Cave Diving, Cave Exploration and Cave Mapping in Yucatan, Mexico

Dive 378 – Cenote Cristalino over to Cenote Azul, SISTEMA PONDEROSA

Patrick, Allie and myself made a lunch time trip down to Cristalino.  This was my third trip to the cenote and Allie’s first dive as a full cave diver.  Congratulations sweety!  We elected Allie as the team lead with Patrick in tow taking notes.  Our plan for the dive was to tie in to the loop at the southern end of the cenote.  Take the first jump to the left and head towards Cenote Azul.  Our turn conditions were 45 minutes or 1/3’rds.  The cave between Cristalino and Azul is very very beautiful.  There is rarely a straight run and there is plenty of entertainment.  If you do not have your buoyancy absolutely dialed or you are a bigger guy in backmount, you need not apply.  Luckily, Patrick and I were in sidemount and Allie is tiny even in backmount.  Plus she has the skills of a humming bird.  She lead us to the end of the line.  We elected to jump to the line to Ponderosa when we were in sight of the Cenote Azul.  We headed west towards Ponderosa.  Along this section we had to repeatedly stop and fix the line.  It is pretty thrashed in this area.  We came across slack line 3 times.  Once the line was back in good working order, we continued.  We stopped in a very cool air dome that was full of bats.  We chatted for  couple of minutes and turned the dive on time and gas.  The swim back was as beautiful as the swim out.  There was plenty of percolation.

Allie and Patrick are really a joy to dive with.  Both are very capable and super laid back, which makes for excellent buddies.   We did our safety stop, ended the dive and drove Patrick back to work.  Arriving on time and under budget!

Today’s dive was excellent.  The only problem I had was that my BC just doesn’t want to provide enough buoyancy on the surface.  The way it is, I can not really take stages with me.  I am going to have to make some changes.  I have a jacket style BC over a super cool minimalist harness.  In an effort to  minimize my profile, I have been nipping and tucking the jacket and I think I went too far last night.  During our S drill, I really struggled staying on the surface and I was completely squeezed by the jacket.  I think I am going to need to find a way to get some additional life out of the jacket without it being too loose on me when I am in diving trim.  I see some liberal use of bungee in the near future.  I will keep you informed.