Report #5 of the EJIDO JACINTO PAT EXPLORATION EXPEDITION
Day # 4 Into The Exploration. A glorious, successful day!
everything is going as we are hoping. In fact, we must be "blessed" so far
because the rewards of the hard work and dedication to this project is going
better than we could ask.
First, the weather got better. Much better. By the afternoon, the skies were
Second, our 4 wheel vehicle (which had broken down the day before) was back in
service due to the superb wok of our Team Member - Issac Villanavunue. What a
We had a team meeting in the morning.
I apologize to the team for my "mistake"
the day before, reviewed what we had accomplished the day before and briefly
outlined our goals. The "attitude" was still in tuned. The "fatique factor"
was definitely beginning to show but the spirit was still intact. Fatique is
the most crippling effect on a team mission such as this. Since most team
members lifestyles are not exposed to the day to day control of heat and
humidity that ALL of us who live here get adapted too, it is a very challenging
part of this game. Something Not to take light hearted.
Typical things happened in the morning. One van needed 5 gallons of gas; could
not find the "keys" to the other van resulting in switching to another , and so
on. But, we got off within a reasonable time. Everyone had their assignments
for the day!
Here are the results:
1. Bil Philips and Pablo Diaz successfully connnected M1 with M2. Bil and
installed over 400 feet of line and connected with 450 feet of line that
Turgeon of Montreal installed six weeks ago when both Cenotes were found.
Added line to Dos Ojos: 850 feet.
2. Paul Heinerth was assigned the task to go to the end of the "Main Line"
Frontierland and push Brian Kukak's line to the suspected Cenote we
would appear because of the black dirt, catfish galore and shallow depth.
Bam. Paul nails it (requiring three stage bottles and DPV to get there)
after laying about 500 feet of line. (My longest known friend - we
met in 1972 at St. Petersburg Jr. College when he was the asistant
Instructor to my Basic Scuba Course.)
Buddy predicts he will find the cenote by land and instructs him to
recalculate thirds and empty the reel and "hoot" for him to locate.
Buddy tramps through the jungle with two
Mayans (45 minute hike from M1) and finds Paul, reloads Paul with fresh
tanks and 2,000 feet and tells him to "spank" the cave. At the radio
check at 6:30 P.M.
(I'm now out of the jungle at Villas DeRosa) Buddy reports Paul empties 1
reels and only quits because his light (stupid us) runs out. Paul
reports its BIG
and we think this is the MOTHER of both Dos Ojos and Nahoch.
Dreams do come true......maybe. Buddy plans to "turn" Paul and Brian
tommorrow with mega reels and have "No Mercy" on this cave. Paul says
"It's Big!" and going like a freight train due west. Calculated line
data on paper yet) installed: 2,000 feet +. Yes.
3. After yesterday's performance (since I can't coach) I decide to get
trenches. My original plan was to keep out of the water, coach, be a
do whatever it takes to make people have fun and lay line. But, a slight
evolved where my good friend Donn Ellerbrock (a lawyer and Lobbiest for
State Legislature of Ohio) was matched up with another good friend as dive
buddies ...... but ..... it did not not seem to merge very well. No
you can "sense" when it works and when it does not. So, my other
friend........ we put with someone else. I informed Donn I'll dive
with him as I promised
when I originally invited him to this game. So, we will dive Kentucky
downstream about 2500 feet and look for leads off this "offshoot" huge
I laid installed with Dale Hardy (now lives in Las Vegas and originally
from St. Louis). We use a stage bottle and get into the area to begin our
prey". I spot a small passage to the left, sniff around but discouraged
the potential. Donn spots a lead to the right but it is "too soon" because
"turned off" the main line and any passageways to the right would smack
into the Main Line going south. We go another 150 feet and then we spot a
dark, void to the right. Now, that looks good. Donn ties off on the
and we follow this downstream lead that is really nice. Donn handles reel
I serve as the "point man" to determine the right way, I hope. The reel
and Donn makes the wraps where needed. You can see he was stoked. I'm
stoked. Two pigs in heaven. Before you know it, the Explorer Reel
is empty and we had reached our air turnaround. We slap "high fives"
and I could see the gleam in Donn's eye. That's what I love the most
about cave diving - the joy of happiness in someone's eyes. That's
why I love to teach
cave diving. We were very happy puppies! I survey out. The dive took
hours. At my decompression stop according to my computer (yes, we have
decompression in Mexico) - maximum depth 50 feet - I add up the score
Line installed: 827 feet. Yes.
Steve Keene, with Sidemounts in Kentucky Castle (we give him the shitty
because he is damn good) installs 350 feet. Sue Sharples has a very good
lead going and figures she has 350 feet plus going with her side mount but
could not survey because of a regulator problem and will continue
Line installed total: 1177 feet apprioximate. Yes.
4. Bill Renaker - at mid day - radios us from Hilario's Well. He just
ran out of
guideline. He needs more. Much more. Buddy remarks that
does not grasp the potential of laying Mucho line. We keep
telling everyone to always carry a minimum 1500 feet of
line on your exploration
reels. Later this evening I ask Bill what he intalled. 615
feet of line.
He says he thinks there is enough potential for two explorers. The
Super Happy. Bill says the cave is ungodly gorgeous. He has
huge bedding plane going south and southeast. We have already
to put Lee Gibson with Bill by tommorrow. Maybe Steve Keene. Bill
says he found a hole with water going down in it. He thinks he can
through it. My Theory is coming true. Bill is estastic. The
man is in heaven. My hunch seems to be going where I hope.
Tommorrow we shall see. Bill knotted 1900 feet of line during the
afternoon. You can see the look of a hunter now in his eyes. He
for a Glory Day. If we don't get 10,000 feet plus out of this area,
I will be
disappointed. Everything is going great!
So, everyone is happy. Today's total - roughly is: 3992 feet of line.
This makes Dos Ojos at: ................. about 140,000 feet.
Still going strong.
When the project ends, I'm sure it will take us awhile to get all the data
sorted. So far, a wonderful project indeed.
Our man - Thorn Fillipelli who owns SCALER WAVE SYSTEMS in California arrives
Thursday to Villa DeRosa for a week. He is a computer specialist. Thorn says
he has a software program that can "blow Smaps" away. I'm excited.
This survey data on Smaps has been a nightmare only because how a variety of
individuals have been treating it as though it were the "secret code" the
keeps in case of a nuclear world holocaust. So far, I've seen it destroy
several friendships and make a wide variety of people upset. How silly. Here
is an underwater cave where over 60 different cave divers have contributed to
Then we have perhaps less than three individuals who think this data is theirs
personally. Thank you to Harve Thorn of Fayetteville, Arkansas for all his
help and cooperation. With this new software program, we hope to transfer all
the present and new data into something that will clearly show the immensity of
this cave system.
A big thank you to these individuals who have made contributions towards the
1. Larry Kirby of Illinois - $500.00 2. Kevin Mack of Chicago -
3. Barry Thomas - Atlanta, Georgia - $250.00 4. Tom Topping - Maryland -
$100.00. 5. Larry O'Loane of Maryland - $100.00. 6. Murray Bilby of
Pittsburgh - $100.00. 7. A friend from Texas - $800.00. 8. Harry
Cure of Fort Worth, Texas - $200.00. 9. Judy Bauer of Archer. Florida -
$100.00 worth of Guideline. 10. Tim & Jany Tye - $500.00 11. Bill
Renaker - $500.00 I realize there are a few more names but Jill has them which
I will get from her later to acknowledge. From everyone involved - we all
appreciate your kindness and generosity. It will not be forgotten.
Oh, ever heard of Cave barking spider? Apparently, it exists. I will tell
you about it
in Report #6.
For our Sponsors, great support. We appreciate everything. 1. Oceanic -
Barry Warner. 2. DIVERITE - Lamar Hires. 3. IANTD - Tom & Patti
Mount, Dick Rutkowski and El Capitan Guillermo Deans 4. NACD 5.
Poseidon - SEArious Fun - Joe Schelorke. 6. Underwater Lighting Inc. - Judy &
Arnold Jackson 7. Scuba West - Paul Heinerth & Jill Rabjohn 8.
Spring Systems Dive Outpost - Kathy & Jonathan Lesh 9. Lloyd Bailey's
Scuba - Lloyd Bailey. 10. Aquatech/DeRosa Villas - Tony & Nancy DeRosa
11. Ikelite 12. Henderson Wetsuits. 13. Dos Ojos Dive Center.
14. SubAquatec of Cancun.
15. Scuba Cancun - Cancun, Mexico plus more.
The biggest surprise and disappointment was the # of companies who verbally
committed to this project months before but as we approached the Grand Finale -
their promise was unkept.
We had great newspaper articles in the St. Petersburg Times and the Columbus,
Ohio Dispatch last week. National Geographic is following our progress and
waiting to see what happens.. Scuba Times Dive magazine is following us
closely. So is DeepTech. Florida Scuba News is keeping tabs. The NACD
Journal, the IANTD Journal and the NSS-CDS Underwater Speleology have been very
cooperative. Dive Training magazine announced our project. Thank you
Tommorrow (Wednesday) will be slow. The fatique factor is kicking in,
logistics of where divers will go is becoming more difficult. Bill Renaker
should have a field day at Hilario's Well. So will Paul Heinerth and Brian
Kukak at the new cenote.
We will have four teams going downstream Kentucky Castle. We shall see what
Wow! Received 19 E mail letters yesterday. Very nice feedback from all.
people were impressed with my honesty. Well, I wasn't looking for sympathy or
praise, just telling the truth - like it was.
Well, that's it for now. Thank you to all for your interest and feedback. It
inspires me more to keep you informed of whatever happens with this thing. I
can assure you
there will be days of no productivity or dissappointment. I'm just surprised
of our progress so far.
Take care. Be safe. Maintain. Steve Gerrard