It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Little River

Thursday we went to Little River. There were several other dive teams there, but no tourists at all (other than some divers' wives). I led the first dive. The last time we were there, Kevin and Don took the big log on the right for their primary tie, and Rob took the other side, and everyone was singing the praises of the log as a wonderful primary tie. And no one had taken the log, so I was all over that, of course. I think the log sucks. It's too big to reach my arms around, so I had to toss the reel over it and then reach underneath to pull it around. I guess you can't believe everything you hear. Anyhoo, eventually we got going, and we went right at the big T. The flow didn't seem as bad as I remember it, which is consistent with reports that the flow was down. The flow was only really bad before the corkscrew. Last time, the flow was bad pretty much all the way to the big T and then when we went right, it died down. Today after we went right, it didn't really change. After we went right, we made it about 5 minutes before we turned it. We returned to the reel and left it, and made it up to 30 feet before we stopped and discussed what to do next. We agreed on 500 psi penetration and went back in. I was still leading (not sure why). When we got to the big T, for some reason I went right again :) When we were there in July, Don and Kevin went left and reported raging flow. It didn't occur to me that since the flow is down in general, perhaps I should have tried that side anyway. We were following a team almost the whole way in, so I periodically stopped and doodled around to let them get ahead, but invariably we would end up about 20 feet behind them again a few minutes later. We made it to the first jump after the T and turned a bit past there. The cave was quite crowded, and we passed a few teams along the way. But otherwise it was a pretty uneventful dive. Very similar to the first :)

Kevin sat out the third dive because he is an old man, or maybe because his ears were bothering him :) We went left this time, and made it past the next T where the two sides meet. The cave is narrow and tall on the left. I can see how there would be a lot of flow here when the flow is up, but the good thing is that there are little ledges on each side which are ideal for pulling on :) The cave gets much bigger after the two lines meet again. There were two instances of photographer shenanigans on the way out. First, we passed a pair of divers in the narrow section (on the left of the T), one posed for pictures and the other taking pictures. Hmm, what is the etiquette to pass them? I know... I will slowly swim up next to the model (who is closer to me) and when he sees me out of the corner of his eye, and give him a little "I want to get by" wave. But the model was totally oblivious to me when I swam up right next to him (which is odd, since they really should have seen us when they turned their dive, because we saw them swimming toward us and then turning). So in the end I just swam through the frame (my bad!) but the photographer gave me a little wave so I guess he wasn't too broken up about it. Then farther along on the way out (I think just at the first marked jump after the corkscrew), we came upon a guy who was literally laying on the bottom across the line trying to get a shot of something off to the side. I saw it in time to go through another little passage just on the other side of a pillar behind him. But that was just odd.

After a bit of doodling around in the cavern, trying to get some video, we headed out, and headed back to High Springs. We even managed to get to EE and get some fills for tomorrow. Dinner and too many margaritas (Kevin is the little devil on my shoulder) at the Texas Roadhouse in Gainesville.

P.S. Isn't that picture of the side of Kevin's head lovely? Sadly, that was the best picture of Kevin that I got on the trip, but I had to include him on here somewhere!

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