December 1999-January 2000-Update Summary

WKPP dive reports – December 1999/January 2000


Project Coordinator Casey McKinlay reports on the continuing dives during the WKPP’s 1999-2000 exploration efforts at Wakulla Springs:

Wakulla remains green with 20ft of visibility in the main conduit. In fact, conditions are not improving as expected in spite of continued dry conditions in North Florida. Visibility aside, divers worked 5 separate sites over 3 days the weekend of 11 December.

Cheryl Sink: OC team of Irvine and McKinlay traveled upstream to look at two separate leads and assess flow/visibility. Neither lead revealed going cave but the flow in the system was exceptionally high with visibility averaging 50-60ft. Billy Baxter and Chris Elmore handled support for the divers and the documentary crew from NHK Japan in Emerald Sink. OC Team of Landon, Gol and Lennon traveled downstream past the halfway point to Clearcut Sink, searching for new leads and repairing line. Skip MacElhannon, Billy Baxter and Chris Elmore handled support and conducted smaller scale dives.

Wakulla: OC Team 1 of Straatsma and Baxter traveled into B-Tunnel for some line work while OC Team 2 of Landon and Gol worked C-Tunnel. OC Team 3 of Irvine, Miller and McKinlay headed to D-Tunnel to capture video of the entire passage back to the last room. Visibility was great through D-Tunnel, with Barry and George stopping along the way to video Sheck Exley’s compass on the passage floor. OC Team 4 of Koritz, Rose and Jackson also traveled to D-Tunnel, joining the video team in the last room and on the exit. Support divers Deschamps, Carson and Lennon began work on the line replacement out to B/C junction and handled deep support and setup. Support divers Nanci LeVake and Chris Elmore took care of the morning and afternoon in-water setup with Harvey Boyd, Skip MacElhannon, and “old man” Steve Dittner joining the fun. A big thanks to William Lentz and Larry Ficker for helping out and Cameron Martz for handling Surface Manager responsibilities.

Shepard Spring (St Mark’s Wildlife Refuge): Chris Werner, David Sweetin, and Brett Dodson supported the NHK Japanese documentary crew, conducted water analysis, captured in-water photos and gathered biological specimens.

Sullivan Sink: OC Team of Jackson, Kortiz, Deschamps and LeVake traveled upstream to check several leads and repair the line. Reported visibility was excellent with a high water level in the sink.

Indian Springs: OC Team 1 of Werner and Auer shot photos in the cavern and downstream section while the Japanese film crew took video. OC Team 2 of Sweetin and Dodson gathered water quality information and several interesting specimens from the downstream section including shrimp, crayfish and amphipods. Cavern visibility averaged 100ft+. McKinlay handled support for the film crew.

Altogether, the WKPP has had a successful few weeks of smaller scale diving.

Individual Dive Reports for December/January below: