Friday, November 22, 2019

Madison Blue

Photo filched from a Florida parks site because I forgot to take one
Little bitta flow. No worries. Stay on the right side of the deck or you'll end up ass over tea kettle into the Withlacoochee river. Kinda worries.

Cave 1, Day 4

Conditions were good enough to dive Madison Blue so we headed there to get a gentler introduction to some flow before diving into Ginnie. This was where we would first employ the pull-and-glide (which is completely awesome, just in case anyone's wondering) and learn ways to best use the cave layout to avoid the brunt of the water.

The regulator failures piled on top of each other today with both of us losing multiple posts and ending up in a gas sharing scenario. As usual, the blackout masks appeared.

No biggie. We did almost 30min yesterday and we're improving with every occurrence of this drill.
Yes biggie. No-viz gas sharing exit even in moderate flow is not quite the same as in Peacock.

I ended up in some terrible body positions due to the cave layout as well as not managing my drysuit+wing often enough. I don't think I've fought buoyancy this hard since my Rec3 flame-out. It felt like I was completely feet-up vertical but the ninjas assured me that it looked not as awful as it felt.
So, um, yeah. Manage your air cells a lot better and more often than you think you need to when the flow is pushing you.

Some transfill whip magic later, we quickly got back in for another shorter dive and more failures.

-> 2hr 7min, 68ft, 68F

This is a different looking cave than Peacock with lighter colored rock formations and much more varying shapes. I'm glad we got to do this during the class because it seems like it's often blown out. We had excellent conditions and I'm looking forward to coming back here even though there's only one mainline for beginner divers.

Shout out to Discount Tire in Lake City who fixed our rental's flat for free!! Apparently this is not uncommon for most large tire shops - I was today years old when I learned that.

Dinner at Conestogas, where Tim Tebow has a shrine and you have to walk through a gift shop to get to the cash register.

 - U