It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Ginnie Springs: Main Land

After our long drive (that should not have been nearly so long) on Monday, we decided to stay close on Tuesday and go to Ginnie.  We were at EE on Monday afternoon, and we ran into some of the Scandinavians (there was a group of 10 or so Swedes and Norwegians who were all in town -- two of whom were in Ted's class). Since we knew they'd been doing a lot of diving with scooters and lots of bottles at Ginnie, we figured they'd have been pretty much everywhere, and have some ideas for where we should go that we had not been.  We were looking at the map and pondering either Sweet Surprise or Main Land (or is it Mainland or Mainlands... I've seen it all three ways on various maps).  Antonio had mentioned Main Land before, and told us it was a really nice area.  The guys we were talking to said that it might be tricky to figure out which of the jumps is the "one" you want to take to Sweet Surprise.  I think there are several, and they eventually all intersect, but with various amounts of restriction, etc.  So we decided to go to Main Land, based on our confidence in finding it, and all that we'd heard about it.  So we got some instructions about what things looked like where the jump was and some other recommendations.

I was leading the dive, but I convinced Rob to run the reel.  I am still not very comfortable squeezing through the eye with more than one bottle, so he agreed to run the reel.  I'd be perfectly happy to go in through the ear and run the reel with the bottles, but deco on the log just isn't as comfy as it is in the eye.  Going through the eye was just about as traumatic as I expected.  I got a bit wedged in there, and my foot was caught (I think on the rock above it, not on the line), and I literally had this thought go through my head, of getting stuck in the eye, and Rob having to go back out through the ear to pull me out from behind :)  Very dramatic I know.  When we got out of the sticky part, I had to collect myself before we continued on to the mainline.  Then once we were tied in, I took the lead.  We headed up the mainline, and passed all of the usual spots.  I'm not going to go into all of those details on that, since I think it's been fairly well covered before.  I've been as far as the River Intrusion Tunnel on the mainline before, so everything past that was new to me.  Right around the River Intrusion Tunnel, the tunnel is quite wide, but it eventually pinches down to what I would call a nice-sized tunnel... not small at all, but not so big that you can't see the walls.  The bottom also kind of changes at one point, where it is like black "gravel" which I guess is actually bits of goethite (or maybe not?).  I also saw many jumps to the left, which at the time, I was a bit surprised by, because all of the places we've looked at to go on the map have been to the right.  So I guess I have a blindspot for all of those jumps on the left (which I shouldn't, since we tried to go to the Insulation room once, and noted the other stuff to the left that we could confuse for it...).

We were told that the Main Land jump was right near the 2900 marker, so I was counting down the line markers until we got to 2900.  And once we were there, it looked as described to us, with the line sort of bending to the left and going up a hill.  Once there, we quickly found a line off to the right, so I put in the jump, and we headed down the line.  It was running roughly parallel to the mainline, basically back the way we came.  So we were going with the flow.  We were in this dark, silty area, and I was thinking, this had better take a turn in the direction I expected it to go soon, or I'm going to turn it.  But then the line ended.  WTF?  Afterward, upon looking at the big map of Devil's at EE, the one that shows the lines, we found that there is a short line that runs parallel to the mainline for like 100 feet (if that) just off to the right of the mainline.  WTF?  Doug says it takes you to some "room" but I really didn't think that it took us anywhere worth seeing!  Anyhoo, after hitting the end of the line, we turned around and dragged ourselves back up against the flow, back to our spool.  Once there, we looked around a little bit, and found that just a tiny bit further upstream and sort of around a little corner, was another line.  Ahhh.  So I moved the jump spool over to there, and dropped my last stage, before heading up the line.  For the first bit, there were a bunch of sections that were kind of narrow and tall.  Eventually we ended up in such a section that was very blue looking because there was grey clay.  I thought this section was very pretty (and would be photogenic, but of course that would require schlepping the camera).  It was getting a bit deeper, though, and I was feeling a big narc'd.  We came to the end of one of these narrow, tall, blue rooms, and there was a little underpass.  I went down into the underpass to see if it popped back out immediately, but I saw that it was low, with clay on the bottom, for a while.  I decided I was too narc'd for that, and turned the dive.  I think I will go back there with 30/30 :)

We headed out all the way to the Hill 400 line, and recalculated there and took the jump.  We went up to the jump at 1000', to the double lines, and went up there.  I like that line a lot.  I like both the wide, low area, with clay on the bottom, and then the area just beyond that with the little rooms separated by doorways (at least that's how it looks to me).  We made it to the first room, and I turned it there, not on gas, but just because I was getting tired, and it's a convenient place to pow-wow and turn around.  From there, we headed out and back out the eye.  While I hate going in through the eye, I always find that coming out of it is always much more graceful, even though I always dread it.  So as I was waiting in the 50 foot room for Rob to cleanup the reel, I was thinking at least this way would be easy.  But then it totally wasn't!  Somehow I got myself wedged on the way up, and was wondering if I upclipped a bottle right there, would it float up with the flow and meet me in the 30 foot room? :)  Well, not going to find out today.  I shimmied my way through and met Rob in the 30 foot room.  Phew, now the easy part.  Lay on the ledge, negotiate deco, take some notes, do some deco sudoku, etc.

Even with the long dive, we got out of the water and had quite a bit of the day left.  We headed back to EE to check in on our fills for the next day, then ran some errands (and bought a cart!), and napped a little until Ted was ready to go to dinner.

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