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Me diving

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's 2013: Ginnie past the Hinkel

We went to Ginnie on New Year's Day, so we could sleep in a bit.  I was expecting it to be crawling with people, thinking everyone else would have the same idea.  But it turned out not to be too crowded there at all when we got there.  It was thankfully not nearly as cold as it had been the previous couple of days.  It was actually pretty comfortable out.  We got our gear into the water, and got going.  The plan was to go up Mainland, and then hit the Insulation Room on the way out.  We thought that Kevin would like to get a little video footage in both of those spots.  Rob was leading, and I was in the middle.  I seemed to get stuck in the middle a lot on this dive!

We headed into the cave, and I immediately made a fool of myself when we got to the Lips.  I have never figured out how to go through the Lips on the trigger.  In fact, I have never even tried it.  I just pull myself through while pushing the scooter ahead of me.  But I had a good vantage point to watch Rob scooter through the lips, so I decided to give it a try.  And that didn't happen.  I got spit out.  So I tried again.  And got spit out again.  And finally I just went through like I always do, pulling myself and pushing the scooter.  This would have been slightly less embarrassing if Kevin hadn't been behind me, watching me get spit out twice.  When I finally made it through, Rob didn't even ask :)  We continued on, and when we got out of the Cornflakes, we saw that the park bench jump was installed, and I could see a team up the tunnel.

Considering the very few cars in the parking lot, there was quite a lot of gear in the cave.  Pretty much every jump that we passed up to the maple leaf was installed (except maybe the mud tunnel).  There was a stage bottle on stage bottle rock, and the river intrusion tunnel jump was installed too.  We eventually paused at a jump around 2300'.  I'm not sure why we stopped there.  At first I thought that it was the Insulation Room jump and Rob was showing it to Kevin.  But it wasn't.  But since we were stopped, I decided this would be a convenient time to drop stage, so I did.  We finally made it to the Mainland jump, and we found not one, but two jump spools installed.  Hmph!  So, as much as we wanted to go in there, we thought better of it, and decided to head up past the Hinkel instead.  Sort of a bummer, but not that much of a bummer.  We still had one more day at Ginnie planned, and this would most likely have been the dive we would have done anyway.  We dumped our scooters at the Mainland jump there, and continued on.  Just after that, we also passed a bottle dropped on the line.  I think that brought an end (finally) to the insane amount of gear that we passed in the cave.  Solitude, at last!

Before I went to the Hinkel the first time, Rob told me there was a part of the tunnel where there is a lot of flow, and not a lot of places to pull on.  It is really only a few body lengths, but he got it into my head that it's there, so I was once again pleasantly surprised that the swim isn't as bad as I expected.  We got through the Hinkel, and I pointed out the plaque to Kevin.  After that, we just meandered up the line, pausing in the various rooms to look around.  We made it further than I've been before, and eventually Rob found a jump and asked if we could take it.  Sure, why not?  Once we made the jump, it was fairly small and a little bit crumbly in there.  And there was some flow.  We came up to a T just in time for me to thumb it on gas.  Rob wasn't very happy that he didn't get to go past the T.  He peered up to the left, which I think he said got a little wider than the tunnel we had been in (which was single file, so I didn't even get a glimpse of what was past the T).  And so we turned and headed back, and rode the flow out.  Kevin got a little video footage back there as we drifted out.  I really do like that area just past the Hinkel, and it is always too short on the way out :)

We got back to our scooters, where we found both of those jumps to Mainland still installed (so I am quite sure that they had been left there, and thus we could have gone in there after all).  We picked up our scooters and pretty much headed straight down the mainline until we came to that first stage drop.  Then we headed to the Insulation Room jump, and ditched all of our gear on the mainline, and went up there.  Kevin was leading at this point, and since he didn't really know the way, he went a slightly different route, and ended up tying in after the T, on the right side of it.  So we headed up that way, going counterclockwise around the little loop.  We stopped and played with the "insulation" a bit as Kevin got some footage.  Then we got to the room with the tannic layer on top, which was WAY more distinct than the last time I was in there, when it just seemed like the viz was crap.  After playing around there a bit, we headed back out and picked up all of our gear from the mainline, and out we went.

On the way out, there were even more jumps installed, as there were now actually a few teams in the cave with us.  We eventually made it back to the gallery, and headed up the eye.  There weren't any teams at the 20 foot spot when we got there (though there were two O2 bottles on the ledge), so Kevin and I took the ledge, and Rob went over and pouted in the corner (I'm not sure why he was pouting, I think it was because I thumbed it before he made it past that T).  Kevin and I shared a sudoku puzzle on deco, which was a lot of fun.  We made a lot more progress working on it together, so it was much less boring.  I also have to mention that after an unpleasant deco yesterday, I plugged in today, and oh what bliss!  Eventually a team came to claim their O2 bottles from the ledge, and after not too long, they headed out.  Then another team appeared, and I don't know how to explain it, but one of them was giving us the stink-eye.  We all noticed it.  First he stared at Rob for a while.  Then he stared at me.  I thought maybe he was staring because he was annoyed that we were hogging the ledge.  I would have shared if he had asked, but no, he just gave me the evil-eye.  Eventually it was time to go and I slithered past him and we slowly bobbed to the surface.  It was pretty early when we got out, so we actually had a while to hang around and do nothing in the afternoon.  My favorite thing to do on vacation!

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