Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Manatee Springs Again

Just a few weeks after my last dive at Manatee I had the itch to return. The water was a beautiful blue and the flow was as low as I have seen it. Bob Beckner and I did a repeat dive of the previous weekend, except this time we brought one more stage bottle. So this was a double stage, sidemount scooter diver. We went on the dive to investigate a potential lead. We reached the destination restriction, and Bob waited for me. The restriction was a tight fracture, the walls were rough as I believe I was only the second one through here. Visibility went to zero, due to an orange clay underneath shifting breakdown. Shortly I emerged into a beautiful little room. There was a fracture in the ceiling that would rain clay when bubbles rushed into it. The passage continued and made a hard left here ended in a 2" high sand restriction and I turned the dive. The first 1800' of our exit had very poor visibility due to the small nature of the passage and the result of my shenanigans.
We reached the mainline grabbed our scooters and enjoyed a fast joyride out of the system. Deco was short and chiggers were no too bad.

Bob packed up and headed home. Sara and I stayed and enjoyed a second dive in Catfish Hotel, one of the other entrances to the Cave system. Catfish Hotel is an offset sink with an upstream and downstream cave passage. This was a fun dive and it allowed Sara to get in the water and play with her new sidemount gear!
She is enjoying the transition to sidemount diving, she particularly likes the increased stability, and the ability to look up without hitting her head.

Here is a short video of the dive: https://vimeo.com/36324065

It was a great day.