It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Post-Class Day 1: Peacock Springs

We went back to Peacock on Saturday. In the morning, we went to Orange Grove. Near there parking area there is a "recycling toilet" that uses no chemicals or water (according to the sign in there). It is like an outhouse with composting facilities under the building. I thought the concept was pretty cool, though I'm sure in 30 years it will turn out to be horribly bad for the environment in some unforeseen way. The walk to the water from our car seemed a bit long, but that may have been more about it being the 7th day straight of diving the beasts (plus we took it easy and didn't get there super early, so we didn't have the best parking spot). The basin was quite green with lots of duckweed (which I prefer to refer to as "gillyweed") on top and green tree snot hanging in the water. The basin is pretty cool -- it looks like a tree cemetary with all these tree branches laying at crazy angles. Very Tim Burton.

I was leading the dive and a bit worried about figuring out where to go, but there were two other reels already installed to give me a hint :) Those tree branches make very convenient tie-off points. We swam into a little hole and we were off. This site was very archy. I felt like we were swimming through a southwestern desert because of the orangy-brown walls. (My handwritten journal says it was like swimming through a southwestern dessert, but that's not how I remember it :P) My favorite part of this dive was right before we turned it (at the 800 line arrow), the line abruptly turns right and goes through a tall narrow zig-zaggy passage, which reminded me of a fun house/haunted house. There was just a little flow here, so our exit was pretty leisurely. We did a second dive after a short surface interval. I was really hoping to make it to the funhouse again, but of course we didn't come close. I also liked this site because I saw lots of crayfish. Those albino crayfish were like reverse-video crayfish with their bright white shells on a red-brown backdrop. As we were exiting the water, Oleg was dilly-dallying with his fins, so I decided to have a seat on the bench at the top of the stairs. Boy was that a mistake, as I couldn't get back up without a good tug from Rob. Not my finest hour.

We then relocated to Peacock 1 after eating lunch (we stopped for sandwiches at the Luraville Country Store... good sandwiches). It was not too crowded at this time of day. We took the line to the left (which we later learned was called the Peanut line). Rob put in the reel. The main line comes out ridiculously close to open water, but Rob said he wanted some reel practice (I think he just wanted to demonstrate his superiority to us) so he ran it much further in, but not quite to the sign. I thought it strange that the line is so far out and the sign so far in. Anyhoo, this site was cool -- for a while it is like you are swimming under overpasses that are (in cross section) like wide flat rectangles. Between the overpasses the ceiling opens up higher. Under the "overpasses" you can look up and see pools of bubbles. There was some flow, which was strongest in this area. When you get to the end, it opens into a very high ceiling'd room, which is a neat contrast. Later on, there is a path with tall walls that feels very canyon-y. There were also a lot of ups and downs, which reminded me of a roller coaster (a weenie roller coaster, like Hershey Park's Trailblazer). We made it past the 1100 ft line arrow before turning it. On the way out, while riding the mild flow, I pondered the concept of being 30 minutes into a cave, comparing it to a 30 minute deco obligation. I decided that the actual overhead was no more stressful than the virtual one. In fact I think it's less stressful because of the relatively benign conditions (warmer water, less dynamic environment). On the way out, at the mouth of the cavern, we ran into Mark's class.

After a brief surface interval, we headed back in. We had just made it past the section with the highest flow (the underpasses) when Rob's light died (weak, dude). So we had to turn around. I told Rob afterward that just because he is an instructor-wannabe doesn't mean he has to be failing gear.

By the time we got back, it was too late to get gas so we just headed to dinner at the Fleetwood (after stopping at the Country Store for some ice cream novelties). Later, we swung by EE and chatted with Doug for a while (he was going to measure Rob for a drysuit, but we postponed it to Sunday). Then we went by Great Outdoors for dessert. Despite the fact that they had my most favoritest dessert of all time on the menu (or at least my most favorite pie... key lime), I took one for the team and split an apple crisp with Rob. Yum. Wow, upon reviewing this paragraph, I realize that we are little piggies.

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