Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dive log: Every Dive is Practice for the Next Dive

We learn more by working through challenges along the way than by having everything go smoothly all the time. Yesterday's cave dive at Ginnie Springs, Florida was a good exercise in basic problem solving 87ft...inside a cave.

My buddy, Riana, and I entered in through the Eye, with Riana leading and running the reel from open water. According to our dive plan, we swam along the gold line and she tied off a spool at the line arrow across from the large bolder near the Lips entrance. We tucked and wrapped the line so it wouldn’t be in the middle of the main passage, found the opening to the Lips-ByPass tunnel on the left side of the main passage and wound our way through an impressive labyrinth until connecting to the permanent secondary line. After swimming a bit further, we came to the “T” junction where the passage opened up a bit and placed our cookies on the exit side of the “T”, then dipped into another small tunnel (not on the map) that eventually took us to an opening on the main gold line some distance cave-side from the Park Bench. I called the dive on thirds just before Riana tied into the gold line.

A few minor equipment glitches after we turned the dive made for a good learning experience and solidified my determination to go "back to the drawing board" and tweak my kit some more: A primary light that kept switching off when I twisted and turned (and we did a fair amount of that in the Lips-ByPass), a primary 2nd stage bolt snap that I tangled up with my secondary light clip and got stuck, belt webbing that came completely undone, and a drysuit with too-big feet that I'm still trying to subdue to my will. All challenges that can and will be overcome.

I am thankful for my terrific buddy, Riana, for whom there are no problems – only opportunities; our commitment to the safe cave diving "rule of thirds"; and clear-headed, calm thinking when things don't work quite as planned.

Dive safe!

(Map courtesy of Steve Berman [1998])