"What's that? Tie-off? OK, there's the other end. Keep going. Random line marker. Not our's, ignore it. Oh, my ear's are crackling, time to vent my wing. There we go. Much better. Aaaand now I'm stuck. What's going on? Ah, my primary light hopped off my D-ring. Awesome. Oh, and it clipped itself off to the line behind something. Lovely."
A fair bit of cave training is learning how to unscrew up a screwed up situation while in reduced or no visibility. We were at the quaintly named cenote Carwash at Aktun Ha for this and Nat started out by setting up a simple line circuit in the head pool. We went over all the different combinations of completing the circuit before we dropping in. A lot of the initial drills were done with my eyes closed but the option to open them if I needed to confirm something. I actually found it relatively straight forward to identify the tie-offs, markers and lines on my own. Adding a buddy into the mix was another matter entirely. We did a bunch of iterations around the same circuit in various configurations until she was satisfied with my performance.
-> 80min, 15ft, 77F
After lunch, I mapped out the cavern at Carwash and plotted a path I would follow while running the reel the entire time. This turned out to be really good practice for waypoint following as well as reel running since I was doing both for the entire dive. It wasn't a large cavern but I picked a circuitous enough path that I got a fair bit of time with the reel. Another thing I discovered was that if I reeled in correctly, I barely needed to kick to have just the right pace moving back in :)
-> 38min, 50ft, 76F
We'd reached a point where Nat was satisfied enough with my progress that we would now be moving into the actual cave zone from now on :O
It was time to say hello to the darkness.