12/14/2006(Thu) No.1 - Blue[Florida]

Diver : Michael Clay
Dive Master :
Buddy : Billy Fowler
D.Service :
Weather : Cloudy
Temp. : 78 Fahrenheit
Ave.w.temp : 73 Fahrenheit
Min.w.temp : 73 Fahrenheit
Diving Suit : 5mm Full Wetsuit
Inner Wear : Bathing Suit
Weight : 0 Lbs
Tank Material : Steel
Equipment : Cave Gear
S.I.Time : 00:00:00
Time In : 16:08:21
Time Out : 17:25:01
Dive Time : 01:16:40
Ave.Depth : 49 ft
Max.Depth : 98 ft
Safety Stop.Depth : 10 ft
Safety Stop.Time : 20 min
Tank Capacity : 193 Cu/Ft
Pres. In : 3000 PSI
Pres. Out. : 1800 PSI
Air Consum. : .68 CuFt/Min
Visibility H. : 60 ft
Visibility V. : 60 ft
Access1 : Shore
Access2 : Spring
Rating : ****
Dive Number : 215
Total Time : 186:12

This was my first (and probably only) dive at Blue. It is a sink hole in town that is closed to the public. The fence around it was down and there were no markings not to tresspass or dive. :-) We had to hike the gear down into about a 20ft deep sink to gear up. Very uncomfortable to gear up! No place stand or kneel in the water. Once in the water, you drop about 65ft past a bunch of debris to a rabbit hole on the bottom. The bottom is mostly fine sand and clay making the tight passage zero vis for the second diver. Once we got through that initial passage, past a jump with a turtle carcass on the floor, it opened up into a good size room with clear blue water! Beautiful! We went to the first "T" and turned right to go through the "U", back to the main line. Then we continued up the main line to the next "T" where we stayed left this time. As the circuit came back together we headed up into a smaller, silty passage. I got to the top and Billy told me it was time to turn. The passage was small enough, when I tried to turn, I couldn't move. Billy ascended into the dome and I entered the room underneath him where there was just enough room for me to turn.

On the way out I stopped at each "T" and asked Billy, "which way?". He pointed me back in the direction we came. Apparently he had hit thirds where we turned so we were making our exit. When we got back to the "Turtle", we made a left and headed down an unmapped passage. Billy ran a reel, only to find it was about a 6ft jump to a new line. We followed it down a clear blue tunnel where the line ended and the cave tightened up. Billy poked his head into the hole at the end then swam past me and motioned for me to check it out. It looked like it would be fairly easily passable with our sidemount gear but we had already been in the water almost an hour and needed to start heading out. Could it be "virgin cave"?! :-) I doubt it but it looked pretty prestine! And it's always fun to believe you're the first. ;-)

As we came out, we had about 30min of deco. Billy checked out the upstream passage then we hung out in the cavern zone, slowly working our way up. There were a few bottles that other divers had obviously filled with air and stuck on the ceiling. We played with our backup lights. Billy's was almost dead. He decided that he wanted an LED one.

When we finally exited it was getting dark. We hurried our gear up to the Jeep and headed out. On the way we found a couple of Mexicans stuck in the sand with a trailer full of trash. I asked them if they were dumping their trash. They told me that they were picking up scrap to take to the scrap yard for $0.45 a pound. It sounded convincing enough so we hooked up a tow strap and pulled them out. :-)