EMERALD SINK – FEBRUARY 4, 2012

 

Emerald Sink—February 4, 2012: Dive Summary

 Objectives:

  1. Establish safety bottle cache at current end of line in the downstream Dark Water Tunnel
  2. Explore and survey new cave
  3. Familiarize new newer team members with upstream Emerald sink.

Conditions:

Weather Conditions:   Sunny
Air Temp (F): 70
Water Temp (F): 68
Basin Observations at Depth (ft): 100
Basin Visibility (high, medium, low): high
Basin Turbidity (high, medium, low): low

Comments: Excellent visibility in the sinkhole and downstream to the Fish Hole conduit junction. Tannic water is still pouring out of the Dark Water Tunnel but is still divable.

 Summary:

WKPP divers successfully completed all planned objectives. Visibility in the cave system is outstanding, estimated at 80ft in the main downstream passage till the Fish Hole junction where visibility drops to 20-30ft, then another drop to 15-20ft in the Dark Water Tunnel.

Team 1 (Hagberg, Roberson, Catron) Objective—Place deco gases at 120ft, 70ft, and 20ft for Team 2, swim upstream to familiarize Catron with the shallow section of Emerald Sink. Meet and greet for Team 2 at 70ft.

Avg Depth (ft): 70
Avg Depth (ft): 70
Max Depth (ft): 130
Bottom Time: n/a
Total Run Time: n/a
Dive Observations at Depth (ft): 70 – Upstream Tunnels
Dive Visibility (high, medium, low):  high
Dive Turbidity (high, medium, low):  low
Water Current Speed (high, medium, low): low
Notable Fauna: Dead catfish and crayfish in Dark Water Tunnel

Team 2 (Richardson, Gault, Gonzales) Objective—Place two safety bottles at the end of the Dark Water Tunnel line, explore and survey the DWT.

Avg Depth (ft): 190
Max Depth (ft): 206
Bottom Time: 50 minutes
Total Run Time: 140mins
Dive Observations at Depth (ft): 200 – Dark Water Tunnel
Dive Visibility (high, medium, low):  low 15-20ft
Dive Turbidity (high, medium, low):  medium
Water Current Speed (high, medium, low): low
Water Current Direction: out
Equipment –  Three 190′ stage bottles each, two 190′ safety bottles, 4 standard Gavin scooter, usual deco gases,  and hydration.

 Comments — the team made quick work getting to the end of the line despite old line, silty conditions, and very poor visibility. We were able to explore an additional 610′ of cave headed west-northwest toward Black Hole Swallet and Fisher Creek Swallet.

Big thanks to Andreas Hagberg, Steven Catron, and Charlie Roberson for the in water support and to Evan Kornacki for hauling tanks and scooters on the surface. A solid team effort!

AJ Gonzales
Membership Coordinator – Site Manager
Woodville Karst Plain Project