February 2000 Update Summary

WKPP update, February 2000

WKPP_reports


Project Coordinator Casey McKinlay reports on the continuing dives during the WKPP’s 1999-2000 exploration efforts at Wakulla Springs: WKPP divers stayed busy during the first two months of 2000 in spite of poor visibility. Conditions delayed exploration and video efforts in the main Wakulla Springs cave system during January and February, so the team shifted its focus to secondary sites in the Woodville Karst Plain.

Divers worked Cheryl Sink, Little Dismal Sink, Indian Springs, Sally Ward Springs, Sullivan Sink, and Bird Sink. While team training was the primary objective for many of the dives, divers conducted various biology, water quality, and video projects in several systems. Conditions in the WKP have steadily improved over the past 8 weeks. Wakulla Springs appears prime for setup and exploration starting in March.

Bird Sink: WKPP divers conducted two dives into the system in January. The objective of the first dive was to continue downstream exploration of the system. Upon entering the system, divers found the guideline missing and decided to reline and re-survey the entire downstream section before adding to the end. The second dive resulted in additional surveyed passage and thorough exploration of the side leads. Average depth: 160. Double Gavins, Double stage.

Sullivan, Cheryl, Little Dismal: WKPP divers conducted several dives upstream and downstream of Cheryl Sink. Downstream, divers encountered a wall of tannic in the main passageway to Clearcut sink on three separate occasions. Upstream, visibility was fair with a slight green tinge to the water and light particulate. A lead was discovered to the left of the 2nd stage drop and will be investigated in the coming months. Sullivan Sink saw activity in both the upstream and downstream sections. Sullivan typically remains clear when the other systems go under. Little Dismal does not see much activity due to the major entrance restriction. Earlier this year WKPP divers cleared the entrance restriction with a hydrolift but it appears to have filled in again and remains one of the few “sidemount only” systems in the WKP.

Sally Ward Spring: WKPP divers took advantage of high water levels and poor conditions in the main spring to capture video and photos in Wakulla’s lesser known cave system. Support divers cleared the entrance restriction allowing several teams to video the entrance tunnel, Cube Room, and first downstream room. WKPP photographers captured dive teams entering, exiting, and working in the system. Flow was exceptionally high and visibility was excellent.


We expect continued dry conditions in the WKP for the next two months allowing for continued exploration in the main Wakulla system and downstream Turner Sink. All the pieces are in place: support, setup, and exploration teams. Several new gas divers have stepped up to support the rebreather teams and new support divers have joined up to fill the ranks. We look forward to the return of BMA Productions and the Japanese Public TV (NHK) team as they continue to document the efforts of the WKPP and emphasize the importance of this valuable resource.

Individual Dive Reports for February 2000:

Little Dismal Sink, 2000-02-27, McKinlay, Deschamps

WKPP update, February 2000

Little Dismal Sink, 2000-02-27, McKinlay, Deschamps

WKPP_reports

WKPP

Date 2000-02-27
Site Little Dismal Sink
Team McKinlay, Deschamps
Objective Assess current conditions in the sink and inspect entrance restriction.
Logistics Sidemount and single tank
Bottom Time 25
Maximum Depth 60
Results Entrance restriction blocked with debris and very tight. Appears to be sidemount only dive. Backmounts would be too risky. Sink is a hazy blue with lots of fish. Downstream is clear but hazy.

Indian Spring, 2000-02-26, Baxter, MacElhannon

WKPP update, February 2000

Indian Spring, 2000-02-26, Baxter, MacElhannon

WKPP_reports

WKPP

Date 2000-02-26
Site Indian
Team Billy Baxter, Skip MacElhannon
Objective Practise with scooter towing and a visit to the Wakulla Room breathing the stages only.
Logistics Double stage, two scooters each diver
Bottom Time 65 mins
Maximum Depth 180′
Results Upstream Indian was clear as usual, 30′ up to the T. The dive went well, no problems, but more practice with multi-stage and deco tanks would make future dives a little smoother.

 

Indian Spring, 2000-02-20, Porceddu, Mee, Irvine

WKPP update, February 2000

Indian Spring, 2000-02-20, Porceddu, Mee, Irvine

WKPP_reports

WKPP

Date 2000-02-20
Site Indian
Team Pina Porceddu, Bill Mee , George Irvine
Objective To see how the recent rain effected the action and vis of the cave.
Logistics Single stage, scooters, 21/33 back, 19/35 stage – just breathed out the stage, did oxygen deco.
Bottom Time 35 min
Maximum Depth 142
Results Cave is syphoning from the basin. Vis in the cavern is 15 feet, improving to 20 in the main tunnel, and then going to air clear upstream, mixing well enough downstream to be clear. The water level is four inches higher than before the rain. Still not suitable for filming in the downstream.

 

Emerald Sink, 2000-02-19, Lais, Hunsucker

WKPP update, February 2000

Emerald Sink, 2000-02-19, Lais, Hunsucker

WKPP_reports

WKPP

Date 2000-02-19
Site Emerald
Team Lais, Hunsucker
Objective Travel downstream from Emerald to check visibility and flow conditions. If conditions allow, continue exploring a lead previously worked by Lais and Deschamps.
Logistics Single stage each and one tow scooter.
Bottom Time 15
Maximum Depth 145
Results Surface observation of Cheryl indicated clear water with a slight green tint. The sun was in just the right position so that we could see straight to the sand bottom from the platform. Emerald also displayed a slight green tint, however from 100 feet of depth, we could see the tops of the trees surrounding the sink. Once below Emerald, noticeable syphoning flow was observed. Moderate flow was also noticed in conduit between Cheryl and Emerald. Approximately 25 feet past the T, cold tannic water was discovered to occupy the bottom half of the conduit. The line was approximately submerged 2-4 feet in the tannic, with clear water above. The interface depth was approximately 145-150 ft depth. 100 ft downstream from the T, milky-white water was encountered on top of the tannic water below. Dive was aborted due to poor visibility, and increasing syphoning conditions.

 

Indian Spring, 2000-02-06, Auer, Deschamps, Lennon, Gol

WKPP update, February 2000

Indian Spring, 2000-02-06, Auer, Deschamps, Lennon, Gol

WKPP_reports

WKPP

Date 2000-02-06
Site Indian
Team Steve Auer, Herve Deschamps, David Lennon, Jonathan Gol
Objective Photo shoot downstream
Logistics Double stage scooter dive.
Bottom Time 70
Maximum Depth 140
Results Once the team reached the shallow section of downstream they found a good 60 feet of visibility. That enabled them to get a full 36 exposure roll of pictures. Some light strobes were placed on diver’s tanks. Others were placed on the floor to provide back lighting.

 

Sally Ward, 2000-02-05, McKinlay, Jablonski, Kincaid, Irvine, Miller

WKPP update, February 2000

Sally Ward, 2000-02-05, McKinlay, Jablonski, Kincaid, Irvine, Miller

WKPP_reports

WKPP

Date 2000-02-05
Site Sally Ward Spring
Team McKinlay, Jablonski, Kincaid, Irvine, Miller
Objective Video entrance tunnel, cube room, 1st downstream room, and restriction
Logistics Single Gavin scooter, HID primary lights, HID video lights, single stage
Bottom Time 25
Maximum Depth 245
Results Captured all video. System clear with exceptionally high flow. Assisted Werner, Auer with photos as team entered cube room.