It's about diving. And cats.

Me diving

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Peacock to Cisteen

On Saturday, we all headed to Peacock. Rob and I did a dive at Peacock 1 to Cisteen, mostly because I looked at the map and mused about how I wondered what that dive was like. When we got to Peacock, it was pretty empty at both Orange Grove (which we stopped at to give Matt and Leah a little briefing about) and Peacock 1. There was one team coming out as we walked down to the water to get in. We didn't know exactly how the lines ran to get to Cisteen, but I remembered seeing the jump off of the mainline toward Cisteen. There are two different jumps that aren't that far apart that both eventually go there, and I didn't know which one actually went the whole way to Cisteen (presumably the other one ended and then we would have to jump back into the other to head up to Cisteen). In any case, the plan was to take the first jump (the Nicholson tunnel, according to the map), and then jump back onto the other line if necessary.

I was leading the dive, and the mainline started even closer to open water than I remembered (though, in hindsight, exactly where it started before). The chute going down from the cavern to the sign was a lot bigger than I remembered too :) Rob always likes to shoot down it head down, and I usually do the same thing, but today I realized that it is much more civilized to go down sideways (which is how I usually come up the chute). That worked nicely. The viz was really good once we got into the cave. It was like a whole different cave compared to the first time we dived it, when the viz was just marginally within standards to dive it in C1. I was thinking that as we swam along in there. When we got near Pothole, we found a pair of shoes, one near the line and one off to the side, which I don't remember seeing before, but they looked like they had been there a while. Who knows. We got to the jump, and I put the jump in and we were off. After about 9 minutes, the line ended and the tunnel we were in was perpendicular to a fairly big tunnel, by Peacock standards, where that other line ran. Shortly before we got to the end of the line, the tunnel ran a bit deeper and it got much colder, and slightly murky -- the water was quite green. It probably wasn't really "much colder" in terms of degrees Fahrenheit, but it felt like quite a shock as we swam into it. But it was actually pretty refreshing.

Anyhoo, it took me a moment to locate the other line when we got to the end of this line, even though it was in a pretty obvious location, but a bit above us where we came out of our tunnel. We jumped over to the other line and headed right. We passed the two jumps to our left which show on the map as "the wishbone" and then the line got quite busy with cookies, arrows, and little tags that were related to some sort of survey project. Just after that, there is a T and the right goes up abruptly, I assumed to Cisteen. So we went right and what do you know, it quickly ascended into a cavern zone. We popped up at a sort of icky little body of water -- it was pretty green. We chatted briefly, and since we were not too far from thirds, we decided to just head back (though in hindsight, we really should have headed just a bit further up the line... why not?).

On the way out, I thought of doing the wishbone loop a bit too late, and since Rob was leading, I thought it would be a bit annoying to stop him and turn him around. So we just headed straight back to the mainline. When we got back there, I was cleaning up the jump spool and put a finger down on the cinder block thingy (not really a cinder block at all... but a concrete cylinder thingy with an eye bolt or something coming out the top) and it moved. Rob was super annoyed by this. After a bit of discussion about heading further up the mainline, I thumbed it, in part because Rob was annoying me and in part because my knee was bothering me (which may have had a small part in Rob seeming more annoying than usual). This swimming thing is a real bummer; I prefer pulling myself into the cave and then being spit back out. The swim out was uneventful. It turned out to be a pretty short dive.

When we got out, we packed up the car and headed over to Orange Grove to look for Matt and Leah. They were rinsing the duckweed off of their drysuits when we showed up, so it was perfect timing. We stopped at the Luraville country store for lunch and then headed back to High Springs.

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