It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Carwash

Tuesday we went to Carwash, which has a nice short walk to the water and a giant stride entry (or you can climb up and jump off of a platform, but I am too cowardly for that). The basin is big and was pretty green from algae. For the first dive, we went upstream. There is another cenote (that was dredged, so is it really a cenote?) about 15 minutes up the line, so the plan was to do "one dive" to that cenote, and then re-calculate gas for a second dive from there. There was a bunch of talk about how the mainline is 350' back so if you aren't careful, you will run out of reel.

This turned out not to be the case, because I guess the line had been moved. Kevin and Don had gone in ahead anyway, so we could look where their line was to figure out where to go. I ran the line and was relieved to not run out of reel. We got to Luke's Hope right around 15 minutes and decided to go 500 psi from there. We got to Adrianna's Room, which was obvious when we got there (as Don assured us -- he said we would know it when we were there because it's really pretty) and very pretty -- it is very white and decorated. It was definitely one of the nicest rooms/passages we saw all week. We stopped there for about 10 minutes and then continued on. It got much less decorated when we got past that room, then got small and chute-like, which was sort of fun (and reminded me of FL). That dropped us into a tunnel that was short but pretty wide, which was very nicely decorated. We came to a doorway restriction that was really pretty. I looked through it, saw it was small as far as I could see, and decided to turn early, since I figured it would be more annoying to turn around in there. I think that doorway would make a nice shot with a diver coming through it, but I didn't feel like backing myself into it once Rob pulled his camera out. We got back to Adrianna's room and agreed to hang out there a bit longer (part of my motivation for turning early). We we were finished there, we headed out and passed Kevin and Don shortly after. We ascended at Luke's Hope (which is crystal clear and has palapas with "cerveza" signs) and Rob took some over-unders. Then we headed back out to Carwash, and met Don and Kevin in the cavern zone. Rob and Don took some pictures and I experimented with one-finned swimming (my tight fin straps were really starting to bother my ankles by this point in the trip). Eventually we were tired of this and headed up.

After lunch (more of the same), we geared up for another dive. I dove with Don. After perusing his sidemount setup and asking a few questions, we did our gear checks and got going. I made him run the reel, since there was much complicated discussion of finding various lines from the cavern. We planned to do Satan's silthole (roughly in the center of the various lines) first but we didn't give Rob and Kevin enough of a head start, so they were still tying in as we approached. So we backed off and went left (not sure what the line is called). It is a relatively short line -- get to the end of it with plenty of time/gas. The line is really pretty though -- it is totem poley at the beginning and eventually gets really decorated with more delicate decorations. Don is a good buddy for me. He swims at a leisurely pace, and when we get to a cool room, he turns to me to comment that it is cool -- chatty like me, and not diving like he was on a mission, like some people I know.

When we got back to the reel, we relocated to the silt hole. The name is not very flattering, but I only thought it was fitting right at the entry. There is a sort of narrow passage where it is relatively annoying to run the line (because it really seems to want to run above you), and it is silty there. Beyond that, it's a cool dive, even though it isn't super decorated. For a while we were in a pretty flat rectangular tunnel right along the halocline, with doorway restrictions here and there. It looks like there is a line etched along the sides of the passage, but it's actually just the halocline. Pretty neat. When we got back to the reel, we headed right to look for the Chamber of the Ancients (where there is allegedly a fire pit) but we couldn't find it so we gave up. We passed Rob and Kevin leaving as we went in -- apparently they found it. We headed out and ran into the Tahoe crew when we got out of the water. They had told us a while ago when we ran into them at Lobos that they were going to be in MX the same week, but I had completely forgotten! After a bit of chit-chat, we headed home.

But we decided to stop for snacks and drinks on the beach in Tulum first. I must say, the beach wasn't very inviting for swimming -- it was pretty windy. But perfectly inviting for some guacamole and a pina colada. For dinner we headed to Playa (after a late afternoon swim back at the house). It was not as crazy with tourists as I expected, but I guess it's the low season. We ate at an Argentinian place called Taco Tango. Rob and I had the mixed grill which I was pleased to find had lots of veggies on it (I felt very veggie-deprived for most of the trip). For dessert we had gelato at Gelato Factory.

2 comments:

CaveDivingWoman said...

'Just discovered your cave blog after stumbling across your nudibranch article---you've been busy! Life never is dull. (How did you get to name the species?? I though that one could name a genus but species were inviolate). But congratulations to Team Kitty!

Uh, what was on my mind? Oh, veggies in Mexico, not good in the markets. Best picked off someone's tree or purchased in farmer's markets if you can find one.

Anyway, it's now your fault that I'll get no sleep tonight! We're going to Tulum in early December for two weeks of caves, then over to Cozumel for some nice reefs. Next week I need to go to Boston, but the round trip airfare is the same whether I detour south for some time in cave country or not! So what's a WWK (warm water kitty) to do (licking whiskers)?

thanks, Allison!
Barbara

CaveDivingWoman said...

'Just discovered your cave blog after stumbling across your nudibranch article---you've been busy! Life never is dull. (How did you get to name the species?? I though that one could name a genus but species were inviolate). But congratulations to Team Kitty!

Uh, what was on my mind? Oh, veggies in Mexico, not good in the markets. Best picked off someone's tree or purchased in farmer's markets if you can find one.

Anyway, it's now your fault that I'll get no sleep tonight! We're going to Tulum in early December for two weeks of caves, then over to Cozumel for some nice reefs. Next week I need to go to Boston, but the round trip airfare is the same whether I detour south for some time in cave country or not! So what's a WWK (warm water kitty) to do (licking whiskers)?

Oh - the fire pits in Carwash are practically impossible to see. Mostly they show up as glints/reflection on your light. They were much more visible 10 years ago, but that cenote gets lots of traffic.

Gelato Factory = best ice cream in the Yucatan!

thanks, Allison!
Barbara