It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Thursday, September 23, 2010


We went to Jailhouse on Thursday. In order to get in, we stopped at a house in Tulum on Wednesday afternoon to pick up the key. Once you use this key to open the gate, there is a bit of a bumpy ride through the jungle, then it opens up so it looks like you are trespassing on someone's farm. Then you get to the cenote, which has a few very nice benches for gearing up. We saw a couple of really pretty fluorescent orange centipedes (or something) near the benches. There are some nice stone steps down to water level, but then getting into the water is a less civilized affair, since there is basically a huge step down into the water (and the viz on the surface is crap, so you can't see where your foot is going). But Rob helped me down and it was fine. The viz on the surface was maybe 2 feet; not as bad as Del Mar, but very bad. But the line comes all the way to the surface, so you can follow it down and then the viz opens up outside of the mouth of the cave. So we followed the line down in touch contact, but there was space for us to huddle and regroup before heading in.

The entry is a little tight but then immediately opens up. But the bottom is covered in "mung" which I think is just cave diver speak for mulchy organic material. Seriously, that stuff would look great in my yard. If you don't come down the slope at the proper angle it is easy to silt it out, or so they say. Right at the bottom of this slope, like 2 minutes from the surface, is a T. We first went left at that T. This site has a lot of Ts (at least to the left), so I guess it is not the best C1 dive. But I thought it was neat because there are a variety of different kinds of areas; and I gather there would be even more if we weren't baby cave divers. Up to the second T, the cave is dark with patches of icicles, similar to Naharon. I am told that once you get further in, there are bigger totem poley structures and eventually there is a saltwater passage below the halocline.

For the second dive, we ran the reel to a different line to the right of the first T, which goes down below the halocline. Basically about 4 minutes from the surface, you can get below the halocline. That passage was awesome, and we ended up going back for two more dives in the afternoon. After a short, not very decorated passage when you first get to the line, the tunnel turns left and gets really decorated. The whole passage is really pretty and wide open, but with some great nooks for photographing divers surrounded by decorations. But the passage was also very delicate, with lots of percolation raining down on us (not so good for photos). Eventually I got the hang on holding my breath while Rob got a few shots off. On one of the afternoon dives, when we made it further up the line, Kevin pointed out a firepit with some little bones in it, next to an INAH pyramid. I saw another one of those pyramids but did not know what it was marking. There supposedly used to be some human remains in there, but they have apparently been removed by INAH. This was one of my favorite passages of the trip. It's too bad my exit from the water couldn't be a bit more graceful. In addition to the beautiful decorations, I was excited to see a couple of remipedes on the dive, near the halocline.

After swinging by Mayan Blue and Chan Hol to look around, we headed to the empanada place. It was supposed to be appetizers and drinks, but since the boys can't control themselves, it ended up being an early dinner followed by gelato.

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