Survey at Sanlando

Kris looks on as Andrew adjusts his gear

Kris assists with equipment

Pretty and clear Sanlando Springs

Andrew approaches the entrance

Sanlando Springs was the focal point of today’s events. The team met there at around 1pm this afternoon.

The mission of the day was cave survey. Prior to entering the water, Renee and Andrew discussed in detail the dive plan that was followed by a walk through. This walk through proved to be one of the key elements to the success of this dive. Upon entering the water, Andrew ran line from a ladder down to the entrance point of the cave. The purpose of this was to be able to obtain a GPS waypoint on the surface that is tied into the surveyed cave line to aid in the design of a map. The oxygen was then near the entrance hidden under a ledge where it would be easily accessed by the divers upon exit. With Andrew in the lead the team pushed through the high flow restrictive entrance to the beginning of the main line. Andrew tied off his line and sized up his approach into the descending passage and then entered the steep downward entrance shaft that resembles a raging fire hose. After the sand, rock and bubbles cleared, Renee followed with a mighty persistence. Soon, both divers were at the bottom of the passage that enters into a small yet busy room. The team needed a few moments to assess things and then got to work. It was decided that due to difficult conditions that one diver should gather much of the data and write it on to his or her slate. Andrew became the obvious choice since he will be designing the map. Renee provided illumination from her Sartek 10 watt HID (high intensity discharge) light as Andrew acquired the data necessary at the end of the line. At that point Renee retrieved the measuring tape and began a planned and “controlled” ascent to the first survey station with Andrew maintaining the free end. The team had decided during the pre dive briefing that they would mark the stations with line arrows to help identify them on the way up. Renee got the distance on the tape and signaled to Andrew to let go. Andrew conducted his own “controlled” ascent up the shaft to collect the measurement data from Renee who had pinned herself into the rocks to prevent a premature ascent. The process was repeated at that and subsequent survey stations until all data were collected. The line to the ladder was then removed and the oxygen bottle picked up. Upon surfacing Amy, Kris and Bob were standing by to help with removal of equipment. A post dive briefing revealed that excellent data was collected in a safe and effective manner.

Thanks to Amy, Bob and Kris for being there for greatly appreciated surface support. Also, thanks to the Sanlando Springs community for allowing us access to this beautiful area.

Team Members:

Amy Giannotti
Bob Giguere
Andrew Pitkin
Renee Power
Kris Shannon

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