The day started with wake up call by some wild turkeys running around in the jungle, a first glimpse and there they are, a spider monkey family swinging by over the camp.. what a tranquility just nature, nature pure.
Dose of an other five minutes and there it comes the smell of a good strong coffee.
Time to wake up and get ready.. An excellent Mayan breakfast is waiting for us.. Fresh fruits, corn flakes, eggs and bacon, fresh toasted bread, juices and coffee.. hmm what else do you need to feel great?
With full stomachs me, Pep Llinares and the Italian team formed by Nicole Signore, Marcello Spina, Gregorio Martinucia, Georgio Masi y Leonardo Gerreto knot a other 5’000ft of exploration line and wind it up on Reels to have a total of 10’000ft while going over the dive plan and the logistics of the day.
Planning to hike to the resonantly found Cenote KayHa, rappel down (approx 30ft) into the Cenote and start diving in three teams from there heading towards Cenote Caracol. On the first dive (before the expedition) we made it to a intersection about 1’500ft from the entrance where the main tunnel splits into three tunnels and reached a max depth of 20ft. all the teams are going to leave the fist stage tank close to that area and the second one further in. Team one me and Pep left side, team two Marcello and Gregorio middle, team three Georgio, Nicole y Leonardo right side.
Arriving at KayHa all the needed equipment and tanks have already being brought there by the Mayan sherpas. The hike towards the Cenote was this time much easier since the workers cleared a path wide enough to walked comfortably. All we had to do now was gear up, rappel down and get wet.
Entering the Cave as team number one having a spectacular visibility and barely percolation, this huge amount of blind cave fishes around us and some walls we are passing by show antique Mayan carvings.
|As planned arriving at the intersection in 30 minutes tying a “T” into the main line and heading into the left tunnel. This tunnel is one of the most beautiful one we have seen in all the dives, highly decorated with untouched silt banks , blind cave fishes, millions and millions cave shrimps. This tunnel has a lot of potential for further exploration it counts with many intersections which lead into different tunnels. Swimming straight ahead 88 minutes into the dive about 4400ft from the entrance there is something different on the silt.|
Unbelievable some very old looking bones, two big vertebras and some other loose bones just under a overhang like somebody placed them there.. What a great found! Pepe can’t believe it he starts smiling and says “yes” “yes”. It made him really happy to see those unique bones.
After a few minutes at the bones we keep diving into the cave still laying more line.
It gets suddenly pretty shallow only five feet deep and the water seems to be much greener here so we both cover our lights for a few seconds and there we see a small opening it is probably impossible to find it in the jungle just a two by two feet whole in the ceiling covered mostly by plants. Nice a little emergency air pocket. We continued an other few minutes until to a dead end and the planned limits of our gas supplies at 113 minutes where we turned the dive and started surveying out. The visibility decreases a little bit but is still very good.
Getting close to our stage bottles there appear suddenly some lights..
Team number two is connecting their line to our line. What a coincidence after more than two hours exploring we run into Marcello and Gregorio what a nice surprise. After some smiles and o.k. signs we split again up to start the exit.
Diving out 145 minutes into the dive Pepe found some more bones under a overhang right in a curve which where impossible to see on the way in. This bones are very similar to the ones we found earlier, more vertebras and some small bones. Pepe writes down on a slate “ I am the happiest man on earth finding this bones” “can’t stop smiling”. With a big smile in his face he starts exiting the cave and continues with the survey. Without any incidents we where able to complete the survey.
Total dive time was 252 minutes (4h, 12 min) max depth 20ft, average depth 16ft Surveyed data from this dive 2000ft.
After we surface the other two teams are already waiting for us with big smiles in there faces.
Everybody seems to be really happy, all three teams found tunnels with much more potential for exploration and Marcello and Greg found is well some big prehistoric animal bones.While we are still resting on the surface the workers start pulling our gear up and lower us some water. Once the equipment is out we start repelling us up and hike back to the camp. Close to the camp we already smell the great Mayan BBQ which is awaiting us..
Now a quick shower and it is dinner time. During dinner we talk about this great day our findings and experiences. After this great day is now mapping time and then punch the survey data into the computer to get a descent map. What a great experience! We all can’t wait to see what we’ll see tomorrow back in the water.
Text by Sergio Granucci