It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Little River

Saturday we went to Little River. Finally someone (Don) remembered to take some pictures. We were really bad about that on this trip. Thanks Don for the pictures (Don is also responsible for the video embedded below). Since it was Saturday, there were a lot of people swimming there. We got there around 10:30 or so, but somehow we still managed to get decent parking spots (decent in the sense that it was relatively close to the stairs, not in the sense that there was any shade at all). It was horrendously hot, even compared to what seemed like insane heat the two previous days. Elissa decided it was too hot to dive (or to lug gear and get into her drysuit, I think), so Kevin and Don teamed up and Rob and I were a team. We walked our doubles down the steps and laid them down on the retaining wall in front of the water. Then we got into our drysuits and came back down for a swim.

We eventually got back out and got into our gear. When I stood up from the wall I noticed something hanging down from my rig. It was my light cord, but my light head was still clipped to my d-ring :( The cord had completely ripped off of the light head, so that at the end of the cord, where the light head should be, there were just two sad little wires hanging out. I am pretty sure the cord got pinched under my tanks when I was laying them down on the retaining wall. In any case, Elissa brought me her light and helped me to put it onto my rig and we were able to do the dive as planned. I didn't know very much about this cave. I knew it was relatively deep (got to 90', though I didn't know how quickly), and I'd heard it was twisty turny. I also heard that there were two T's fairly close to the entrance. For some reason I didn't think it had much flow, which it turned out I was wrong about. This is the best map I could find, though it doesn't include depths. There was flow, though the geometry of the cave made it pretty easy to pull and glide through most of it. Even though it was 90' with some flow, I felt fine diving 32%. The two T's were apparently replaced with jumps, so that did not turn out to be a problem.

The site has a wide cavern that starts in about 10 feet. The mainline starts at maybe 50' and then it narrows down to a tunnel that runs in the 60 to 70 feet range for a little while. Then you get to a chimney, which drops down into about 90 to 95', and it stays around that depth from there on (at least as far as we got). The tunnel from the mainline to the chimney is actually corkscrewed shaped so that when you start down the 90' tunnel you have basically reversed your direction. In much of the tunnel from there to the first T (around 400'), the side of the cave on one side or another has a little overhang part way up which is useful to pull along. On the first dive we made it just to the T, and I had under 100 psi before turn pressure so I decided it wasn't worth cookie-ing in and continuing. On the second dive we again made it to that T with only about 100 psi to go, but I decided I really wanted to see what was past the T. So we headed to the right, and the flow settled down immediately. Apparently Don and Kevin headed left and the flow picked up, so that was a lucky guess. We made it just a couple minutes down the line before turning it. The main problem with this dive as a cave 1 dive is the deco limitation -- it's not a good cave to do back to back C1 dives. I quickly decided on this trip that not being able to do deco on a cave 1 dive is the most annoying restriction :)

After we got out of the water and humped our gear up to the cars, we decided it was too hot to do another dive here. We briefly considered heading over to Peacock, but decided to just take the afternoon off from diving instead. After spending way too long at EE (while Rob got an on-the-spot neck seal replacement) and way too little time relaxing at the house, we headed to Newberry Backyard BBQ for dinner.

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