WKPP Update – April 22-23, 2006
Update by Casey McKinlay
After more than six years, I was surprised to receive an e-mail on March 27 from Wakulla Springs State Park indicating basin conditions were crystal-clear and 100+ ft. Since the summer of 2000, the WKPP had been operating on a limited basis in support of various research projects, but exploration was never a consideration, given the poor visibility in the cave system. Blue water was a distant memory as we adjusted over the years to various shades of black, brown and green. In fact, many on the team had never seen the spring clear, so needless to say, this was exciting news. Exciting in that we may have a window to explore, but the amount of work necessary to bring everyone up to speed would be a formidable challenge. With the Chip’s Hole project now complete, we would have a few weeks to get everything and everyone on the same page. It was time to clear the schedule and switch gears.
Some of the to-do’s:
- Prepare thirty safety tanks and thirty regulators
WKPP: Chip’s Hole Update – April 7-9
Summary by Casey McKinlay
Conditions across the WKP began to dry out in February so we decided to make one final run in Chip’s Hole to assess the section of cave between 12,000 and 16,000ft. Although we were fairly certain the cave did not continue, this section was the most likely to have going leads. We also intended to pull the remaining tanks and safety equipment from our previous exploration dive. The first two weekends in April presented us with clear conditions in the Chip’s system and that was all we needed to kick things off. Wakulla was clearing and would consume all available resources so we had to finish the Chip’s exploration or wait until fall. Jarrod shared my same sense of enthusiasm; it might be more accurate to say that we shared a common urge to get these difficulties out of the way. The plan was fairly straightforward