Wakulla Co Sinks 12-9 & 12-11-10 Reports

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SuPrBuGmAn

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12-9-10

I get out of work an hour early on Thursdays(go in an hour early too), so planned to get a dive in afterwards, with the extra hour. GeorgiaDoc and Roger were already at the meet spot when I got there and we were ready to roll. Some quick waivers for a private landowner, along with a donation and we were at the back of his property, gearing up for the dive. We had a bit of daylight left, so we checked out the sink before getting the rest of our gear to the water.

We'd be getting in at the nearest sink to the landowners land, which borders Forest lands. This sink is one of many in a stretch of shallow sinks within a very large cave system(Leon Sinks - Wakulla Springs System). The most upstream of this particular stretch of shallow sinks has a mess of lines within its cavern zone. Our hopes for this dive would be to get there, clean up the lines so they don't cross each other, and connect to the sinks ascent line. Then we'd exit via an alternative passage, creating a bit of a circuit at the end.

I led the dive, the water was blue but slightly milky with 30' of visibility or so. We wouldn't be seeing from one side to the other in most of the passages, which are larger than the vis would allow sight. There was still a bit of ambient light as we passed the first two sinks, but not so much the last four. Upstream of the forth sink, I put in a reel to a jumpline off to the right, where we'd be completing our circuit later on. We passed from dark/black cave predominantly covered with goethite which would just eat your light, to creamy stratified passage, pure white, scraggly passage that looked like it'd just want to reach out and grab at you with any wrong move, and eventually huge scallopped powercave. It truly is one of my favorite dives as the passage just changes so much. Took a right at the T. We made it to our sinkhole, and went to work on fixing the line so it didn't run/cross directly underneath another line - which is just retarted unsafe. It didn't take long and we were on our way. We took the opposite line on the T on the way back, which brings you along an alternative route that runs under the main downstream passage. There are some chimneys that pop up into the main passage but continuing forward will pop you under a duckunder further downstream on the main passage. My reel was waiting there. After pulling the jump line, I managed to not clip the reel off, which sent it falling into a huge mushroom cloud of silt. It didn't sink too deeply, thankfully... The ride out was fun and relaxing. We had 3-4 minutes of decompression at our entry sink and then we surfaced. Max depth of 104 with a divetime of 86 minutes.

It was in the upper 30sF when we surfaced, brrrrr! I hauled ass to the car in order to get some dry clothes on, then we got all the gear back to the vehicles. It was time for food and we agreed on some hotwings to combat the cold. After one of us needed a quick stop to wipe poo off the shoes, we headed back to town for some food and drink. I still love ending workdays like this.

12-11-10

After thursday nights dive to clear some lines out, I thought it would be good to clean up another site, while conditions allowed. This is another site the WCDC has arranged access to, and we've actually put in some steps here in the past. Unfortunately, conditions at this site typically aren't steller, but they are very divable at the moment - so I contacted Dive_Aholic about the two of us being a little productive. He's been in the cave once before, so an easy choice for buddy on this little dive.

We met up around 10:45AM onsite today. It really wasn't all that cold, especially after a little field trip into the woods to look at some of the other area sinks within the property. It was great catching up with the Neto's, it had been too long since I had a chance to hang out with them. Eventually we geared up and started dumping gear in the water, which is still a nice blue-green color. Visibility was around 20-25' and a bit milky, but very much divable, and in my limited experience at this site - very good compared to whats typical. I ran a small reel from the steps down the cavern entrance and to the top of the debri cone, near where the line to the main cave lies. We dropped O2 here and drifted down the existing line to the cave, where it ties off to a tree limb, and branches off in several directions. I tied off Mr Potatoehead and we circumnavigated the room. The limestone here is very white, very soft, but very beautiful. The dissolution of stone has created some very delicate, but very beautiful spires around the room, very reminiscant to the Crystal Room in another area cave, just smaller. Once we ran a circuit around the room, the two of us set out to cutting and pulling out all remaining lines, which consisted of a badly run circuit with a few lines T'ing off it, most of them going only a few feet before laying loose on the bottom, or tying off to a nearby rock. There were parrallel lines, and many other unneccessary lines all within a room that was no bigger than 50' across and 40' high. We swapped over existing line arrows and placed one or two more where we thought necessary. Once finished up, we headed into the cavern and ran a line to another passage. Its tight, silty, and extremely crumbly. We didn't want any of it this time around so thumbed the dive and headed back to our upline, grabbed the O2 and did around 8 minutes of deco on 100% at the mouth of the cavern. It was a fun dive and we pulled alot of unneccessary line out of a single room, making it much safer and simpler to navigate. Max depth of 136' for a dive lasting just 56 minutes.

GRLine393.jpg


We hit up El Jalisco's afterwards, which is always a winner. They had two for one XX's today too, excellent. We rolled out once finished up, bellies full, and headed to Greggs for some fills. I saw an owl off the side of the road on the way south, and it was still there after getting the tanks filled so I snapped a photo.

Owl368.jpg




Madison tomorrow...
 

deeper thoughts

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thnx for the report
 
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