Cave Diving, Cave Exploration and Cave Mapping in Yucatan, Mexico
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Category — Tux Kubaxa

The Most Beautiful Cave Dive? Tux Kubaxa

On our ride back from Mayan Blue, Alain and I were trying to figure out where to do our next cave dive.  Finally it struck me, call Alessandro and ask him if he wanted to dive ‘the cave past Chemuyil’.  Alain called and Alessandro accepted our invitation and told us the name, Tux Kubaxa.

For a couple of months I have been hearing about this amazing cave system out past Chemuyil.  It seemed mythical in description.  It was rumored that Robbie from Xibalba had never seen a more beautiful system.  Fortunately, almost no one had been to it and there was no hard information about it.

Monday rolled around and Alain and I headed south to meet Alessandro.  All three of us would be diving sidemount so we needed to pick up a truck load of tanks, 12 in all. I am never happy when I have to drive that many tanks around.  However, I figured it would be worth it.

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We picked up Alessandro and headed out into the jungle.  The two lane road turned into a one lane road.  Eventually that one lane road turned into double track.  Then we passed a small village and the one lane turned into a rocky car wide path through the jungle.  The path was rough going and I dragged the bottom of the 4Runner a couple of times.

After 30 minutes of driving through the jungle and passing at least one promising Cenote we reached the end of the drivable road and a clearing.  The clearing was 50M from Three Stars Cenote.  Alessandro had dived there before and according to the maps it is connected to Tux Kubaxa.  The walk from the car to Tux Kubaxa took about 10 minutes over an uneven horse path.  Arriving at the Cenote we found a palapa and a deck.  I really got the sense of being isolated out there and I didn’t want to get injured.

The Cenote is a beautiful offset sink.  The bottom was sandy and the water was clear.  The main line stretched out into open water.  It is a wonderfully beautiful place in the jungle.  We had been blessed with a north wind for the last couple of days, which meant there were no mosquitoes.

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None of us had previously dived this Cenote, however we had a stick map.  With great anticipation we planned a dive down the main line to another Cenote.  We didn’t have the scale on the stick map so we weren’t sure how long it would take.  We kitted up and started the dive.  We reached our destination after 40 minutes.  This Cenote was a big air dome with two person sized shafts.  One of the shafts had a rope ladder in it; the other just roots.  It is very similar to Nohoch Na Chich main entrance.

The main line cave is very white, with no halocline and a max depth of 41ft.  We passed 8 marked jumps and 1 T.  All the jumps were in 29-30ft of water.  There was an abundance of decoration with some impressively large ones. The cave is breathtakingly beautiful and in pristine condition.

The dive is a good candidate for backmount and a scooter.  Hopefully you have access to a light weight scooter.  The return swim was uneventful, except for the fact that we were swimming into the current and it took us an extra 8 minutes to get back.  Living in Mexico, sometimes I forget what it is like to swim into molasses.

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Satisfied with our first dive, we surfaced and recalculated thirds.  We wanted to quickly check the first marked jump.  Our idea was to do a short recon dive up the branch line and install a cookie for the traverse from Three Stars.  We dropped back down and made the jump.  Almost immediately we were met with a sidemount restriction. I was excited after more then an hour in power passage.  We squeezed through and then we were immediately met with two more nice restrictions.  One of which was a real belly dragger.    After 12 minutes we reached some reasonable sized cave and I called the dive.  We only had 400psi to penetrate with and I felt like we had gone far enough.  I was going to be last one out and the thought of being the third man through three nice silty restrictions made me wince.  Sometimes I am plagued with the idea that my dive buddy is going to cork me in.  When in all likely hood if I can fit through he can as well.  It seems everyone I dive with is smaller then me.  We exited with smiles on our face. It was a nice treat to end the day with.

We planned for two full dives, but it was 3:30 when we surfaced.  I told the team I was done and they could go for another if they like.  Everyone agreed it was late and we should get out of the jungle. No one liked the idea of breaking down and driving out in the dark.  I think we were all impressed with the cave.  The second short dive really sealed the deal for us.  If you are interested in diving Tux Kubaxa, I highly recommend you get a guide.  It is a long ways out into the jungle and access can be challenging.  If you drop me an email, I can hook you up with the right guide.

There is a lot of cave out there in the jungle and I look forward to going back.  The drive home was uneventful, except for the goat herding.  It is amazing the wildlife we find in the jungle.  I love living in Mexico!

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I guess I should tell you a little about the cast of characters.  Alain Pocobelli is a friend and part of our deep diving team.  He is an instructor and is qualified to teach up to Advanced Nitrox and Decompression Procedures.  Alain has joined us on 2 or 3 trips to The Pit and was essential in helping us rig our unconscious diver lift system.  Currently, Alain is working independently and for Yucatek Divers in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Alessandro Reato is also a friend and a dive instructor.  He is qualified to teach up to Intro to Cave Diving.  You can find his website cave diving and scuba instruction website, Il Filo di Arianna.

October 31, 2008   2 Comments