Monday, April 30, 2018

The Back of the Sign

"OK, these caves are getting prettier and prettier. And this halocline is trippy as frick. Almost feels like I lost my contacts or something. Did I lose my contacts? There's some clear water. No, I'm good."

Tajma Ha.
All the failure handling and blind skills we did yesterday were going to be repeated but this time in the cave. And when I say cave, I mean cave as cave divers define it. Stuff's starting to get real, yo.

For the first dive, I reeled to the goldline and we did a blind exit immediately after tie-in. This became our routine for all cave dives - drop in to get to the mainline and come back up to recalculate turn time and pressure and then go back in for the actual dive. This allowed us to do an extra round of skills on the exit as well as not use up a ton of time and gas for me to reel in itself. The dive in was amazing we passed the Room of Reflections and one of the strongest haloclines I've seen so far. We passed a ton of markers, looked for the jump lines (I found a few), took copious waypoint notes and turned right before the Jumna River turn. On the way out, we did some light and mask failures.
During the mask failure, all the water in Tajma Ha suddenly became super tannic. Or I had accidentally packed my for-tropical-waters red tinted mask as my backup. One of those.
-> 57min, 41ft, 75F

For the second dive, we went down the Sagrado line. The line tie-in itself is in the halocline which made things a little interesting. The beginning part of the tunnel was tighter than I was expecting but, again, I was surprised how comfortable I felt in it. One thing I did notice was how much of a buoyancy magnet the halocline is. It's super weird how it just pulls you towards it and I'm not sure I'll ever get fully used to how we work through it. More mask failures and valve shutdowns on the exit.
-> 50min, 41ft, 75F

My first day behind the Stop sign was in the books. Yeah, that was fun.

 - U