It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Monday, January 2, 2012


On  Monday, we went to Madison.  The temperature must have dropped like 20 degrees from the day before -- it was pretty freakin' cold while we were setting up!  So, Rob has apparently decided that the only dive worth doing at Madison is Rocky Horror (or rather past Rocky Horror).  On our last trip, he and Kevin dove there (without me) and I guess he thought it was super awesome.  So he decided, without really asking my opinion, that that's what we would do today, and so we would double stage so we could bask in the full glory of the awesomeness past Rocky Horror.  I was not too convinced, first because I wasn't totally thrilled to double stage it, and second, because I am in mortal fear of Rocky Horror :P  So I warned him that I might wimp out, but agreed to at least go down there and check it out.  Rob also wanted to go in at Martz, which I know nothing about.  We pulled in to the parking lot, and I really really had to go to the bathroom, and he told me I had to decide *right then* where I wanted to enter (so he could decide where to park).  So I told him to just park by the main entrance.  I think that was the wrong answer, but that's what he gets when he asks for a snap decision when I am under duress!

There were two other teams there, and we chatted a bit with the guys getting geared up next to us.  I guess Rob had chatted with the other team, who was entering at Martz, and no one was planning to dive Rocky Horror.  So we didn't have to worry about that.  We setup our bottles (brrrr) and loaded them all into the water, and then got geared up and into the water.  After clipping on all those bottles, we headed in, with me leading.  The viz was not too stellar in the early part.  It was pretty green and relatively murky until just past the Martz jump.  Then it was crystal clear.  A bit after that, we saw a team coming out ahead of us.  The tunnel was not terribly wide at this point, so I found a spot to tuck into the side, and waited for them to pass.  Just as I was about to get going again, I saw a light ahead.  The other team was coming out too.  They were a little ways down the passage, but I decided to just wait where we were for them to pass.  Then we got going again, and dropped our stages before the half-hitch.  When we got to the jump, I installed the spool, and we headed down the tunnel and I dropped my second stage just a few minutes before hitting the checkin sign.  By the time we got there, I had already decided I didn't want to do Rocky Horror, but I had been thinking I'd at least go to the end of Potter's Delight.  But then when we got to the sign, I figured it would be easier to just turn it there, rather than having a big conversation about it in Potter's Delight.  So much to Rob's dismay, we turned around.

We headed back out and when we got back to the mainline, I asked Rob if he wanted to head back up the mainline.  He shrugged so I took that to mean yes, so I dropped my stage and headed right.  From there we just followed the mainline for a while.  We got just a few minutes further than I have ever been.  Eventually I turned the dive because it was getting silty (actually it had been silty for a while) and twisty turny and a bit smaller, and I got tired of threading myself around while trying not to stir up silt.  As soon as I turned it, Rob sort of took off, I guess to demonstrate to me just how slowly I had been going on the way in.  I got back to my stage, and picked it up and switched onto it.  While the flow was down, it was definitely there, and we made much better time on the way out.  When I got to my second stage, I still had a ton of gas in the stage I was breathing so I just picked it up and never even went back onto it on the way out.  Just a bit after that, I got to a spot where the cave went from about 60 feet to about 65 feet, and I could not clear my right ear.  It was like it had half-cleared, and every time I swallowed, I could hear it click, and it was very uncomfortable.    Meanwhile, Rob was swimming really fast and I was barely keeping up with him.  I was a bit worried that when we came over the hill right before (after) the Martz jump, that I wouldn't be able to clear coming back down.  But actually coming up shallower in that spot let me finally clear.  Then I suddenly realized, that I had dropped a cookie on the way in, at the jump to Martz (because someone else had installed a line there), and I had neither noticed it nor picked it up on the way out.  Doh!  I guess I was a bit distracted trying to clear my ear and keep up.  So I had to stop Rob and turn us around to go and get that.  Once that was taken care of, we exited without incident.  

When I got to my O2 bottle, I picked it up and rotated one of my stages back, as I continued swimming through the cavern zone.  I was thinking... why can't it be this easy to rotate bottles at home!?!  When I mentioned this to Rob, I said it was probably because I didn't have gloves on (well, fingerless gloves) and my hands weren't cold.  He suggested that it was probably psychological, because I wasn't afraid of dropping the bottle (and watching it plummet to the bottom, 1 foot below me :P).  True.  We got out to the basin and negotiated a little bit of deco -- 10 or 12 minutes I think.  As we walked up the path back to the car, we were greeted by a stiff breeze.  Brrr.

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