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Me diving

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cave 2, Day 2: Peacock Springs

We met at EE around 8 to start filling tanks. Once Zack got our gas fills going, I asked if he could take a look at my leaky drysuit leg, and he did a leak test while we waited. It turned out there was a pretty non-subtle gouge on the top of the foot. It looked like a pretty good bet that that was the culprit, and Zack patched it up nicely (it was slightly less nice by the time we left, after Rob basically stuck his thumb in the aquaseal before it was completely dry... but it held anyway). Because of this and that, we didn't end up heading to Peacock until about 10. But we made good time getting there and after a short discussion of the dive plan, we got into the water. The plan was to do another circuit, going up the Pothole line, across the Crossover tunnel and then on the second dive, completing the circuit via the Peanut line. David made the Crossover tunnel out to be some tiny little silty passage, which sounded a bit intimidating. It was my turn to lead and I was mad with power. David made us (well, me) run the reel down past the sign, which I don't usually do there. But I think it went okay.

The viz was really good, much better than it was in C1! We headed up the Pothole line, almost to Olson, just beyond the little "window" in the wall where the line turns leftish. We got to drop lots of cookies, and you know, I love dropping cookies :) There were the two changes in arrows, and a jump was installed, and the jump that we installed. Yahoo! When we got to the Crossover tunnel, it was not nearly as small as David had made it out to be. It was silty, but I felt like you could drive a Mack truck through there; well, most of it anyway. We made it to the Peanut line with gas to spare, so we recalculated gas and headed up the line. After we turned it, we once again had a variety of failures on the way out. I noticed during gear checks that my left valve was extremely stiff. I used my powers of pattern matching to divine that I was likely to get a valve failure on this dive, and was just hoping it would be my right valve. David answered my hopes, technically, by failing both of my posts, so I ended up sharing gas on the way out. When he failed my left post, I had a ton of trouble turning it. I literally tried to close it, and it wouldn't move; so then I tried to open it and it wouldn't move, so then I tried to close it harder and it finally moved. It seemed like I was sitting there for ages without actually making any progress toward closing it, but no one else seemed to notice the eternity that passed before I closed the valve. Going up the chimney sharing gas was interesting. We ended up not exactly in the configuration I wanted to be in, but it worked. In the debrief, David suggested yet a different configuration that would have been slightly less awkward.

We had lunch and switched out tanks, and then headed back into the water. By the time we got into the water, we were in danger of not making it out of the water by 5, which is when you must be out of the water. So we actually ended up more constrained by time, not gas, on this dive. We headed down the Peanut Line, and and a little before 300 feet, just before the line makes a hard left and goes into the "peanut tunnel", we encountered some shenanigans. I don't know exactly what was going on, because I was in the back, but basically there was another team coming out, so we moved aside and waited for them to come out. But instead of coming out, they started dicking around for no explicable reason. I think it may have been a class doing some strange bottle drills. After several minutes they finally signaled for us to go ahead and we did. After that, things went pretty smoothly and we made it to the jump we had installed with enough time (and plenty of gas) to continue up the line for 5 more minutes. Once we turned the dive, we were greeted by the usual assortment of failures, ending in a gas sharing exit. It was a reasonably long gas sharing exit, so it made sense to switch the out of gas diver (Rob) halfway out onto the other person's long hose (that would be me, the leader at that moment). As we were swimming out, I just knew that Rob would jump the gun and start bossing me around and tell me to put him on my long hose. In fact, I was practically counting down the feet as we swam out, because I knew exactly where halfway was, but I knew that Rob would get antsy. Rob has this annoying habit of not giving me the opportunity to do things right, and instead assuming I will do things wrong and trying to "help me out". Sure enough, about 150 feet early, Rob started signalling and told me to give him my long hose. I looked him right in the eyes and rolled my eyes at him. He gave me this questioning look, and then I handed him my long hose. The exit was otherwise uneventful. When we got to the chimney, we tried orienting ourselves as David had suggested and that worked pretty well. After cleaning up reels and such, we surfaced with like 5 minutes to spare before we had to be out of the water. I mumbled to Rob about how annoying his behavior was and he was like "oh, sorry" and realized that David probably wasn't going to be too pleased with it either, which he was not.

We headed back to EE, which was technically closed by the time we got there, but not really. However, the trimix pumping capability was closed :) The plan was to head up to Mariana the next day, and dive Jackson Blue. We wanted 30/30 for that, but just got 32 instead, and decided we could dive Twin and Hole in the Wall on Wednesday and then get 30/30 from Edd and dive JB on Thursday. After getting gas, we packed all of our gear into David's truck, which suddenly didn't seem quite so cavernous. Once that was finished, the three of us headed to dinner, agreeing to meet David insanely early at the pool tomorrow. We went to Great Outdoors for dinner, and shared a slice of key lime pie for dessert :)

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