It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Friday, July 23, 2010

Peacock Springs and Ginnie Springs

On Friday morning we were a bit slow to get going. First it took forever to get fills (I think there were some sort of technical difficulties at EE, but I'm really not sure). Plus Rob wanted to stop by Halcyon to visit Sonya and play with gear, and Kevin's fancy dive watch was falling apart, so he wanted to find a jeweler that could fix it (in the end, he got it fixed at a pawn shop, teehee). This all resulted in not getting to Peacock until after 1. So we ended up having time to do two dives there, at Orange Grove. Here's a nice map of Peacock. The viz in the basin was really bad and it was completely covered in duckweed, so it took us a while to find the entrance. We spent a while getting lost in that little entrance to the left that goes really deep. Then we finally found the right entrance but went the wrong way and didn't immediately find the mainline.

We ended up blowing quite a bit of time and gas on that, so in the end we had 600 psi to penetrate with. However, we still made it a lot further than we had before, making it to 200' from Challenge (which I think is a total penetration of about 1500'). The viz was much better than the last time we were here, and the flow was much lower (not that it was that high before). The area beyond about 800' seems to open up a bit vertically for a while. However, this could be at least somewhat in my head, since the better viz just made it seem a bit less claustrophobic in there :) The downside of a low-flow cave is that you actually have to swim out. What a drag. We left the reel in and did a second dive back in. This time we made it just to the arrow change and turned there. Rob discovered that the little funhouse maze right before the 800' arrow has a bypass right around the corner there. I don't understand why they ran the line through the maze, but having not gone around the corner, I don't really know. Someone on the other team (Don I think) reported going around the corner and not knowing why they didn't run the line that way.

Since there wasn't enough time for another dive at Peacock, Rob, Kevin and I decided to go to Ginnie for a night dive or two. We entered through the eye again, with Rob running the reel. His reel jammed halfway down the chute -- deja vu. We returned to the surface and fixed it (it was actually much worse than Kevin's jam the day before), and then headed back in. After feeling like I had finally figured out how to dive Ginnie without getting too worn out yesterday, I felt like I completely regressed today. I felt like a totally spaz pulling my way through the gallery. In the end, we made it a little past 800 feet, probably about 15 feet farther than I have made it in there before. If only we could not have the reel jam on the way in, coupled with me not being a spaz through the gallery, I could finally see some new cave :) For a second dive, we went back into the catacombs. Rob turned it when he got to a dead end. He claimed after the fact that he thinks he knows where he made a wrong turn (we made the same wrong turn yesterday, I guess, but I just happened to turn us a few feet before Rob's dead end). We returned to the mainline and planned to head back in.

When we got to just before the lips, I suggested we just hang out in the gallery. It didn't make sense to me to fight our way through the lips and keyhole (not that it's really a fight, but it's a bit tiring) just to call the dive. The gallery is the pretty part of the first 500' or so anyway :P So we poked around in there until I got hungry and thumbed in. I was in the middle on the way out, and as I was attempting to not get shot out of the ear at 30', I felt the line wrap around my leg. After a brief attempt to free it, I felt it wrap around my other leg, and decided I was just going to have to wait for either Rob or Kevin to free me. So I laid there holding on tight with my fins flapping in the flow, knowing that if I got blown any which way by the flow, I'd just end up more entangled. Finally Kevin looked back and caught on, and came and freed me. Phew. I guess Rob had tried to sort of whip the line back around my first entangled leg, and that is how my second leg got entangled. Hehe.

We managed to get out of the water in time to eat dinner at a non-waffle restaurant, so we went to Great Outdoors in High Springs.

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