better by then! 🙂 Can’t wait for you to join us! See you soon.

Trying to get this to Meg at Akumal. You rock.
Love, Dad and Rhonda

Hello Mr. Barkley,
Thanks for writing to Meg. Sorry she didn’t get this in time to respond to you directly, but I’m sure you have heard all about her trip now that she is back home in VA.

Hi Josh & The Fuqua Team,
We have been enjoying all of the photos and info on the website. Congratulations on all of your findings and Josh, on your scholarship! We can’t wait to hear the many stories that all of you will have to tell upon your return. This has certainly been a wonderful experience for all of you. We’ll see you when you get back Sunday. Enjoy the rest of your trip and stay safe.
Love, Mom, Dad, Melody & Hazel

Hi Mr. and Mrs. Owen and Melody,
Thanks for writing! We had such a wonderful time, and we are grateful for the many cooperative parents who appreciate and value the in-depth educational experience that an expedition of this nature provides. It truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for these students, and we look forward to having Josh here in Orlando this summer. Tell Melody that I expect to see her in Mexico next year….unless she is too chicken….. 🙂
Miss you guys!

Spider question: You keep mentioning spiders. Just how big are these spiders? Are they, uh, say, too big to suck up with a vacuum cleaner? 🙁 If so, then I am with Renee….scream and run!

thankfully, the only spider I’ve seen of any significance was the one in the dry cave. However, I know they’re out there . . . waiting!

I have loved checking the website each night. You guys seem to be having so much fun! Your mom’s e-mail has been down so she asked me to tell you “Hello” and that she misses you. I can’t wait to hear all about everything! (Although I know I won’t be one of your first twenty phone calls, once you have your phone re-connected to your ear…) 🙂 Be safe-
Love you- Christy

Chelsea really enjoyed corresponding with you. She especially enjoyed the pictures. Unfortunately, her school wasn’t able to log on due to a ‘school’ computer problem. Hopefully, they’ll be more opportunities in the future. Looks like a great time!! Wish I was there!
See you Saturday.

Terrence (and everyone from VA!!!),
Just wanted to drop you a line to tell you how interesting I find the projects you guys are working on. Its even better to find out you have some fellow Virginian’s helping you out. I am working on getting out there with you guys someday. I just finished my intro class in February and I start Trimix tomorrow! When are you coming back to the Richmond Dive Club? Good luck to everyone down there in Akumal!!

Hi James,
Thanks for following along. Not sure when we’ll be back up there in VA, but keep checking our calendar posted on our website!

Hi gang!
Just wanted to tell you that I get butterflies in my stomach when I check the website every day, because I’m so thrilled for you all to be doing this. I can see that your expedition obviously needs a translator next year, though J
Hi to all the students. Are you going to do some sort of presentation at Fuqua when you return? I really think that you should have a picture slide show and a “talk” for everybody.
Tell Mrs. G. I’m leaving to go to her house in about 30 min.
Hugs from Jill “incredibly jealous” Aller

Hola Jill,
Muchas gracias para your email! Glad to hear you are following along every day. We are hoping that the students will do some sort of formal presentation for the Farmville natives upon their return. I’ll keep you posted on what the plans are, ok? Hopefully you can join us here next time!

What is a Mayan wall? I scanned back over the previous postings but could not find any information on it, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t overlooked it. It is an intriguing name, so I was wondering what it is. Does it truly relate to the Maya?

I looked online for Mayan wall information for you. There is a lot of interesting information about Mayan architecture in general. Their structures were not only sound, but intentional. Everything they did served a purpose for their culture. I found one site that goes into the language even with sounds. That site teaches you how to write your name in Mayan! That might be a fun project for you and Jeremy to do.

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