It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gran Cenote to Bosh Chen (or is it Box Chen?)

We met up with Lynne, Peter, Kevin and Jacob at Gran Cenote on Thursday morning. Rob wanted to do the traverse to Bosh Chen (I have no idea how he came up with that as a goal). The plan was to do a two stage dive. Now, my idea of a good use of two stages is to go to a site where there are two divergent places to dive, drop a full stage at that point, go up one side, then come back, drop the empty stage, pick up the full one and go the other way. So more like 2 one-stage dives than a two-stage dive -- minimizing the amount of time actually swimming with two stage bottles clipped to me :) It quickly became clear that this would not be the case on this dive, however. Hmph. Originally we were planning to dive with Kevin and Jacob and one of them suggested doing the Lithium Sunset area on the way out. After coming up with a plan for this dive, we eventually came to the conclusion that diving in a team of 4 was dumb, so in the end we split up and I dove with Rob. Rob still did not have his camera, since yesterday had been a pretty tiring day and I guess he didn't feel like setting it up that evening.

We took the Paso de Lagarta jump, which is a lot closer to the main line than it used to be. We headed up that line for a while, and dropped our stages at between the Much's Maze and Lithium Sunset jumps. We then continued up to the Bosh Chen jump, which was just as described (a jump to the right just as the line turns 90 degrees to the left). About 10 minutes up from there, we came to a jump to the left. During the discussion before the dive, there had been some discussion about getting to Bosh Chen once we jumped onto our current line. The consensus was that you can go either right or left, but according to Jacob the left side is prettier and the right more restricted. But as it was described to us, the line continues left and the jump is to the right. So when we came upon this jump to the left, we weren't sure if this was that split. So we stayed on the line, but I dropped a cookie just in case we made it the whole way around. The path was somewhat restricted, with some interesting little twists and chutes. About 20 minutes later, we hit the cenote. We popped up quickly, Rob said he wasn't sure this was it -- he was underwhelmed by the size of the opening (the opening to sunlight, not the opening to air which is much bigger). So we continued on just in case this was not it. I hadn't heard anything at all about Bosh Chen, so I really had not idea what it was supposed to look like. We eventually came back to my cookie. I agree with the assessment that the left side is less restrictive and prettier. It is very pretty in fact, with some nice big rooms (just "before" Bosh Chen) that are nicely decorated.

After a quick wetnotes discussion, we decided to return back the way we came (to the left) to get our stages (since it was faster in that direction, both shorter and less restricty), so we installed the jump spool and headed back. We surfaced again in the cenote and had some water and goo, and chatted for a few minutes. Then we continued back to our stages, then doubled back to go the "short way" back on the left side. The original plan was to jump up to lithium sunset on the way back, but since we spent all that time going round and round the circuit, we skipped that. We got our stages and then Rob suggested Much's Maze, but I was starting to worry about the burntime on my light, so I passed. Anyway, Kevin and Jacob were up there and I could see their lights as they headed out, and didn't feel like waiting for them to pass :) We passed Don and Elissa not long after that. I didn't even know they were coming to Gran Cenote today (they arrived after we got into the water). When I first saw them, I thought it was them, but was a little confused by Don's red drysuit. I'd never seen it before, and didn't even know he had a red drysuit. Man, everyone has a red drysuit now.

When we got back to the mainline, Rob was cleaning up the spool and just as he got to the mainline, my light died. Meanwhile, Rob had apparently just bottomed out his stage bottle and was basically breath-holding back to the mainline (since his hands were busy spooling). It was a bit of a cluster fuck overall :) But after dealing with that, we headed out and we back into the cavern zone before you know it. As we were doodling around there, Don and Elissa showed up, which was a surprise -- I guess Don had a soggy drysuit.

We headed to lunch at a place in Tulum called Elemental that Lynne had discovered recently. I really liked it (the tacos de tinga are very tasty). They have a really good sesame seed sauce that they bring with the food. After that, we had some gelato and then headed to ZG to swap tanks. We had tentative plans to meet at the pub for drinks later with Lynne and Peter, but ended up just going to their condo for margaritas instead. So in honor of that, you get a picture of the beach by our condos (since there are no other pictures from the day :( ).

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