It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Monday, May 30, 2011

Naharon toward Mayan Blue

Rob really wanted to dive Mayan Blue on this trip, since we didn't last time, and there were a few spots in particular that he wanted to go to. But there had been reports of car break-ins at Mayan Blue recently, so we punted it from our list. Then when we were trying to decide where to go on Monday, somehow the Naharon to Mayan Blue traverse came up. Actually the traverse had come up long ago, before the trip, when Rob kept proposing it and I kept telling him no. But in the end we decided to dive Mayan Blue from the Naharon side :) Rob wanted to go to the Battleship Room in Mayan Blue, which seemed pretty doable from Naharon with two stages. Dennis told us how to get there from Naharon at dinner on Sunday, and Chris refreshed our memory on Monday morning (margaritas and cave directions don't mix very well). The navigation actually was not too complicated, since we already knew how to get to Southern Sacbe (we hadn't actually been there, but had passed the jump), and then you are on that for a long time, go past one T and eventually get dumped into the Battleship Room. Kevin and Don were also at Naharon and were planning to do the same dive. We got in the water a bit before them though, so we weren't piled up on the way there.

Rob led the dive, since it was his turn. We dropped our bottles and Rob installed his strobe on my tanks at one of the sticks again, and then we headed to the mainline, then the Desconocido line, then SW Sacbe, and finally to Southern Sacbe in a little over 20 minutes. The Southern Sacbe line does not have as many column-type decorations as in SW Sacbe, but it is bright white with blue water, and there are many interesting formations. The walls have that crinkly look that some passages below the halocline have (like the crack we went to the previous day). There were occasional restricted areas, but overall it was pretty open, but also distinctly tunnely. We dropped our first stage bottles after one restriction that was a bit tight with the bottle, but otherwise, carrying the bottles was not a problem in this area. We were on the Southern Sacbe line for quite a while, and finally hit a T around 50 minutes in. The T had an arrow back the way we came that said "Naharon" and an arrow to the right saying "Mayan Blue". Phew, good to know we were on the right track :) A few minutes after that, we dropped our second stage bottles, and a few minutes after that, the line became gold line (also a good sign, because we'd been told it was gold line through the Battleship room). For most of this portion of the dive, the line runs just below the halocline. But the rooms are tall enough that you can swim either below or above the halocline with a perfectly good view of the line.

Not too long after the line changed to gold line, we came into a room that was clearly getting bigger. Then off to my left, I saw a formation that looked very distinctly like a gun from a tank or a ship. I'm not much of a military or weapons guru, but even I recognized it. I pointed it out to Rob, and figured that must be why this was called the battleship room. Just a bit beyond that, the room opened up more and we could tell that it was HUGE. This is why Rob wanted to go to this room -- he kept telling me how HUGE it was. To our left, the room extended beyond the glow of our lights, and it extended ahead of us as far as we could see. After we looked around a bit in awe, we decided to hang out in that room for a few minutes and then head out. I stayed on the line was Rob swam over to the wall on the left, and in his light, I could see the extent of the room. It was really neat watching his light across the room. After a few minutes taking turns doing this, we turned the dive.

About 5 minutes later, we passed Don and Kevin, and after a couple of high fives (very dorky, I know), I tried to convey to them that the room was about 5 minutes ahead and totally awesome. Not sure I did. We were sort of in the middle of the halocline at this point, so I doubt anything really got through. On the way out, Rob picked up his camera (which he had deposited somewhere between our first and second stage drops) and took some pictures in the Southern Sacbe tunnel. When we got back to the Southwest Sacbe line, we dropped all of our bottles and headed further up SW Sacbe for a few more pictures. We made it further up that line today, because we didn't start taking pictures until we got a bit further (so made more progress early).

Eventually we turned it and when we got back to our bottles, Kevin and Don's jump to Southern Sacbe had been removed. By the time we got back to the basin, they were there doing deco, and left a couple minutes later. After doing too much deco, we got out of the water and cleaned up our gear. Then we headed to Super Carne for some meat, errr lunch. Then we headed down to the gelato shoppe, since I was determined to have gelato at least once more before leaving :) Then we headed to ZG to get tanks for the next day, and then hit a beach bar in Akumal for some afternoon drinks. There we discussed the plan for the next day. We decided to go to Dos Ojos, because I complained that it was one of those sites that everyone's been to, but we hadn't been to yet. Plus it is super shallow and I was happy to not carry two stages around yet again!

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